Unlocking Your Path to a Healthier Lifestyle: 7 Habits to Break and How to Make Healthy Changes

Sep 20, 2023

When we have other health problems and strive for a healthier and happier life, we tend to concentrate on the health benefits that come with adopting positive lifestyle habits. We follow exercise routines diligently, choose balanced diets, get regular exercise, and prioritize self-care. However, it's equally important to identify and confront the lifestyle habits that may be quietly undermining our health.

Around 27 million Filipinos were estimated to be overweight or obese by a top worldwide healthcare provider as World Obesity Day was observed on March 7, 2023. It is quite alarming that this is happening due to its lifestyle habits. Today, we will explore seven seemingly innocuous bad habits that can potentially cause weight gain and harm your health.

1. Prolonged sitting

Many of us spend a lot of time sitting at desks or in front of computers these days. However, excessive sitting can be harmful to our health and wellness in many ways. Studies have shown that prolonged sitting can cause obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and musculoskeletal issues. Being sedentary for long periods can slow down our metabolism, cause high blood pressure, increase the risk of heart attack and blood clots, and weaken our muscles. It is important to be mindful of these risks and find ways to incorporate more movement into our daily lives.

To mitigate the negative impact of prolonged periods of sitting, it is recommended to increase physical activity and take regular breaks to stand, stretch, and move around during the workday. Additionally, using a standing desk or a stability ball as a chair can be beneficial for physical activity and reducing the harmful effects of prolonged sitting.

2. Poor sleep hygiene

In our busy lives, sleep is often sacrificed to accommodate work, social, or entertainment commitments. However, consistently poor sleep habits can lead to serious health and wellness consequences. Insufficient sleep has been linked to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease risk, impaired cognitive function, and even an increased risk of accidents.

To improve your sleep hygiene, establish a consistent sleep schedule, get enough sleep, create a relaxing bedtime routine, and optimize your sleep environment by keeping it dark, quiet, and cool enough to sleep well. Reducing screen time before bedtime and avoiding caffeine and heavy meals when eating late or close to sleep can also contribute to better sleep quality.

3. Excessive screen time

With the rise of smartphones, tablets, and streaming services, many of us are spending an alarming amount of time in front of screens. Excessive screen time can lead to a host of health issues, including digital eye strain, disrupted sleep patterns, and a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle. Furthermore, excessive use of social media platforms can negatively impact mental and physical health by promoting comparison and feelings of inadequacy.

To mitigate the negative effects of screen time, establish daily limits, take regular screen breaks, and engage in activities that don't involve screens, such as reading, exercising, or spending time outdoors.

4. Skipping meals

In our fast-paced lives, it's common to skip meals, particularly breakfast, in the rush to get things done. However, skipping meals can disrupt your body's metabolism and lead to unhealthy habits and eating patterns. It can also cause lower energy levels, crashes, mood swings, stress, and overeating later in the day.

To maintain a balanced diet and keep your metabolism and immune system running smoothly, prioritize regular meals. Breakfast, in particular, is important to stay healthy, as it jumpstarts your metabolism and immune system and provides essential nutrients to fuel your day.

5. Overindulging in processed foods

The convenience of processed foods can be tempting, but they often contain high levels of unhealthy fats, sugars, and additives. Regular consumption of processed foods and more sugar can contribute to obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, lung cancer, and other chronic health problems and conditions.

To maintain weight gain and protect your health, focus on a diet rich in whole foods like whole fruits and vegetables, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Minimize your intake of packaged snacks, sugary beverages, and fast food.

6. Neglecting Mental Health

While physical health often takes center stage, mental health is equally important. Neglecting your mental and overall well-being can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, and a host of physical and other health problems. The mind, heart disease, and body are intricately connected, and addressing mental health issues can have a profound impact on your overall health and well-being.

To prioritize your mental health, consider practices to both manage stress and reduce stress yourself, like mindfulness meditation, therapy, journaling, and seeking support from friends and family. Regular, moderate exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep also play crucial roles in maintaining mental wellness.

7. Ignoring regular check-ups

Many people only visit the doctor when they're feeling unwell, but preventive care is vital for catching health issues early and maintaining optimal well-being and a healthy life. Skipping regular check-ups and health screenings can result in undiagnosed conditions and chronic diseases that may worsen over time.

Make it a habit to schedule and attend regular check-ups with your healthcare provider. These appointments can help identify risk factors for chronic diseases and conditions as early as heart disease and lung cancer, allowing for prompt intervention and treatment.

To achieve a healthier lifestyle, it's crucial to be aware of habits that can harm our health, even if they seem harmless at first glance. Prolonged sitting, a poor diet, regular exercise and sleep hygiene, excessive screen time, skipping meals, overindulging in processed foods, neglecting mental health, and ignoring regular check-ups are all potential pitfalls and unhealthy lifestyle habits that can undermine our well-being.

By recognizing and addressing these damaging and unhealthy habits, we can take proactive steps to maintain a healthy weight, safeguard our health, lose weight, and enhance our energy levels and our overall quality of life. If seven lifestyle habits are damaging your health, there are also seven ways to have a healthy lifestyle.

1. Balanced Diet

Focus on eating a variety of nutritious foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Avoid excessive consumption of processed foods, sugary drinks, and high-fat, high-sugar snacks.

2. Regular exercise

Incorporate regular physical activity into your routine. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week, along with strength training exercises at least two days a week.

3. Adequate Hydration

Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Limit the consumption of sugary drinks and excessive caffeine.

4. Adequate Sleep

Prioritize getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. Poor sleep can lead to various health issues, including weight gain and reduced cognitive function.

5. Stress Management

Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, or hobbies that relax you. Chronic stress can contribute to a range of health problems.

6. Limit alcohol and avoid smoking

Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, or hobbies that relax you. Chronic stress can contribute to a range of health problems.

7. Regular health check-ups

Schedule regular check-ups with your healthcare provider to monitor your overall health. These check-ups can help identify and address any potential health issues early on.

Remember that making lifestyle changes can be challenging, so it's important to start gradually and set realistic goals. Seek support from friends, family, or professionals if needed, and be patient with yourself as you work towards a healthier lifestyle.

For more information on Vista Residences, email [email protected], follow @VistaResidencesOfficial on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, or call the Marketing Office at 0999 886 4262 / 0917 582 5167.     

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