(CARLSBAD, CA) – Bad habits. We all have them. Whether it’s nail biting, knuckle cracking, or simply leaving unwashed dishes in the sink, each of us has something that we seem to do unconsciously; a habit that just can’t be shaken. And while it may not seem imperative to stop biting your nails tomorrow, there are some bad habits that can actually cause damage to your health. Take a look at these top ten bad habits that can take a toll on your health and wellness.
Lack of sleep. Cutting short your z’s causes more than mild feelings of fatigue. When you’re chronically tired, you’re more likely to binge eat, drive recklessly, and grow angry in mild misunderstandings. So, turn off the television, set your paperwork aside, and get at least eight hours of rest per night.
- Sugar overload. Sugary foods, which are typically high on the glycemic index, will spike your blood sugar giving you immediate energy. The problem is that your energetic mood will not last for long. As soon as the sugar wears off, you’ll crash down to an exhausted state. Try snacks of substance instead, such as a handful of nuts or low-fat string cheese.
- Worry. When you find yourself fixating on a particular situation, ask yourself if there is something proactive that you can do to change it. If so, then take action! If not, then put it out of your mind. After all, worrying about something won’t change the outcome.
- Lack of exercise. A sedentary lifestyle is linked to a number of health maladies, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis. Get your body moving, and you will ward off health problems while increasing your energy and decreasing your stress level. Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett recommends at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise on most days of the week. Start with a brisk walk around your neighborhood if the gym seems too daunting.
- Failing to floss. It’s not just your pearly whites that are at stake. Lack of flossing can lead to gum disease, which can negatively affect your heart health. Take just one minute every evening to floss, and you’ll actually lower your risk for heart disease.
- Soft drinks. Watching the calories of your food intake is not enough. According to a National Health and Wellness Examination Survey, sodas comprise up to 14 percent of an average American adult’s calorie and energy intake each day. Try substituting water or low-fat milk whenever possible. Flavored waters are a good option, if your palate needs the extra kick.
- Eating in a hurry. Rushing through your meals guarantees two things: poor digestion and excess calorie intake. Avoid eating meals on the run or sitting in front of the television. Instead, sit down at the table and play music. Stop every few minutes and take note of how your body feels. Your body will tell you when it’s full … if you make time to listen to it.
- Working overtime. Are you working to live or living to work? The number of Americans who feel overworked has doubled in the past 20 years, according to a Harris poll. Try drawing a line between work and home. Turn-off your cell phone and don’t check your e-mail when you arrive home in the evening.
- Eating foods with ingredients that you can’t pronounce. Start reading the labels on your food products before you buy them. If you see a long list of ingredients that sound like they belong in a chemistry lab, then set that product back on the shelf. Go for fresh fruits and leafy greens whenever possible.
- Smoking. It kills about one-half million Americans every year. Besides the obvious health risks, smoking can also wreak havoc on your daily lifestyle. Your decreased lung capacity makes it nearly impossible to enjoy hikes, bike rides, even walks on the beach. Look into smoking cessation programs in your local area and kick the habit ASAP!
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.