If you are looking for ways to improve your health right now, then here is a great place to start. We’ve created a list of six common bad habits that you need to stop doing today, along with some giving you some great tips on how to replace them with habits that will support vital well-being.
Eating too many takeaway meals and processed foods
We all know that a balanced diet is important, but it is all too easy to fall into the habit of relying on quick, easy takeaway meals and highly processed junk foods. Although convenient, these types of food tend to be high in fats, salt and sugars, which doctors at Apollo Hospitals India say are linked to the development of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions. Try keeping a food diary over a week (be honest!) and look at when you have succumbed to this unhealthy habit. You will likely note that you tend to indulge in junk foods when you are busy, away from home or socialising.
Avoid this trap by planning ahead. You could pack a mixed salad for an office lunch or a home-made smoothie to replace your afternoon snack. Think about how to make better menu choices when you are out and about too. For example, ask for whole grain bread instead of white, drink water instead of fizzy drinks, order a portion of vegetables as a side dish and go for fresh fruit for your dessert.
Snacking when you aren’t hungry
One of the easiest ways for excess weight to sneak onto our bodies is snacking when you are not truly hungry. This bad habit emerges when you are bored and head to the fridge for something to do, or when you eat without concentrating, while doing something else. Beat this bad habit by asking yourself whether you are hungry before you start eating. If you aren’t sure, drink a glass of water and wait for ten minutes – this will help you to bypass cravings and keep you feeling satisfied until your next meal.
Watching TV instead of working out
If you’ve ever skipped a gym session to catch up with your favourite TV series, then you are guilty of this bad habit. While it is tempting to chill out on the sofa after a tiring day, getting up and doing some exercise will make you feel better than lazing around will. Regular workouts help to reduce stress, tone muscles and reduce your risk of developing lifestyle related diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Not dealing with stress
Everyone experiences stress at some point in their life, but it is how we deal with it that makes a difference to how it affects us. If we don’t find ways to de-stress, our bodies can become tense, and we can feel emotionally unstable while chronic stress can make it hard to handle everyday life. Don’t let stress get the best of you – instead, figure out what helps you to release it. For some people that might be a massage, or a long cycle ride, while for others, talking to a therapist or trying meditation could help.
Missing out on sleep
Not getting enough sleep is a bad habit which not only effects concentration and memory but could also put you at greater risk of becoming ill or having an accident. Though late nights are sometimes unavoidable, it is best to aim for a regular sleep schedule which allows you to get adequate rest. Try going to bed at the same time every night this week, and you will be surprised how much better you feel.
Not applying sunscreen
Dermatologists at Apollo Hospitals say that the worst habit when it comes to skincare is not using sunscreen – or not applying it frequently. Even in mild climates and cloudy weather, the effects of UVA and UVB rays are harmful, with excessive exposure contributing towards skin ageing and increasing your risk of skin cancer. Tackle this bad habit making sunscreen application into part of your daily routine. Use a high-quality products and generously apply to areas of the body that will be exposed to sunlight, around 30 minutes before you go outdoors. Be sure to reapply regularly to keep your skin fully protected.