We all want to be our healthiest best. After all, if we are, then we’ll have more energy, we’ll look better, and we’ll be in a better mood, too. That’s three pretty good reasons to make an effort with your health! However, there can be a big difference between wanting to keep your health in shape and actually doing it. And we’re not necessarily talking about finding the energy to be healthy. Often, what happens is that people make fundamental mistakes that can end up hurting, rather than helping, their health.
In this blog, we’re going to run through some of the key mistakes that people make and also offer some suggestions on how you can overcome them!
The thinking goes that if you eat less, then you’ll be healthier. Of course, that’s not correct — many times, people skip meals to try to lose weight. However, if you’re skipping something like breakfast, then you’ll probably end up eating unhealthy food before lunchtime. You do, after all, need some calories if you’re going to work well! So rather than running out of the door without food in your stomach, look at preparing an energetic breakfast. There are plenty of options that don’t have many calories. The best breakfast for most people is a selection of fruits – try not to eat bread and cereals, and for some people it is important to avoid milk as this can lead to an insulin response, which prompts fat gain.
How much time do you spend sitting down each day? If you work at a desk, then it’s likely that this is much more than you should be. It’s easily forgotten, but humans are not supposed to be seated all that much. For the majority of human history, we were standing upright! It’s only in recent times that we’ve moved to the chair – we have reported previously that The Chair is a Killer. As such, it’s important that you find ways to get up throughout the day. A short walk every hour or so will do the trick. If you’re working exceptionally long hours, then you can also look at getting a standing desk.
Not Looking At The Ingredients
Just because a food product looks healthy, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the case. It’s always important to go beyond the branding and take a look at what’s actually inside the food. There actually is much consensus or legal rules that manufacturers have to follow when it comes to things like organic or even saying something like “this is a healthy snack.” So ignore the packaging. Read what’s on the back. A good rule of thumb is to count the ingredients that your grandmother would not have had when she was younger. If there’s more of a few of them in there, then it’ll probably be best to look elsewhere!
Not Thinking of Their Specific Diet
There are some things that are healthy for most people. But the key part of that sentence is “for most people.” Just because something is fine for one person, or even the majority of people, that doesn’t mean that it’ll necessarily be fine for you. Everyone’s different, after all. Some people can’t eat gluten, for instance. If you feel like there’s something wrong with your diet, then don’t suffer in silence: take action. By working with a nutritionist, you’ll be able to put together a diet that works with your specific needs in mind. And once you’re giving your body what it needs (or rather, not giving it what it doesn’t want), you’ll likely find that you receive a whole host of other benefits, too.
We all know that it’s important to exercise. However, did you know that it’s actually possible to over-exercise? As with most things in life, it’s all about moderation. If you’re going to the gym too much, then you could over exert your body. Remember that rest is important, too! If you’re finding it difficult to stop thinking about exercising, then it’s a good idea to look at the reasons why you’re exercising. It could be that there’s an underlying body image issue that requires professional help.
Anxiety and Stress Issues
When we think of our health, we largely focus on the physical aspect rather than the mental aspect. And that’ll be especially true if you’re of an older generation, which just didn’t talk about these things as much as younger people do. Things like anxiety and stress don’t just make day to day existence more difficult; they actually can have a long-time impact on your physical health. For instance, if you’re bottling up stress and anxiety, then you’ll be more likely to have high blood pressure and heart disease when you’re older.
Remember that your stress has to go somewhere. If you’re not letting it out, then all you’ll be doing is driving it back inside you.
When you’re living a broadly healthy life, it’s easy to overlook the habits that are not good for you. If you were eating well and exercising, then you’d focus on that, rather than, say, the fact that you drink and smoke. From time to time, it’s worthwhile looking at any bad habits that you may have developed and then working to reduce or eliminate them. It’s easy to get into the habit of drinking alcohol because it’s more or less everywhere, but studies have shown that it does have a negative impact on your health. Try giving up for a few weeks, and you’ll likely feel better — and be in a better mood, too. Consider joining monthly campaigns, such as Stoptober and Dry January.
Not Diving Into Their Family History
You didn’t just come into this world. You’ve got a long list of ancestors who came before you. And it’s possible that your ancestors were more susceptible to some diseases and medical issues than others. And that means that you will be too. As such, it’s a good idea to dive into your family history at some point to learn which ailments you might have in your future. If you knew that you were more likely to develop diabetes, for instance, then you could take steps now to reduce the chances of it happening.
Modern science is amazing. It’s nearly always possible to overcome an illness (while you’re young). However, the key thing is that it must be caught earlier. If it’s not, then the medical issue is more likely to have a negative impact on your life. That’s why it’s so important to go for checkups. You might feel like you’re in good health, but who knows what’s going on inside? Only a medical professional will be able to help you. Check ups become more important the older you become. Just get them in the diary, make sure to go along, and that’s it. Easy!
Not Investing in Social Groups
There are a lot of things that can impact your health. And it’s not always the obvious things. For instance, did you know that your social life can also impact how long you live? In the places where people live the longest, the citizens lead highly social lives. That’s why loneliness is so dangerous among older people. But the framework of a social life later in retirement begins way before then. Even if you’re not the most social person, it’s worthwhile finding ways to be social, in your own way.
All Day Inside
Many of us spend a significant portion of time inside. But there’s value in getting outdoors. For reasons that aren’t quite clear, humans respond well to being surrounded by nature — it lifts people’s moods and generally gets them fitter (since they’re usually hiking etc., when in nature). So don’t fall into the trap of spending all your time in a city — get out and explore the woods. We have written about the benefits of green exercise previously, so read that next!