You exercise, eat right, and avoid stress. Surely, you’re doing everything you can to ensure future good health.
Perhaps not. Although those are the big 3, there are other factors in wellness.
10 Common Health Mistakes You’re Making
Here are the most common mistakes most people fail to consider when guarding their health.
#1 Skipping Breakfast
When trying to maintain or lose weight, all you have to consider is the total caloric intake compared to the energy expended, right? So, it doesn’t matter if you skip breakfast. Wrong.
People who ate more of their calories at breakfast lost more weight (average 17.8 pounds) than those eating more during dinner (average 7.3 pounds), even though caloric intake was exactly the same. Eating breakfast is likely to improve cognitive function and memory.
For women, skipping breakfast is associated with an increased risk of diabetes. For men, skipping breakfast is linked to hypertension, insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar levels. Men who eat breakfast are less likely to have heart disease, too.
#2 Exercising Too Much
When it comes to exercise, the more, the better. Right? Wrong.
In addition to injuries, such as muscle soreness, shin splints and knee, foot or back problems, caused by overuse, exercising too much can cause your percentage of body fat to increase. Because the body responds to prolonged stress by elevating levels of stress hormones, it increases storage of adipose tissue and inhibits hormones that help increase muscle.
Other side effects include a weakened immune system, depression, anxiety, elevated resting heart rate, fatigue, and insomnia.
#3 Discontinuing Medication
You’re feeling much better, so, obviously, your medication has done its job, and you can stop taking it. Up to 50% of people with chronic diseases don’t take their medicine as prescribed.
A British study of the problem received responses, such as disliking side effects, difficulty swallowing pills, and lack of improvement. Since it was a British study, it didn’t consider one of the major reasons people don’t take medicines in the U.S.—cost.
Suddenly stopping a medication can cause headaches, a recurrence of the illness, seizures or worse. Stopping antibiotics early is one of the causes of the epidemic of antibiotic resistance we’re experiencing today.
#4 Not Weighing Yourself Regularly
Weighing yourself on a regular basis permits you to discover weight gain or loss early, so you can initiate corrective behavior.
#5 Not Sleeping Enough
Among people of a healthy weight and size, those who got too little sleep in a 3-year period quadrupled their risk of stroke and heart disease.
Lack of sleep causes accidents and memory loss, impairs concentration and problem-solving ability, kills your sex drive, may cause depression, and may lead to weight gain.
#6 Drinking Warm Tap Water
The Centers for Disease Control advise against drinking from the hot water tap because hot water tends to sit in corroded plumbing for longer periods of time, leaching lead into it.
Whether the lead is coming from city pipes or plumbing in your home’s interior, the CDC recommends the following: “Before using any tap water for drinking or cooking, flush your water system by running the kitchen tap (or any other tap you take drinking or cooking water from) on COLD for 1–2 minutes; Then, fill a clean container(s) with water from this tap. This water will be suitable for drinking, cooking, or other consumption. To conserve water, collect multiple containers of water at once (after you have fully flushed the water from the tap as described).
#7 Taking Too Many or the Wrong Supplements
Supplements are largely unregulated in the U.S., because the FDA is specifically barred from investigating supplements for safety. Annually, a minimum of 23,000 emergency room visits are caused by dietary supplements, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Supplements may interact adversely with other medications. For example, vitamin C may reduce the effects of chemotherapy and St. John’s wort reduces the effectiveness of antidepressants and birth control pill.
You can overdose on some supplements. Vitamins A and D are both fat-soluble, so you can take too much.
The top 4 vitamins associated with ER visits are: multivitamin, iron, calcium, and potassium. The top 5 herbal or complementary products are: weight loss, energy, sexual enhancement, heart health, and sleep.
#8 Getting Too Many Medical Tests
A 2014 study found that nearly ¾ of U.S. doctors say physicians order unnecessary medical tests and procedures too frequently, about once a week. The study recorded physician responses, such as:
- 53% of physicians say they’ll order a medical test if the patient insists, even if they know it’s unnecessary
- 73% of physicians consider the frequency of unnecessary tests and procedures a very or somewhat serious problem
- 47% say patients ask for an unnecessary test or procedure at least once a week.
#9 Drinking Diet Soda
Drinking diet soda can save you hundreds of calories per day, so they surely help you lose weight, right? Contrary to logic, no.
Several studies have found that drinking diet soda leads to an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors for diabetes, stroke and heart disease. If you have any 3 of the following—belly fat, a high fasting glucose level, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, and elevated blood pressure—you have metabolic syndrome.
Diet soda is also associated with depression, obesity, weight gain, and the risk of type 2 diabetes.
If you only go to the doctor when you don’t feel well, you miss screenings, information, and vaccines that are critical to maintaining your health. A checkup can inform you if you’ve developed high blood pressure or about a new treatment for your chronic illness. You receive information about vaccines, such as the flu shot or shingles vaccine. And your doctor gets to know you better, so they can do a better job of helping you.
At Sugar Hill Retirement Community, we are committed to the health of residents. That’s why we publish helpful information, such as this article about preventing diabetes and this article about skin cancer. Our goal is to help the residents of our cooperative retirement community live active, worry-free lives. Learn how by scheduling your tour today! 603-569-8485