Did you just have an appointment with your doctor and he is making recommendations for you to change your habits? This is a good thing, but you may have been doing some things that you didn’t realize were having such a huge impact on your lifestyle. Everything from how you sleep to what you eat can affect your overall health. Here are just a few subtle things that you may want to take a closer look at to see if you can improve in any way.
How do you sleep each night? Is your mattress too soft or is it too firm? Both can leave you with long-lasting health effects that can be troubling. While you may be getting used to sleeping on your mattress in a certain position just to get comfortable, it doesn’t mean it’s good for your overall skeletal structure. A bad mattress with exposed springs or an uneven surface can make it challenging to fall asleep and stay asleep. Over time this can have a huge impact on your health and put pressure on your back and muscles that could eventually lead to added pain and stress. If your mattress is over five years old, consider an upgrade. During the next mattress sale event, ask specialists about a mattress that fits the needs of you and your partner.
Not Enough Sleep
Just like sleeping on a lumpy or uneven mattress can cause back problems and other health issues, so can not getting enough sleep. This means lack of sleep can put you at risk for certain health issues, including:
- Heart disease and stroke
- Depression and stress
- Eating problems, including over-eating
- Endocrine issues
While a good night’s sleep starts with a comfortable bed, you should definitely allow yourself at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Your kids should get even more sleep, because of their activity levels. If you can’t get that much rest at once, consider taking short naps throughout the day to make up for that time. If you are extremely active during the day, consider allowing yourself more hours of sleep to make up for that rest.
Morning Coffee Treats
Do you love to hit your favorite coffee shop each morning before work or school? If so, it could be secretly affecting your health. Consuming a lot of caffeine can raise your blood pressure and affect your central nervous system. While an occasional cup of coffee isn’t necessarily bad for you, over time it can lead to jitteriness and in some cases, dehydration. Try to skip highly caffeinated drinks on an everyday basis, instead use it as an occasional treat or reward. Avoiding the donut and coffee cake that comes along with most hot java drinks is also a good idea. Loaded with sugar and fat, you’re significantly increasing your risk for high blood sugars. Fluctuations in blood sugar levels can affect how your body generates and distributes insulin. This increases your risk for type 2 diabetes and other conditions of the endocrine system. Also, avoid skipping breakfast altogether. Instead, choose healthy alternatives like fresh fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in whole grains. Skipping meals can also cause your sugar levels to fluctuate and contribute to changes in health and weight.
Skipping The Gym
Did you get a gym membership and were motivated the first few months? Over time, have you been skipping the gym each day? Your gym membership is beneficial in many ways. It allows you to get out and share your fitness goals with others and learn ways to exercise on new machines. While it may seem grueling and time-consuming, it has a slew of health benefits. Skipping the gym can easily lead to weight gain, lack of motivation and increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Making sure you stick with your exercise routine every day is important. The Mayo Clinic suggests that you get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. This will help with maintaining your weight keeping your cardiovascular health in tip-top shape.
If you have a few pesky habits, like skipping meals, not getting enough sleep or driving past the gym, consider the long-term effects it may have on your health. Making subtle changes now can really make a difference for a healthy future.