10 Health Mistakes That Everyone Makes

Sometimes simple mistakes have serious consequences on your health. Here are 10 common mistakes many of us are guilty of making, along with some easy solutions that might just save your life…

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1

Not eating breakfast

Starting your day without breakfast is a lot like driving around in a car that has a low amount of fuel in the tank - it might get you so far, but soon it will feel sluggish before eventually grinding to a halt. You should begin every morning with a healthy breakfast to set you up for the day ahead. Skipping breakfast can increase your risk of developing diabetes and could even lead to obesity - as without sufficient fuel, your body will store up fat to use as energy throughout the day. Eating a healthy breakfast has many health benefits - it can improve your metabolism, help maintain blood sugar levels and also improve your concentration.

2

Carrying a heavy bag

When getting ready to go out, you pack your bag - throwing everything but the kitchen sink in there, because you never know what might come in handy. If this sound like you, you’re not alone as hauling around a heavy bag is one of the most common health mistakes people make. The bad news is it can cause all sorts of health issues, including poor posture, arthritis, neck problems and backache. To prevent this, give your bag a good clean out and really consider which items you put back in there - if you don’t use something regularly, do you really need it weighing down your bag? Or transfer your things to a smaller bag altogether which will make you really consider what items you class as ‘essentials’.

3

Steering clear of the scales

Scales, they make a pretty addition to the bathroom decor but do you ever actually use them? A common way to cover up a weight problem is to avoid the scales altogether - after all, what you can’t see won’t hurt you - but if you have put on a few pounds, it’s best to face the problem early so that you can do something about it before it gets out of hand. Everyone’s weight naturally fluctuates so we’re not saying you need to drastically change your life if you gain a few pounds here and there but if you notice anything over five pounds, you should think about altering your eating habits. Check your weight on a regular basis so you can spot any significant changes - it will be much easier to lose a couple of pounds rather than trying to shed a stone.

4

Exercising too much

The more time you spend exercising the better, right? Wrong. Exercising too much can actually be counterproductive for your health and fitness. If you work your body too hard it can lead to a weaker immune system, muscle damage, shin splints and abnormal hormonal changes (which can cause weight gain.) Obviously, exercise should be an important part of your lifestyle, just be careful not to overdo it. You have to allow your body enough time to recover. Some common signs that you might be overtraining are: you notice a lack of progress, you might pick up more injuries and illnesses, you struggle from a lack of motivation and you might find it hard to get to sleep.

5

Opening the windows when driving

If you’re driving on a hot day, there’s nothing better than cruising around with your windows down, feeling the cool wind in your hair. But the harmful pollutants cars emit could be doing your lungs more harm than you think. According to a study by the University of Southern California, spending as little as six per cent of the day driving with the windows down exposes our bodies to around 45 per cent of the pollutants we come into contact with over 24 hours. This figure can be even higher in cities. Rather than breathe in high levels of pollutants during your commute, open your windows to let some air in before you set off or save the driving with your windows down for quieter journeys in the countryside.

6

Not sleeping enough

You might recall your parents frequently using the phrase ‘there are not enough hours in the day,’ and now you’ve grown up, you can probably see exactly where they were coming from. For many people, the answer to this problem is to try and cram everything in 24 hours - compromising on their sleep in the process. Research has found that a lack of sleep can cause serious health consequences no matter how fit and healthy you are. In a study involving 5,600 people of a healthy weight, scientists found that those who scrimped on sleep quadrupled their risk of heart disease and strokes. To fix this problem, set yourself a time to go to sleep and follow it.

7

Suddenly stopping medicines

Many of us have done this; decided ourselves when to stop taking the medication we have been prescribed because we started to feel better, then wondered why we ended up feeling even worse. The health implications of stopping medicines suddenly can span from mild to serious, depending on which medication you have been taking. Choosing yourself to discontinue your medicine can result in headaches, cause the illness you have been treating to come back and in more serious cases, can cause seizures. The bottom line is, stopping certain medicine abruptly can be life threatening, so you should only stop taking medication when your doctor tells you to.

8

Worrying in silence

Although a small amount of stress can help you avoid danger and stay alert, endless worrying can have a negative impact on your health, often resulting in increased blood pressure, headaches, sleep deprivation and chest pain. It’s perfectly normal to worry if you’ve got a looming presentation in front of your boss (in fact, we’d be worried if you didn’t have some anxiety) but if it’s small, petty things that are troubling you then you need to get it sorted. If you have an issue you are worried about, ask yourself the following the questions: Will I still be worried about it in a few weeks’ time? Can I easily fix this problem? If you’re still worried about the problem, then tackle the issue directly until it’s resolved.

9

Not flossing

Flossing should be a key part of everyone’s oral hygiene however, it’s a step many people are guilty of skipping because they think that brushing alone is enough. But it might be time to reconsider your flossing habits as plaque between your teeth can have some serious health consequences. If bacteria gets into your bloodstream, it can heighten the risks of developing cancer, stroke, heart disease and even premature birth. Plaque weakens the tooth and eventually this can lead to them falling out. Follow dentists recommendations and floss once a day to prevent this.

10

Using the warm tap

Scientists suggest that using the warm tap for drinking could cause lead poisoning. The water supply from the warm tap is not as fresh as cold water. This issue is more common in older homes, which are more likely to have lead fixtures and pipes (lead can sometimes enter the water through corroded plumbing.) Drinking large amounts of warm water can cause health risks, particularly among children, as it can result in brain damage. Scientists point out that the risk of lead poisoning is small but it’s still recommended you stick to the cold water tap for cooking, drinking and making baby formula.

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