We all have habits that we get into over a period of time, and while there is nothing wrong with having habits, there are some habits that are unhealthy to have. The fact is that when it comes to bad habits, breaking them is no easy task, but sometimes you have to take the leap and do your best to break them.
If you have had an unhealthy habit for years, you may not even realise how bad for you it is, or the impact that it is having on your health. However, the fact is that whether you realise it or not, your bad habits are damaging your health, and if you want to lead a long and healthy life, you need to take action now and start making positive changes.
Not convinced that your bad habits could be killing you? Then read on to learn how all of the most common and most detrimental habits to our health, can impact you in a serious way.
According to Digital NHS, only 19% of adults smoke today, compared to a whooping 46% in 1974. While smoking rates have significantly increased over the past 40 years, there are still over nine million people in the UK who smoke. Of all the unhealthy habits there are, smoking is high upon the list, because of the list of serious repercussions smoking can have on your health.
Did you know that smoking is one of the leading causes of death in the UK? And, on top of that, it can lead to all manner of serious diseases, including increased risk of heart disease and stroke, lung cancer, leukaemia, kidney cancer, stomach cancer, infertility, stillbirth, oral cancer, throat cancer, and COPD, among various other health conditions.
Smoking is a highly addictive habit, which is why so many smokers struggle to quit. However, what a lot of people don’t realize is that it is not just the nicotine that smokers are addicted to,
it’s the sensation of holding a cigarette and actually smoking one. So although nicotine replacement products can work well to reduce nicotine cravings and slowly wean smokers off of cigarettes, the truth is that there’s still the addiction to holding and smoking something, which is where e-cigarettes like the ones on ecigwizard.com, for instance. The fact is that e-cigarettes can do double duty, they can wean you off of nicotine and help to control your cravings for an actual cigarette.
Failing to exercise
According to Sustrans, the recommended weekly amount of exercise for adults is 150 minutes of moderate level exercise a week. On average, 66% of men and 56% of women claim to do the recommended amount of exercise per week. However, there is actually no proof that is the case, so the accurate percentages could be much lower. Either way, there is at least 34% of men and 44% of women who are not getting the recommended levels of exercise each week.
The fact is that living a sedentary lifestyle – AKA leading a life with minimal levels of physical activity – does have a serious impact on your health. Not only are people who don’t exercise, twice as likely to be overweight, but they also have a much higher risk of stroke and heart disease in later life. The fact is that if you want to stay healthy, it is vital that you are doing at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. This doesn’t have to be 30 minutes in one go; it can be split into smaller, more manageable portions, such as walking for 10 minutes and then cycling for 20 minutes.
If you struggle to motivate yourself to exercise, it is a good idea to work out what motivates you to lead a more active life. While some people find that using an app that tracks their physical activity and sets goals can work wonders, others find that setting themselves targets with prizes at the end, can also work well. You may find that buddying up with a friend can also work well, as they can help to motivate you at times when you don’t feel like exercising.
Eating too much junk food
Studies have shown that the older we get, the more prone we are to junk food addictions. With less and less time on our hands, what with the combination of work and family life, we begin to be drawn more towards junk food than anything else. However, the issue is that although junk food might reduce stress because it’s quick to eat and requires very little cooking, it isn’t good for you, and can lead to large amounts of weight gain.
Junk food is full of all sorts of additives and unhealthy ingredients, from trans fats to high levels of sodium and sugar, junk food is full of all the bad stuff. Eating junk food can lead to high levels of bad cholesterol, for instance, which can make heart disease and heart attack much more likely. There are also various studies that have linked junk food to cancer, as well as a range of other serious illnesses, like type two diabetes, for instance.
It isn’t easy getting out of the habit of eating junk food, especially when time is tight. However, the fact is that when it comes to your health, you can’t take the risk of not making changes if you know that junk food is bad for your health. The good news is that making changes to what you eat does not have to be a total nightmare; it’s just a case of being organised. Simple changes like investing in a slow cooker and putting the ingredients in it for a meal in the morning, so that it’s ready for the evening, can help. As can buying pre-cooked salmon, chicken, or mackerel fillets, or even a pre-cooked whole chicken, as you can use these to make pasta, salad, curry, or any dish that uses meat or fish – having them pre-cooked saves times and makes cooking that little bit easier for you.
The problem with alcohol is that it’s full of calories, so is not very good for you in terms of your weight, but also because drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can be hugely detrimental to your health. The fact is that it is all well and good going for a night out and having a few drinks, but if you are drinking a lot of alcohol every day or on a regular basis, then the chances are that your drinking has become detrimental to your health. Many people forget how dangerous drinking high amounts of alcohol can be, particularly as there is a huge drinking culture in the UK which has normalized binge drinking to an extent.
What are the health impacts of drinking too much alcohol? These include liver disease, liver cancer, breast cancer, stroke, colon cancer, depression, hepatitis, anxiety, and dementia, among many other health problems. The issue with alcohol is that it is an addictive substance, which means that anyone who drinks it too often is at risk of succumbing to the alcohol addiction, which can be hugely detrimental to your health and wellness.
If you notice that you are starting to drink too much, it is important to start making changes. Slowly reduce your alcohol consumption and wean yourself off of it. Or, if you find it easier, go cold turkey and stop drinking altogether. If you struggle to do it alone, it’s important to realize that there is plenty of support out there, it’s just a case of being willing to take it.
Drinking too much caffeine
Studies have shown that having a cup of coffee once a day can be beneficial for your health. However, overdoing the coffee and having too much caffeine can actually be detrimental to your health. Do you ever get a headache when you don’t have a coffee? If the answer is yes, then that means you have a caffeine addiction.
The issue with caffeine and drinking too much of it is that you begin to rely on the caffeine too much, and as a result become addicted to it. This can have a detrimental effect on your health and wellness, making it harder for you to get a good night’s sleep and causing elevated levels of stress.
To cut down on the amount of caffeine that you are consuming, it is a good idea to swap out your caffeinated coffee for decaffeinated. Stick to having one cup of regular coffee a day and opt to drink decaffeinated coffee the rest of the time, and you will feel much better for it.
The truth is that we all have bad habits, from talking with our mouth full to not putting the milk back in the fridge. However, the issue is that some bad habits can have an impact on our health, such as those mentioned above. When it comes to these habits, it is vital that you take the time to kick them, so that you are able to give your health the boost that it needs.