If someone wanted to make a TV game show out of all the health-related misinformation on the internet, they might have a cash cow on their hands. Or the next big YouTube video. Like it or not, that is just how much of this type of content is out there.
Regardless of which social media site you prefer, where you do your online shopping, or even the 2 AM Google searches, you know exactly the type of internet content being referred to here. Hypothetical titles such as ‘Here are seven things your doctor doesn't want you to know” may strike a familiar chord as this is not far from reality. Furthermore, you’ve also seen the way in which people around the globe have latched on to the wildest ideas without a second thought all to be healthier. Admittedly, good health can be elusive but that should not dissuade you from pursuing it. For inspiration in this arena, consider the words of author Stephen Guise, “By developing and practicing good habits each day, you affirm that you do have control over the very core of your life in the midst of the chaos.”
A quote like this may prompt a variation of one of the two following questions. First, what are some healthy habits that aren’t as healthy as you think? And second, how do you replace these? There is nothing straightforward about these questions. In fact, they are bigger than one person alone can handle. Thankfully, a wise selection of experienced people has taken the time to provide thoughtful answers for you.
Before you jump to conclusions and run away with the idea that you should stop drinking water, pause for just a second. In no way is that being suggested here. If the body is one thing, it is water. Seventy percent of it in fact and the truth is, it is your responsibility to top off this fluid regularly. But you knew this. Which is why you drink as much water as you do. But have you noticed more lethargic behavior from yourself recently? Water might be behind this.
“I’m not sure why everyone settled on eight glasses of water as the magic number,” said Tyler Read, Founder and Senior Editor at Personal Trainer Pioneer. “It’s not helpful and in some cases, dangerous. Did you know that drinking too much water is the same as drowning your body?”
This is not an exaggeration in the slightest. Though your body has multiple systems that require water, after a certain point it’s just too much. They literally stop functioning. Obviously, there will be some other warning signs on top of the lethargy but before it gets that bad, try to remember what Jae Pak, Founder of Jae Pak MD Medical had to say, “Each person is a little different when it comes to water. What may hydrate one person could leave you with a throbbing dehydration headache. It’s a little bit of trial and error but if you pay close attention to your body, you should understand your water needs quickly.”
Be it the weekend, an early evening after a trying workday, or just vacation, everyone seems to love sleeping in or finding time to squeeze in an afternoon nap. Though you may do it for pure enjoyment, a large portion of people hold fast to the belief that any kind of additional sleep is healthy for you. Not only this, but it is also an active practice of theirs.
Unfortunately, these people need a wake-up call. “What many of us don’t realize is that being awake versus asleep is just a simple give and take,“ said Jorge Usatorres, VP of Universal Diagnostic Laboratories. “To be active and alert, you must rest well. To rest well, you must be active and alert. Too much in either direction or the entire system begins to fall apart.”
Hopefully, you do not identify with this specific issue seeing how devastating its potential impact can be. Though if you do, there is no reason to panic as there are a multitude of solutions to this problem. For one, you should be guarding your sleep schedule with your life. Outside of a truly pressing issue, there should be little that pulls you away from the eight hours you need. Anthony Puopolo, CMO at REX MD offered additional food for thought, “The characteristics of your bedroom play a huge role in your sleep quality. No matter where this is, you should think through some of these to get the best sleep possible. For example, if you have blackout curtains in this space, your natural body clock will not know when it is time to get up for the day.”
Your gym routine
“Be it you, or someone you know, there is someone in your life who prides themselves on the number of times they go to the gym per week,” said Michael Fischer, Founder of Elite HRT. “These people need to be careful because they could be a danger to themselves even if they believe quite the opposite.”
You may recall the give and take that is inherent to sleep. The relationship between working out and recovery is very similar – too much rest results in an unhealthy lifestyle. But the same can be said about working out constantly.
“No one ever likes to hear this but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. It also poses real problems. Especially if you call yourself a gym rat,” said Vimla Black Gupta, CEO of Ourself. “I’m all for pushing the physical limits of your body. But, if it comes with injury, or risk of it, you might be fooling yourself about how healthy it really is.”
Simply put – everything in moderation. Even the workout routine has become a staple in your daily routine. Understandably, it may be hard to give this activity a regular break after adjusting to the rigors of an intense workout. However, your body can handle only a finite amount of physical stress and continued vigor before it succumbs to the pressure. Practically speaking, this can range from a strained muscle to something far more serious.
The convenience of food in the modern world has introduced the idea that you can secure sufficient nutrition without sitting down to eat a balanced meal. Be it your local grocery store or gas station, any place selling food products has an option that is supposed to supply all the vitamins, minerals, calories, and protein your body relies on for operation. Sadly, in the short and long run, these products will not do you much good. “Most protein bars are just candy bars in disguise,” said Temoer Terry, Partner at The Mommy Care Kit, “Have you looked at the amount of sugar in them? It’s just unhealthy, plain, and simple.”
Until a true meal substitution comes along, you might have to be creative with how you meet the dietary demands of your body. There is always the tried-and-true method of going shopping for items to make meals out of. But this requires more than just a drive to the store. The good news is the modern world has also introduced other food ideas. Ian Heyman, Founder of Dermasteel talked about one in particular, “At this point, there are more choices for meal planning kits than you would ever be able to try. Many of them place an emphasis on healthy eating so why not give a few of these a try? Having meals selected for me that I enjoy, and are good for me, has changed how I think about food.”
Checking the scale
While it is not entirely clear where the daily practice of weighing ourselves came from, it is one that should go the way of the dinosaurs. Weight may be an interesting number for discussion. But it is not even close to reflecting how healthy you are. There are many factors at play within a human body that chalking up your health to an arbitrary number may only frustrate you. Lionel Mora, CEO of Neoplants furthered this, “The number you see on the scale has a sticky nature – whenever you weigh yourself, you can’t forget it. This can cause unhealthy eating or exercise decisions so try not to let this number dictate anything.”
Striking out in the opposite direction is not reasonable either. If you were to pursue personal wellness without the means for measuring your progress, you might forget about this endeavor entirely. If weight is out of the question, what should you pay attention to? “Exercise and mindfulness are responsible in part for your physical health,” said Dr. Michael Green, Chief Medical Officer of Winona. “Don’t count your calories or pounds, count the number of days in a row you go for a walk or meditate.”
It's one thing to realize the habits that are part of your life are not what they were once cut out to be. It’s another to make a continued effort to eliminate and replace them. But maybe an additional mindset change is needed for this to happen. Author and speaker Wayne Dyer provided a jumping-off point, “Healthy habits are learned in the same way as unhealthy ones - through practice.”