Find more stories to help you achieve awesome status in our self-improvement guide! We’ll be adding more tips, tricks, guides and more throughout September, so be sure to check back as the month progresses for even more ways to be a better you.
Whether you’re a classic procrastinator or hanging onto a few habits out of comfort, here’s something that will light a fire of motivation under your feet: These seven bad habits can have adverse side effects on your body.
Though you may have gotten away with them for decades, these behaviors can wreak havoc on your body over time. The good news? It’s never too late to start newer, healthier habits and giving up these worst offenders by the time you’re 50 is a great way to give yourself the gift of health and longevity. Read on for the top 7 bad habits to quit before you’re 50.
1. Sitting all day
You’ve probably heard the news about sitting at your desk all day: It can harm your health. Sitting all day can increase your risk of many diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Even if you have a desk job, it’s important to get up and move throughout the day.
Need some ideas? Take conference calls while standing or walking around, set an alarm every hour and walk to the nearest copy machine or water cooler, and take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you’re home watching TV, get up between commercial breaks to put in a load of laundry or do a set of push-ups. It’s worth it for your health to get moving!
2. Give up sugary drinks
Can you get through the day without a soda, sweetened iced tea, or sports drink? If not, stop now! Just one can of soda has over 3 teaspoons more than the daily recommended allowance of sugar for women.
Excess sugar causes inflammation and weight gain, as well as a spike in blood sugar levels. Sugar is not only highly addictive; the empty calories in sugary drinks leave you un-satiated and craving more sugar.
Excess sugar is stored as fat, and this extra fat can lead to a whole slew of health issues, including heart disease and diabetes. If plain old water is just too boring, you can add fresh lemon or cucumbers to give it some flavor. If you love your drinks fizzy, try sparkling water with a splash of no-sugar-added cranberry juice.
Are you holding onto an old grudge? Maybe your best friend insulted your parenting skills or your mother-in-law made a passive-aggressive remark to you. Years later, you’re still fuming inside while smiling on the outside.
Is that you? If so, letting go of that resentment is one of the best things you can do for yourself. A number of physical conditions, one of which being cancer, can manifest from emotional causes. All that bottled up negative energy becomes stuck in your body, eventually making you sick. By forgiving and letting go of resentment, you’re releasing your body of that built-up tension and negative energy.
It may take talking to a therapist or taking a yoga or meditation class to get the ball rolling on healing your internal emotions. Now’s a good time to think about letting go to achieve optimal health for your whole body.
Don’t put off for later what you can do now. This is especially true when it comes to your health. Your body is not going to wait for you to eat better or take daily walks. Chronic diseases sneak up on you, and it’s impossible to turn back time.
Even if you start with baby steps, that’s better than doing nothing at all. If you have a work deadline, make time to pack proper lunches and prepare a healthy dinner. Say no to vices like cigarettes or sugary snack foods. Swap them out for a power walk, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. There’s not a single one of us who’s invincible, so start now to get on track for better health.
5. Inadequate sleep
Getting a proper night’s sleep is an important part of staying healthy. Sleep is essential for all of us, and here are just a few highlights of a proper night’s sleep on our bodies: Improved memory, sharper attention span, healthy weight, lower stress, and longer life span.
Skipping out on sleep over long periods can increase the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Keeping a consistent sleep schedule is the best way to ensure a good night’s sleep. Your body likes regular schedule and routine, so going to bed around the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning will help to keep your bodies natural sleep rhythm on track.
Silky, cool sheets, fluffy pillows, and downy soft duvets can help sleep come easier. Learn tips and tricks for making your bed a sweet dreams haven in our guide on how to make your bed like a pro!
6. Energy vampires
Do you have that friend who you don’t really listen to on the phone, instead you just hold the phone away from your ear and offer the occasional reply? They’re ranting on about how bad your kids’ school is or how the garbage service is too expensive, and there’s really no end to the complaining!
This friend is what we call an “energy vampire”. You can picture them with fangs, but they’re really just normal looking people that take up way too much of your precious time with negative energy. In one simple conversation, they can easily bring down your mood.
It may be time to stop answering a “vampire” phone call and to surround yourself with friends and people who have a positive influence on your life. You know, ones who are above the drama? There’s nothing wrong with helping a friend in need, but try to remove yourself from those who are constantly bringing you down.
There’s nobody who’s going to know and take care of your body better than you. You can’t rely on doctors to keep you healthy, and even though tests and numbers are important, they can also give you a false sense of security. You may pass tests with flying colors, even if you have bad eating habits.
The knowledge is out there, and by taking responsibility for yourself you can use that knowledge to make decisions about what you put in your body and how much you exercise.