It is always the little things we do every day that make the biggest difference in our lives. The same goes for our habits and daily routines. There are many small acts that make up our daily routines, but a bunch of them are not good for us.
Here are a few of them:
1) Driving everywhere and sitting all day
A long, long time ago, most people earned their living doing physical labor. Some of the labor was backbreaking, but there is no denying the populations of old were way more fit than modern people.
People with crazy schedules may find that they have no time or energy to go to the gym. Well, neither did the people of centuries past. They incorporated their exercise into their daily routine, not that they did it on purpose or had much of a choice.
You can do the same, by making tiny changes to your day. For example:
- If you have a desk job, try and get up and walk around for five minutes every hour. This will get your blood flowing, which will, in turn, flex the walls of your arteries, which is good for the heart.
- Also, do not sit at your desk at lunch. Try a change of scenery and eat your lunch outside. You will concentrate better and work faster when you get back to your desk.
- If you need to run an errand less than a mile away from where you are, walk. Unless you need to carry a really heavy load.
- Take up a fun activity like dancing or martial arts classes. It will add some variety to your life.
These tiny changes make a lot of difference in the long run.
2) Staring at screens all day
We do love our screens, which is just as well since we cannot seem to escape them. We use computers for work and we use the screens on our smartphones or TV for play.
You should take a break from your screens for as long as you can, because of one important reason. Earth (and the things in it) is pretty cool. Go outside or meet up with friends in the real world. The break will rest your mind and put you in a great headspace.
3) Holding on to stress
While we are on the subject of screens, too much screen time is a leading source of stress. Smart devices show us everything that is wrong with the world, right in the palms of our hands. So, less screen time for you means one less source of stress.
As for the rest of the things that could be causing you stress, get them out of your system. Talk to someone, meditate, exercise, hit a punching bag at Muay Thai class, take up sculpting or help someone who needs help.
There are many ways to release stress from your body and mind, but if you leave stress untreated, you will likely experience one or more of the following things:
- Increased production of the stress hormone cortisol will make you want to eat your feelings.
- Weight gain or weight loss is a common effect of stress.
- Prolonged stress can lead to depression.
- Stress can lead to insomnia or troubled sleep, which leads to more stress.
- Stress can affect your ability to concentrate, remember and solve problems.
- It can make you irritable and a pain to be around.
Take care of yourself by doing whatever you can to manage or get rid of stress. Your body will thank you for it.
4) Not getting enough sleep
Everybody should aspire to get at least seven hours of sleep every day. You need the downtime so that your body can repair itself. In order to be productive, you need the energy boost and relaxation that comes with deep, restful sleep.
During sleep, the body rebuilds muscle, regulates hormone production and corrects little problems. Sleep is also an important part of preventing diseases like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
5) Drinking a little bit too much alcohol
Alcohol has its benefits. Still, drinking multiple beers or having multiple glasses of wine every day can set you on a path that starts at the top of a slippery slope. Also, some kinds of alcohol (beer) have lots of calories. More still, alcohol will dehydrate you if you do not chase it down with a good amount of water.
When you need to relax at the end of a long and trying day, choose something soothing like tea. Leave the alcohol for another time.
6) Not drinking enough water
The insides of our bodies also need cleaning and nothing cleans as well as water. The human body works really well if it gets at least one and a half liters of water each day.
Whenever you feel thirsty, choose to drink water instead of soda. This simple decision will give you a host of health benefits.
7) Poor dietary choices
Fast food and snacks are convenient when you have a tight schedule. They also taste good. However, their downsides outweigh their benefits by a whole lot. Here are some reasons why we should keep our intake of fast food to a minimum:
- Snacks like potato chips have high salt content, so long term consumption of such foods can lead to high blood pressure.
- Although trans fats are pretty much banned now, a meal made up of burgers and fries still has lots of that you do not need.
- Many snacks and fast foods get their irresistible taste from high fructose corn syrup, which spikes your blood sugar.
So take the time to cook at home, whenever you can. It will pay dividends now and in the future.
8) Forgetting to floss
Good oral hygiene is just good manners, but it has an important health benefit. It prevents gum disease.
A person who suffers from advanced gum disease is at a higher risk of developing health issues. The reason being that advanced gum disease is an infection that puts the body’s immune response into overdrive.
This causes inflammation of the entire body and as a result, the body tires itself out, leaving it vulnerable to other illnesses.
By making small changes to the way we go through our days, we can improve both our physical and mental health.