5 Unhealthy Lifestyle Habits to Kick Today

March 21, 2012

in Health

unhealthy habits to kick

There’s no point in being successful in business today only to die of a heart attack tomorrow. Although it’s true that some things cannot be prevented, so much of untimely illnesses and even death are a result of our lifestyles, and lifestyle is 100% under our control.

Take Control of Your Health

We’re all busy people. I’m a single, working mom with all of the crazy things that come with it terms of lifestyle impact, and I know that all of my readers lead incredibly full, busy lives as well. Busy people have the best excuse in the world to work, go home, kick back with a huge bowl of pasta and then hit the sack.

However, I definitely do not suggest staying in that sort of lifestyle for long. A couple of months ago, I turned the health switch back on in my life and haven’t looked back. Here are 10 ways you can start that now – by getting rid of these unhealthy lifestyle habits.

5. Losing Sleep

Yikes – this post comes after a long night of insomnia. No stones to throw here, just good common sense. I know I feel my best after several weeks – yes, weeks – of consistent, healthful rest. I’m no physician but I know that one of the best ways to do that is to establish a routine before bedtime.

4. Smoking

Most of the people I know who smoke are trying not to smoke. We all know that smoking is unhealthy. Even if you are a marathon runner who lights up every day, that doesn’t mean that smoking is okay. Quitting today is such a huge step in the right direction. It’s incredibly bad for the body to have to deal with large amounts of nicotine-filled smoke in the lungs, and surely you aren’t naive enough to believe that you are one of the lucky ones to escape emphysema or other pulmonary issues.

3. Emotional Stress

Everybody endures emotional stress – it’s how we deal with it that makes the difference. I like to walk it out on a treadmill, and I also enjoy a fair amount of reality TV. I swear, nothing makes you appreciate your life more than watching someone else’s drama! :)

On a serious note, there are many ways to relieve emotional stress. If socializing works for you, take a night out with friends every week. If you prefer to de-stress alone, buy a yoga DVD and mat and practice in the comfort of your home. It doesn’t really matter what your preferred method of relaxation is, so long as it’s legal and healthy.

2. Isolation

Some of us are more likely to spend time alone willingly than others. It’s called being introverted, and I can relate since I’m one of those who is right in the middle of extroverted and introverted. I am just as revived and energized by having personal time as  I am in a social setting. Too much isolation, though, isn’t a good thing. Human beings are social creatures, whether we choose to accept that or not. Naturally, we create societies and structure that revolves largely around each other.

Being around people doesn’t require hefty involvement. Sometimes, just getting yourself to the mall to shop, instead of online, or out to a Saturday matinee is all of the human interaction you need for awhile. Find ways to keep yourself in touch with at least one other person every single day. Even better, find a way to physically touch someone every day. “They say” that going too long without physical touch, such as a hug, can negatively impact your mental health.

1. Poor Eating Habits

We are what we eat. We are what we eat. We are what we eat. Eating and lifestyle go so hand in hand that it is impossible to impact one without the other. If you know you need to eat better but can’t figure out why you don’t, just take a long look at how you live your life on a daily basis and you will see what’s going on.

For me, it started with learning how to shop – shopping the perimeter of the grocery store meaning produce, meats, dairy, etc. I only venture into the middle, “warm” areas of the store for the food my son eats like dry cereal and fruit snacks. Most of our diet should consist of vegetables and fruit, and you can’t get those fresh in the middle of the store (most likely).

Then, it followed up with learning what I liked to eat and sticking with that. One of my favorite meals is chicken breast with steamed kale and a sweet potato with cinnamon. Kale and sweet potato are incredible super foods, and lean chicken is one of the best sources of protein you can eat. Together, it makes a fabulous meal that’s very filling and satisfying.

Don’t eat what you hate unless you have to for medical reasons. Food can be delicious. Surely you will find something natural that you like to eat. Don’t stop trying new foods until you do.

Eat well. Think of food as your battery power. If we want our mobile phones to last all day, we must charge them up. Same with our bodies. They can’t work for us well unless they are charged up, and that requires healthy eating habits.

 

Those are just five – there are so, so many more lifestyle habits to kick in order to achieve and maintain health. If you have a tip to share, please do! And leave your advice for anyone struggling with these five, especially if you have overcome them or are in the middle of overcoming them!

Image: Dundee Photographics

Metin Demirkol April 8, 2012 at 12:23 am

Lack of common sense is the most important factor of unhealthy lifestyle and unhealthy habits.

MegEtheridgeTorrie April 5, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Uh Oh… 4 out of 5 on THIS one too… lol….. No bueno! I can fix them all except the sleep deprivation (since Baby will be here soon….) 
 

Marshall Davis March 21, 2012 at 5:16 pm

I definitely suffer from not sleeping well, at least on the days I set my alarm so that I can get up at 0630hrs and exercise. I am lucky if I sleep until 0530, and then just wait until it is closer to the time to get up.
 
I tell you what, we changed the way we eat a couple of years ago, and it makes a HUGE difference in how we feel. Everything from increased energy level, to not getting sick as much, has been a benefit of eating real food.

Tia Peterson March 22, 2012 at 2:09 am

 @Marshall Davis Wow I totally agree with you! The interesting and of course predictable thing about what happens when you change your eating habits is that when you lapse back into the old ways, you feel awful. That happened to me today. I regretted eating the crap I ate because my body responded in a way that I didn’t like.
 
It’s a wonder that we can go for years and years feeling awful and not even knowing it.

Marshall Davis March 22, 2012 at 9:56 am

 @Tia Peterson So true! For example, refined sugar. If I eat very much of it now I start to feel weird. Now don’t get me wrong, a cupcake every few months is OK, but, for example, if it is the holidays and I start to eat a few cookies or something, I start to feel really strange. And that is a GREAT thing!

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