We all have one or two habits that we know are not so good for our health but we equally know they won’t cause us any significant health challenge even in the long run or at least we think so.
But that’s the problem guys; because we are not aware of the adverse effects those habits might have on our health, we keep doing them.
So this article is aimed at informing you about the adverse effects some of those daily habits could have on one’s health and how one can prevent them as well as replace them with healthy ones. So let’s get into the gist already!
- Skipping breakfast:
Contrary to popular belief that skipping breakfast helps one lose weight, in real life actually, skipping breakfast increases one’s susceptibility to weight gain. Also one is at an increased risk of atherosclerosis, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol by skipping breakfast. However since the studies that back these assertions were observational, they could not explain causation.
And of course we know that one of the main reasons why people skip breakfast is because they don’t feel hungry. So here’s what you need to do:
You can quickly make use of your corn flakes with your milkshake or even a healthy smoothie as your breakfast or any other thing similar to that.
Also you should aim to keep your dinner portion sizes small. This should help make you hungrier in the morning.
- Eating plenty of junk food:
Junk foods are simply foods that have less nutrition value but contain a lot of fat, sugar, salt and calories. Now that doesn’t sound so good any more right?
Truth be told, junk foods have always helped us out in times of hunger when we don’t have all the time to prepare a meal or when we want to eat something light.
But after seeing the long term consequences of eating junk food, you would most likely forego these benefits. At least I believe so!
Here’s the problem guys, junk food is high in sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol.
I know those are high sounding words but saturated fat for example increases the body level of Low density Lipoproteins (LDL) which increases the risk of heart diseases, stroke, etc
Also, the high level of sodium in junk food, when consumed continuously elevates the person’s blood/serum sodium levels beyond normal which is a direct risk factor for hypertension.
So should I stop junk totally? You may ask.
No, you don’t need to. But like every other thing, moderation is key because eating too much of junk over a long period of time can lead to health problems listed above as well as obesity.
So how do I eat junk moderately? Well guys, in as much as I would have loved to tell you that there’s so and so outcome measure to determine your junk food consumption level, sadly I have not come across such. And if you have, please leave the details in the comment section.
But here’s a subjective way of knowing:
You remember that inner voice in your head with which you have been reading this post? I mean the cool voice in your head that tells you bro (or Sis), that sugar you are about to consume is definitely too much for you? But you’ve always ignored the sweet little voice. Now is the time to start watching out for that inhibitory signal and act accordingly.
- Sedentary lifestyle:
A person lives a sedentary lifestyle when he or she is involved in little or no physical activity.
This can lead to serious health hazards than you possibly imagined. And one of the main health complications of this is heart diseases and stroke. How? You may ask.
The simple analogy to this is:
- The more weight you gain the harder your heart has to work to push blood around the body.
- Your heart is a muscle, the less it is worked, the weaker it becomes.
While the more it is worked through exercise, the stronger it becomes just like every other muscle.
These are the two underlying principles behind the heart complications seen in people living sedentary lifestyles over a long period of time. And when the heart increasingly finds it difficult to pump blood, it could fail as a direct result (myocardial infarction).
Also, there could be increased fatty and cholesterol deposits on the interior walls of the blood vessels due to generalized high body fat levels, this could lead to formation of blood clots, which if dislodged, could go to the blood vessels of the brain and cause a stroke.
So here’s the way out guys:
When at work or at home, you could take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Also, stand as often as you can when at work.
Park some distance away from the door at work place so you can have at least some 30 seconds walk into your office.
Do your exercises and stretches daily. I normally recommend at least 3 times a week for walking, jogging or running and each session should last for 30 minutes at least.
Now when you stop these habits, you would notice a remarkable improvement in your health and lifestyle generally.
However the last two points have been specifically selected to be in their positions so I can talk about them in detail because they are the killer habits that you must get rid of as fast as possible because they come with grave health consequences. These include… (to be continued in pt 2)
A final year medical student at the University of Nigeria. A fitness coach and a music director.