Did you set New Year’s resolutions for healthy living? Often when we create resolutions, we decide to ditch habits that we think are unhealthy. If you haven’t created any health goals for the new year, here are some bad health habits you may want to consider getting rid of:
1. Eating too much junk food.
While junk food is often super-convenient and inexpensive, it’s loaded with fat, salt and sugar. Too much fat, salt and sugar in your diet can cause you gain weight, which can lead to other health problems, like obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Also, junk or fast food often contains trans fat which can raise “bad” cholesterol and blood fats. High cholesterol can contribute to hardening of the arteries and heart disease. Therefore, healthy eating can provide you with substantial health benefits.
What you can do: Make healthier food choices. Drink more water instead of soda. Replace hamburgers with grilled chicken. Opt for a salad or veggies in place of French fries. Prepare meals at home instead of eating out at fast food restaurants.
2. Weighing yourself too often.
The number on the scale is just a number. It doesn’t tell you how much of your weight is lean muscle versus fat versus water. It also doesn’t tell you where you’re carrying that extra weight – on your hips, bottom or belly. Your waist-to-hip ratio can predict your risk of heart disease. Therefore, obsessing over the number of a scale doesn’t help you necessarily gain control of this ratio.
What you can do: Once a week, measure your stomach, hips, thighs and upper arms with a tape measure instead. Focus on improving your overall health. For example, get your cholesterol and blood pressure under control. Your cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dL. Your systolic blood pressure should be less than 120 and diastolic blood pressure should be less than 80.
3. Doing workouts you hate.
If you’re forcing yourself to do workouts you detest, you likely will give and stop doing them.
What you can do: If you don’t like to run, don’t do it. Choose activities you enjoy doing instead. Walk instead of run. Do Zumba instead of bootcamp classes. Try yoga instead of lifting weights. Keep trying activities until you find those that you like. Then continue to do them regularly.
4. Skipping sleep.
Most Americans get less than 7 hours of sleep a night. When you don’t get at least 8 hours of sleep, you put your health at risk. A lack of sleep can decrease your alertness and ability to focus, reduce immune levels, affect appetite, slow your circulation and make you look older than your actual age.
What you can do: Make a commitment to get more sleep. If you can’t get enough sleep during the night, take a 20- to 30-minute nap during the day. Reduce caffeine consumption if it’s keeping you awake. Block out light and sound in your bedroom if they’re affecting your ability to sleep.
5. Putting your health last.
Do you tend to take care of everyone else and put yourself last? You need to stop doing that. Your health is important.
What you can do: Get annual health exams, screenings and tests. When health issues like cancer are caught early, you’re chances of survival are higher. If you experience signs or symptoms of an illness or disease, see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Talk to your doctor about things you can do, like diet, exercise and taking vitamins or supplements, to help you stay healthy. Ask your doctor for suggestions on how to get rid of any other bad health habits you may have.
6. Not taking care of your feet.
When you think about your health, your feet are often one area you don’t think about until they start hurting. But when they start hurting, sore feet can have a major impact on your life, affecting your ability to stay mobile and get the exercise you need to keep the rest of your body healthy.
What you can do: Have your feet measured every year to ensure you’re wearing the right sized shoes for your feet. Fit your footwear to your foot’s size and shape. For more information on proper shoe fit, refer to the Shoe Fitting Guide from the WalkEZStore.com.
Have your gait analyzed by a Certified Pedorthist like Kathy Carandang. She can identify issues with the way you walk and make recommendations for improvement like the use of ezWalker® Custom Fit Orthotics. ezWalker® Custom Orthotics bio-mechanically align your feet into proper position, so every step you take is optimally controlled and supported. Also if you suffer from painful foot conditions, like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis or metatarsalgia, ezWalker® Custom Orthotics can help reduce the stress and strain on your feet and provide you pain relief. Click here to schedule an appointment with Kathy Carandang. Or, visit our online store to order your pair of ezWalker® Custom Fit Orthotics today.
Take steps today to get rid of bad health habits, so you can live a healthier life.
WalkEZStore Custom Orthotics: Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.®
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Cover photo credit: 123RF / Mariusz Prusaczyk