Health is wealth, as the maxim goes. Every health buff would affirm that statement. As opposed to all other material things that money can buy, a sound mind and body are earned by slowly building a healthy lifestyle. The best way to achieve this is by forming healthy habits.
Of course, changing your usual everyday routine can prove to be difficult, especially if you have been doing it for years on end. But grabbing that ice-cold bottle of beer every day or wolfing down a box of chocolates to decompress after a long and stressful day at work will not only gain you a pot belly, it can also affect how clearly you think and how well you function.
So which unhealthy habits should you finally curb and bid adieu to? Here are a few of the most detrimental ones that can inhibit you from living a well-rounded lifestyle.
The number of health risks that come with smoking outweighs the pleasure that people get when they take a puff. Lung cancer, stroke, heart attack, impotence, you name it. In the U.S., more than 480,000 people die every year from illnesses that are related to consuming tobacco. Smokers do not just endanger themselves, but also the people around them who inhale second-hand smoke. Break the habit by either going cold turkey or seeking help from a professional.
- Downing excessive quantities of booze
Having an occasional glass of red wine after dinner is not a bad thing. In fact, studies show that it can be good for your heart. However, consuming 2 bottles of wine or 10 bottles of beer every single day may lead you to an early grave. One of the most popular addictive drinks of all time, alcohol diminishes a person’s cognitive ability and greatly affects his or her mood. The liver, in particular, suffers a great deal when people repeatedly consume large amounts of booze because it has to work extra hard to eliminate the toxic substances ingested by the body. Plus, there are a ton of other illnesses associated with binge drinking such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and even depression. If alcoholism becomes a serious problem, groups like Alcoholics Anonymous can offer help. Seeking out a doctor for professional and medical advice can help kick alcohol to the curb.
- Eating too much junk food
Who can say no to potato chips, hamburger, French fries and ice cream? Every bite sends your brain into a delightful frenzy. But beware – most of these bad processed foods contain high amounts of sugar, sodium, and artificial trans-fat and contain little to no vitamins and minerals which are essential for a healthy eating habit. Have you ever tried eating a bag of chips and still feel like you want to have another one? It is because such foods are engineered to do so. Junk food not only tricks the brain into thinking that you need to keep eating them to satiate hunger, it also warps your taste buds’ ability to enjoy real, whole foods like fruits and vegetables. Next time you do the grocery – skip the sinful aisle.
- Taking huge amounts of illegal drugs
Immensely popular during parties (hence the term party drugs) and among teenage groups, illegal drugs such as ecstasy, MDMA, and Euphoria give the brain a temporary feeling of pleasure and energy, among other things. However, prolonged use leads to addiction, sleep problems, hallucinations, anxiety, paranoia, and depression. Repeated abuse of illegal drugs can have adverse and irreversible effects on a person’s physical and mental abilities. Remember, you don’t have to take drugs to be cool or “in.”
- Not getting enough shut-eye
Ever notice how a good night’s sleep has helped you think of new ways to solve a problem? Or how taking a power nap helped refresh your brain and aided you in absorbing more information while studying for an exam? It is because when the mind and body take a break, it is able to heal and repair, for example, the blood vessels and heart. Sleep deficiency is known to lead people to perform poorly, experience clouded thinking, and even get involved in accidents as a result of slower reaction time. So do yourself a favor and get that much-needed slumber.
- Being a sluggard
It is well known that exercise helps keep the body strong and one’s weight in check. But those are not the only benefits of working up a sweat. People who take regular exercises are happier people. When we work out, the brain releases neurotransmitters called dopamine, which is responsible for feelings of pleasure and happiness. People who are physically inactive feel more stressed out, are likely to gain weight and are vulnerable to illnesses like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. It’s never too late to put on your running shoes and run that mile.
Remember, you will only ever have one body and one lifetime to enjoy. So better make the most out of it by being kind to yourself and training your mind and body to follow a healthy lifestyle. It may be difficult during the first stages, but if you set achievable goals for yourself and if you do it one step at a time, you won’t be disappointed with the results and benefits you reap from living healthy.