Staying healthy in this day and age is a challenge in itself, not least because we are constantly trying to find that perfect work/life balance. Let’s be honest, how many of us simply work too hard and are left with so little energy at the end of the day that we tend to slump down in front of the television until it’s time to either eat or go to bed? Way too many if recent statistics are anything to go by. But if that wasn’t bad enough, so many of us are harming our bodies in all sorts of ways without even realising the damage we are inflicting. Of course, the likes of obesity, too much alcohol and smoking tobacco are always going to be our greatest adversaries as far as living a healthy life is concerned. But with a little research, we have uncovered a few causes that may just raise a few eyebrows.
Modern life brings modern issues that have somehow crept up on us and not all of them are welcome. So let’s take a list at these imposters and see if you can identify any that are a little too familiar. We’ve split these into 5 groups as there are just so many potential activities that can be harmful to our bodies.
1. Group one – Stress
Perhaps not such a surprise because we all have learned the hard way that stress is a killer. But perhaps we’ve underestimated exactly how dangerous this silent assassin really can be. Most of us have already had to deal with anxiety and this one is a real threat to our health. Whether we are talking about a real concern for something we have no control over or perhaps it’s an issue that we don’t even understand, anxiety is there whenever we need it the least.
Some of us have a compulsion that almost forces us to make a ‘to-do’ list; this is known as a Type A personality. Whilst it may seem like a good idea at the time, apparently, it can be extremely harmful to our health. What happens if some of those items on the list never get completed? Indeed, many heart attacks and other coronary issues are created by this type of personality so if this sounds like you, why not throw that piece of paper away and just do what you can instead? Even our daily routine of getting up early and working until it is dark can be a potential killer. If you are part of a large family, taking the kids to school, going to work, and then picking them up, it’s not a healthy cycle if you never seem to have a break. Try to enjoy the day and don’t forget to smile and laugh at the little things, everyone needs to unwind.
2. Group two – addictions
We’ll tackle this one nice and early because we all have them, no matter how small they may seem. Okay, smoking a cigarette or drinking alcohol may not be your particular poison but take a look at your daily habits and you just may find something that isn’t really that good for you. Whether it’s an addiction to a particular television program or maybe a smartphone game, ask yourself if you really need to be connecting quite so often? Try to set some limits or even start weaning yourself away from these and look to a healthier alternative instead. If smoking is your vice, you probably don’t need us to tell you about the associated risks.
Likewise, if you consume too much alcohol on a regular basis, your doctor can help you manage both of these addictions and the sooner you get this advice, the happier and healthier your body will be.
3. Group three – exercise
No, it’s not a misprint; some exercise is actually harmful if you are not physically up to the actual challenge ahead. Just spare a thought for those marathon runners who spend a good 4 or 5 hours hammering the pavements. Not all of them are ready for the huge physical exertion that lies ahead. If you really must prove your mettle with the 26 plus mile race, please ensure that your GP gives you a thorough physical check-up first. You see, if there is any history of a heart condition in your family, you may need to choose something a little less strenuous. marathon training has been known to damage the heart and can even scar this vital organ in the most extreme cases.
Walking is a far more sensible option and works by improving your blood pressure and lowering your blood sugar. It allows us to get fit in a controlled manner and once you have increased your levels, you can start looking at more challenging sports. Just remember to always speak with your doctor before booking up for a future marathon or any type of adrenalin based sport.
4. Group four – Energy drinks
Although tea and coffee may not seem like a common foe as far as looking after your body is concerned, you may need to keep a tab on these two beverages. Coffee is the world’s favourite morning drink and with very good reason. It kick starts the day and can work wonders when we are feeling a little sluggish. But be aware that too much caffeine is certainly not what the doctor ordered. If you can stick to 400 milligrams or under, then you shouldn’t be at risk. That equates to about 2 normal cups every day. Remember that if you drink a strong cup of coffee in the evening, it is likely that you will have issues falling asleep.
More modern energy drinks such as Red Bull or Gatorade are known to help boost physical performance and even our mental alertness but how about the negatives? Well, if you have an existing heart issue, you should probably give these a wide berth! Typically, they may have more than 5 times the amount of caffeine that a normal cup of coffee has and even young students have been known to experience heart palpitations after just one energy drink was consumed. Perhaps switch your coffee for a nice cup of herbal tea and chill out as your stress levels start to float away. Green tea is one of the best as it contains catechins and this particular flavonoid is known to protect us against heart disease.