Five Unhealthy Lifestyle Habits and How to Break Them

Posted by in Tip of the week, What if...?

1. Skipping breakfast

During the morning rush to get out the door, it’s tempting to just grab a coffee and go. However, skipping breakfast causes your metabolism to slow down in order to conserve energy. This negatively affects your overall performance and your ability to concentrate. You’re also more likely to overeat at lunch as a result.

Solution: Eat within two hours of waking up. The best breakfast balances protein, fat and carbohydrates, such as whole grain toast with low-fat cream cheese or peanut butter.

2. Constant anger, worry or stress

Healthy stress should only be short-lived and act like a tool to help you deal with a stressful situation. Constant stress or feeling continually unhappy can result in an overflow of stress hormones that negatively affect your health. Chronic stress is very dangerous for your health as it increases blood pressure and blood sugar, lowers immunity and slows digestion.

Solution: Stress-reduction techniques have been proven to combat these symptoms and improve overall health. Improved sleep, rest time, breathing techniques, exercise and mediation are all excellent ways to combat stress.

3. Spending too much time watching TV

The more time you spend watching TV, the less time you spend being active, which invites related health problems like obesity, high blood pressure and depression. Screen time can also start replacing time spent on hobbies, socializing and mentally stimulating activities.

Solution: Follow the 2-30 rule: No more than 2 hours of TV a day and at least 30 minutes of exercise. Reduce unhealthy snacking in front of the TV by doing light exercises as you watch. You’ll be fitter, sleep better, have more energy, feel happier and have a better social life.

4. Falling asleep on the couch 

After a busy day, falling asleep in front of the TV seems like a well-earned reward, but this type of sleep isn’t good for you. The best rest comes from seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep in a dark, quiet place. Consistently nodding off on the couch with the TV on in the background before moving to your bed keeps you from getting a quality sleep.

Solution: To get the best sleep, avoid screen time for one hour before you head to bed – this means the TV, your laptop and smartphone. Instead, relax with a book or some music before you go to sleep.

5. Not getting enough sleep

People consistently underestimate the importance of getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation has serious consequences for your health. Not only do you suffer a decrease in alertness and your ability to focus, your immune system also plummets when you’re not getting enough sleep. Hormone levels, appetite, weight distribution, circulation and mood are all negatively affected by lack of sleep.

Solution: Make sleep a priority, just like you would prioritize exercise and eating well. Reduce your caffeine intake in the afternoon, and block out light and noise from your bedroom to get a better sleep. If you feel tired during the day, try a short afternoon nap for a quick boost of alertness. Even if you can’t fully doze off, you still get some benefits from the early parts of sleep.