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Things to Avoid for a Healthy Lifestyle

Leading a healthy lifestyle is often easier said than done. On a day to day basis, we are faced with all sorts of temptations that often have addictive qualities. Rather than opting for what we know is best for us, many of us will lean towards foods, activities and other lifestyle factors that can have a detrimental impact on our overall health and wellbeing. The key to success when it comes to managing your health is to know what to avoid and to encourage yourself to avoid it as best possible. Here are some examples to get you off to the best start possible.

Five Things to Avoid for a Healthy Lifestyle

Cut Down on Caffeine

Many of us consume caffeine on a daily basis. Whether that’s in a cup of coffee or in a less concentrated cup of tea. But did you know that too much caffeine can have a serious impact on your health and wellbeing? Once consumed, your body quickly absorbs caffeine from the gut into your bloodstream. The caffeine will then travel to your liver, where it will be broken down into compounds that can affect the function of a number of your organs. You’ll find that caffeine’s main effect is on your brain, which explains why caffeine is said to have a negative impact on sleep and anxiety. When possible, you should minimize the amount of caffeine that you work into your diet. You should start out by learning what foods and drinks contain caffeine and how much. This will help you to regulate how much you consume on a day to day basis. Some examples below should get you started out in the right direction.

  • Espresso: 240–720 mg
  • Coffee: 102–200 mg
  • Yerba mate: 65–130 mg
  • Energy drinks: 50–160 mg
  • Brewed tea: 40–120 mg
  • Soft drinks: 20–40 mg
  • Decaffeinated coffee: 3–12 mg
  • Cocoa beverage: 2–7 mg
  • Chocolate milk: 2–7 mg

 

Avoid Loud Environments

We all spend time in loud environments from time to time. We will attend a concert with loud music. We might spend a night in a club or bar with a DJ. We might want to attend a sports game where people are shouting. These are all fun things to do. But when possible, you should minimize your exposure to particularly loud noises. Loud noises can damage your hearing by damaging cells and membranes in your cochlea. When you listen to loud noises over a long period of time, the hair cells in the ear can become overworked, dying and resulting in a reduction in your hearing. Remember that activities that cause hearing loss can cause your sense of hearing to seriously worsen over time.

Now, there are many ways to reduce your exposure to loud noises without necessarily entirely eliminating activities you enjoy. Make sure to take a break from loud noises you may be exposed to every 15 minutes. It’s also a good idea to give your hearing roughly 18 hours to recover after exposure to a night of loud noise. Where possible, you should also consider using earplugs. There are options available that allow you to still hear, but simply reduce the noises your ears are exposed to.

Quit Smoking

Smoking is one of the most common addictions around the world today. In fact, it is estimated that over one billion people worldwide smoke cigarettes – roughly twenty percent of the world’s population! This is surprising considering the sheer amount of research showing that smoking is awful for your overall health and wellbeing. There are mountains of conclusive research and evidence that show how smoking can damage your health and even prove fatal.

Associated with cancer, heart disease and respiratory conditions, smoking can also prove detrimental to your appearance, dulling hair, yellowing teeth and nails and staining fingers. The issue that many people have with smoking is how addictive it is. Many people try to quit and fail. The good news is that there are ways to kick this habit if you really want to. Common options include nicotine replacement products. These include nicotine patches and nicotine gum. You may even want to try vaping with a nicotine liquid. These can help ease you off cigarettes and slowly towards no longer feeling you need nicotine either.

Cut Out Fast Food

Another common, unhealthy habit in modern society is eating fast food on a regular basis. Fast food is convenience food, which is often prepared, cooked and served in a matter of minutes in a chain restaurant. You might go through a drive thru, eat in a fast food restaurant, collect takeaways or have fast food delivered to your door. The perks of fast food are clear. You don’t have to cook. You don’t have as much washing up to do from food preparation. It can often taste appealing too.

But there are a number of health consequences that overall these benefits. Fast food often contains excessive levels of sugar, which can increase blood pressure, your risk of heart failure, your risk of stroke, your risk of kidney disease and your risk of developing stomach cancer. It can also contain excess levels of saturated fat. On top of this, most fast food meals are nutritionally void, simply contributing high levels of empty calories into your diet. Eating too much fast food can consequently lead to obesity and nutritional deficiencies. Try planning and preparing your own healthy meals instead. Planning this out in advance can help ensure that the food you prepare for yourself meets your recommended calorie intake, contains sufficient nutrients and tastes good at the same time! If you’re unsure where to start, you can always reach out to a professional nutritionist who can help and advise you in your journey towards healthier meals!

Anything Addictive

It’s already known that unhealthy junk food and smoking are already pretty addictive; the same can be said for certain coping mechanisms, too. In general, too much of something can be bad; it can be incredibly unhealthy. While yes, there are some addictive habits that are worse than others, especially those that send a person to rehab, you just need to understand that, in general, addiction is completely unsafe. So if you want to truly work towards having a healthier lifestyle, you can’t have any addictions, and there is no such thing as a healthy addiction either.

Of course, sometimes cutting out things that are bad for us can be easier said than done. So don’t beat yourself up if you experience a slip along the way. Instead, pick yourself back up and start again. Remember that there are countless sources of support out there too – from the help of friends and family to support groups, help lines, quitting aids and more.

 

David Dack

Wednesday 21st of July 2021

Nice tips. I'm trying to cut down on my coffee intake and it's proved the hardest. Thank you so much for shedding light on the subject