Health Habits You Must Break Before Turning 40

Don’t smoke, eat better, exercise, and sleep more – these are often referred to as the basics of longevity but the reality is a little more complex. People can’t ignore their age. Making this mistake can lead to weight gain, heart problems and chronic illnesses brought by unhealthy lifestyles. A lot of hormonal changes are happening. Any imbalance can have an effect. Before you know it, a routine checkup finds your blood pressure to be too high and you’re pre-diabetic.

Skipping meals: People don’t always eat three times a day with light snacks in between due to busy schedules. But making time is crucial because going through a long period of time without consuming food can lead to a series of health problems – blood sugar levels dive, stress hormones are released, you get hungrier, you increase your chance of developing diabetes, and your skin and hair suffer. Don’t even think about not eating because you’re trying to shed a few pounds because you lose water weight and muscle, not fat. 

Read: How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Transformed Your Life At 40 here

Overlooking health warnings: “If you think you have an emergency, then you have an emergency until proven otherwise,” Dr. Michael G. Millin from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine says. The key to preventing potentially fatal incidents is to pay attention to small changes or sensations and to know when not to dismiss them because you had a busy day at work. Don’t overlook symptoms such as sudden headaches – could be life-threatening, chest pain – could be heart attack, shortness of breath – could be heart problems of collapsed lung, swollen legs – could be a blood clot, or confusion associated with tiredness.

Consuming too much salt and sugar: Sodium is essential for nerve cells to communicate well, prevent muscle cramps, and regulate blood sugar and fluid balance…Until we get too much of it. Then a vicious cycle begins – your blood pressure rises, you hold too much water, blood vessels get damaged, you lose calcium, and you are at higher risk of dementia. Sugar is also one of the worst things you can put in your body. The liver is overloaded, your cholesterol is up, tooth enamel gets destroyed, it makes you tired, your immune system is weakened, and you are at risk of becoming depressed, according to research.

Avoiding dairy: People lose bone mass or density as they age, especially women after menopause. Calcium is an important nutrient that helps maintain healthy bones. Many nutritionists say that milk is the best source of calcium known to people. A study shows that taking it around the same time as a workout may be the most effective way to prevent calcium loss and to aid recovery. The recommended calcium intake for adults, 19 to 50 year old, is 1,000 mg a day.

Doing only cardio exercises: Running, and other cardio workouts that burn more calories, won’t necessarily lead to fat loss. You need to be able to burn more calories when you’re resting in order to drop the few extra pounds. This can only happen if you build muscles by doing strength training. Ten pounds of muscle will burn 50 calories in a day spent at rest, while 10 pounds of fat would burn only 20. Lifting weight also helps prevent diabetes. Glycogen is stored in muscle tissue and the liver. As we age, we lose muscle mass and glucose disposing tissue.

Drinking too much soda and alcohol: Soda – even the diet kind – and alcohol can wreak havoc on your body. A report from 2014 found 54 direct and indirect ways – from car crashes to depression and cirrhosis – in which alcohol can be lead to death. A recent study made a connection between soda and life expectancy decrease by 4.6 years because sugar damages telomeres, which affects how cells age. Diet sodas taste the same as regular ones because they have artificial sweeteners. They play tricks on the brain in a worse way than sugary sodas.

Exercising too much: It is possible to have too much of a good thing, and working out more than what your body can handle is highly detrimental. Exercise addiction often starts with the remarkable feeling you have when you push yourself hard to get to the next level and see the results of your sweat. All of a sudden you wake up at 4 a.m. to do cardio training before work, weight lifting during your lunch break and Zumba classes before you go home. You are constantly tired and find artificial ways to boost your energy such as coffee and energy drinks. Also, you make yourself a very easy target for injuries. Finally, you start to crave comfort foods, filled with sugary, high carbohydrates, and begin to overeat. 

Practicing “wreck-covery’: “Many people at the gym train hard but I don't see them putting as much effort into allowing their body to rebuild and repair,” Dustin Bogle, Personal Trainer and Fit Body Boot Camp owner, says. “Recovery almost seems too easy so people don't pay attention until they are mentally and physically exhausted.” You can't ignore it. Recovery is essential for building muscle and burning fat. “If my clients have trouble with sleep, I have them do some foam rolling to activate the parasympathetic system which slows your heart rate and helps you to unwind,” Bogle adds.

Avoiding fruits and vegetables: About 87 percent of Americans don't meet the recommendations for fruit consumption, and 91 percent don't for vegetable consumption, according to a recent U.S. report. They add essential nutrients to diets, reduce the risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer, and help manage healthy body weight. There are some genius ways to add them to your meals – bake with veggies, add them to kebabs, make noodles, freeze them, roast them, and add them to smoothies.

Watching too much TV: A study has linked prolonged television viewing with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality. Also, televisions and other electronic devices emit blue light, which affects the levels of the sleep-inducing melatonin more than any other wavelength. Another problem is what you’re watching. Chances are a movie or a late show that you find will be more stimulating than relaxing, keeping you awake, which has many side effects, including weight gain.

Washing your face too often: Washing your face twice a day is more than enough, with an extra time before and after exercising. Soaps, especially the alkaline ones, can really dry your skin by removing all of its natural oils. This makes the skin itchy, very irritating and prone to breakouts. Wipes and cleansers are not a much better option. The oils in the skin are crucial for its health because they keep it supple.

Wearing headphones a lot: Elderly people are often labeled as having hearing problems. They usually come with age but sometimes they appear due to environmental factors. Wearing headphones for more than an hour a day can be a cause as well. It’s important to not overdo it and keep the volume down. Sound is delivered directly into the ear canal, very close to the eardrum. Over time that quickens the kind of hearing loss linked to age.

Keeping your home too hot: The biggest temptation in the winter – other than staying home all day, cuddled up and watching Netflix – is cranking up the heat in the house. However, you will end up hurting yourself. The heater dries out the air indoors. That can lead to inflamed skin. An acceptable wintertime temperature indoors is 70 degrees for the living room and at least 64 degrees for other rooms, according to the West Midlands Public Health Observatory. Keep a glass of water in the room for some humidity.

Not eating dessert: There are many ways in which you can consume sweets and not weight. Don’t blacklist desserts. Studies have shown that restriction often leads to overeating. Among the 103 women in the research, chocolate-deprived restrained eaters consumed more chocolate food than any other group did. Restrained eaters experienced more food cravings than unrestrained eaters did and were more likely to eat the craved food.

Detoxing: Detoxing has been a popular diet over the last several years. The liver and kidneys naturally get rid of toxins every time you sweat or go to the bathroom. Science is not conclusive whether detox is good for you. There is no definitive proof that such diets help the body eliminate toxins faster. You are, however, often starving, which is never a good idea. Your body needs about 2,000 calories a day to function properly. It must have its vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to keep you healthy so you don’t gain weight, get constipated or sick, and lose your energy...Anything less than that puts it in stress mode.

Not drinking enough water: The body is dehydrated when it has lost more fluid than it’s taken in, resulting in not having enough water to allow it to perform at optimal level. Drinking water is a vital part of digesting, absorbing and transporting nutrients, which is crucial for good overall physical and mental health. Ignoring that fact can make you sick – kidney problems, dry skin, muscle cramps, headaches, fatigue, swollen feet and arms, high cholesterol, and constipation.

Setting unrealistic fitness goals: One of the most difficult phases of getting healthy is setting goals. You setting yourself up to fail without them, but you have to have a clear idea of how to achieve them, otherwise they are unrealistic and are likely to end up disappointed and physically hurt. The older you get, the more difficult it is to lose weight or build muscle, your metabolism slows down, and the thigh gap is next to impossible.

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Health Habits You Must Break Before Turning 40 Health Habits You Must Break Before Turning 40 Reviewed by E.A Olatoye on August 04, 2016 Rating: 5

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