Q: I eat healthy and exercise regularly, but I’m still always sick! Why?
A: Well, I’m not doctor, so you should probably go see a medical professional to run some tests to see what’s happening that you can’t see.
Oh, also, you might be kidding yourself about your healthy lifestyle.
Just because you eat healthy meals and exercise doesn’t mean you’re going to automatically become healthier. Chances are that you’ve held on to a few lousy habits that are making you ill.
Here are a few things that you’ve tried to ignore that are making you sick, keeping you unhealthy and miserable. The first step is to stop being in denial, admit that you have held on to some bad habits, and do what you can to eliminate them.
1. You eat right, exercise, and take vitamins, but you’re still smoking. Yes, it’s an incredibly difficult habit to break, but your health and life depend on it. You already know that smoking increases your risk of heart disease, lung cancer, and various breathing problems, but did you know that smoking speeds up your mental decline, contributes to acid reflux, and negatively impacts a good night’s sleep due to increased snoring and breathing difficulty?
So, you eat right and exercise, and you think you’re getting a good night’s sleep, but your smoking it making you forgetful and confused, giving you heartburn and reflux, and preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep because you’re snoring all night.
It’s time to put away the cancer stick and quit smoking if you are truly dedicated to achieving health and wellness.
2. You can spend the entire week running, drinking lots of water, eating healthy, balanced meals, and doing yoga; but if you head to the bar every Friday night and get thoroughly trashed, you’ve basically wasted your time.
Alcohol in moderation, particularly in the form of a glass of wine, can be beneficial to health. However, boozing it up every weekend, or even just once a month, causes a great deal of stress on the body. The ridiculous hangover you have on Saturday morning? That’s dehydration. So all the water you drank all week means nothing now that you have deliberately dehydrated yourself with the sauce.
3. I bite my nails, and I hate that I do it. If you bite your nails or chew on your fingers, it’s probably a nervous habit, and you’ve always had it. However, consider this: How many people and items did you touch today before you stuck your finger in your mouth? How many dollar bills have you touched? How many doors have you opened? How many live viruses and germs are on each and every surface that you touched just within the span of one hour?
This is part of the reason why you keep catching colds. Get your fingers out of your mouth, and end the oral fixation! Yes, I’m talking to me, too!
4. One or 2 cups of coffee won’t kill you, and neither are a few energy drinks. However, they sure aren’t good for you. Too much caffeine gets the heart racing, can cause feelings of anxiety and could even contribute to dehydration. Give yourself a healthy morning boost with a cup or two and then ditch the caffeine. Try to drink more water and get better sleep as a way to keeping your energy up during the day. Also, get up and move around. Poor circulation causes fatigue.
5. Are you the kind of person who wants to break a window when the light bulb burns out? Do you get a severe case of road rage and consider the horrible things you want to do when someone cuts you off in traffic? Do you agonize over bills, relationships, or work?
Extreme reactions or constant feelings of stress will weaken your immune system no matter how much you take care of your body. Your mind and emotions need work too. Mental health is a part of whole body health. Take the time to work on that as well through therapy, practicing mindfulness (being more aware of your thoughts and feelings), or talking about your feelings with someone you trust. Learn some stress reduction techniques, such as taking deep cleansing breaths and counting to ten before reacting to a situation that usually makes you angry.
These are just a few things that could be going wrong. Even so, even the healthiest lifestyles can still allow illness in. Bacteria and viruses are all around us. We don’t want to live in a sanitized bubble, but knowing how we weaken our bodies and that our bad habits make us sick in a major way helps to empower us and choose healthier habits.
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