So you’re eating right and working out regularly, but is it possible you’re still doing things daily that are damaging your health? Definitely. Here are the 7 worst things you can do to your body:
1. Sitting for long periods of time
You might think the worst thing about your cubicle job is where it’s positioned in the office, but the real problem is that you’ve been sitting there since 8am. Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns—including obesity and metabolic syndrome—that can lead to permanent health issues if not controlled early. But don’t hurry to the gym so quickly — even regular movement or standing can be life-changing. When you're standing or actively moving, important processes that breakdown fats and sugars move into action. When you’re sitting, these processes stop until you move again. Finding ways to be active in a sedentary life can be hugely impactful on your health now and for the future.
2. Drinking too much coffee
Lattes, cappuccinos, espressos: coffee is all the rage and hard to avoid when there is a coffeehouse on every corner. It's tempting to grab a cup of joe during that 3pm slump, but you're much better off skipping it for the sake of your health. Coffee may have its benefits—it’s packed with antioxidants, increases wakefulness and improves concentration and focus. But too much is actually counter-productive. Drinking more than 28 cups of coffee a week puts us at a 56% higher risk of dying from any cause.
3. Forgetting to use sunblock
If you haven’t heard by now, sunscreen is an anti-aging, anti-pollution, and anti-skin cancer powerhouse. Slathering it on, rain or shine, is essential to avoiding all types of skin woes. Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is crucial in protecting our skin from those harmful ultra-violet rays.
4. Not drinking enough water
Coconut water, green juices, smoothies: while these all have major health benefits, they aren’t a replacement for regular old H2O. Drinking enough water is crucial in keeping us hydrated and free of harmful toxins. It’s also essential for promoting energy and vitality, weight loss, immunity, and healthy skin.
5. Eating packaged and processed foods
You may think you're eating healthy, but many packaged and processed foods are deemed “healthy” are anything but: these foods contain harmful preservatives and sodium, two things that are counterproductive to good health. Replace these foods with easy alternatives like fresh fruit, fresh veggies and deli meat prepared and packaged at home.
6. Getting too much exercise
Though exercise is necessary to good health, too much of it can actually be a bad thing. Training too much or for too long can produce adverse effects, including a weakened immune system, higher risk for injury and earlier mortality rates. Studies show those who participate in moderate exercise versus excessive endurance exercise is much more beneficial.
7. Indulging in too many alcoholic beverages
Find yourself grabbing drinks with friends or pouring yourself several on a daily basis? You may want to rethink it. According to the CDC, those who consume 3-4 alcoholic drinks a day are at a higher risk of developing cancer, twice as likely to develop liver cirrhosis and high blood pressure and very likely to have weight issues. But don’t fret — you don’t have to give up drinking all together. Become more strategic with your drinking, whether that is saving it for the weekend with friends or indulging on your own with a glass of wine.