We all aspire to be healthy so that we can feel good and have the capacity to do the things we want. However, what many of us may not be aware of is that we are sabotaging ourselves with habits that aren’t in our best interest. These may seem harmless at first glance but they actually contribute to problems that are building up in the background. If you are trying to be a better athlete but not getting the results you want, then you might want to evaluate your training strategies. If you are trying to lose weight to no avail, then some introspection may also be in order. Here are things that could be jeopardizing your health:
1. Consuming drinks that are filled with sugar
We all need to get a lot of liquids in every day to help our circulation, digestion, and other vital functions. It is tempting to fulfill this need through the consumption of sugary drinks such as bottled juices, iced teas, sodas, and the like. While these can perk us up right away, they can also cause us to experience the dreaded sugar crash a bit later. Too much of them can contribute to the build-up of fat stores in our body. Be sure to drink primarily plain water throughout the day. If you are partial to fruit juice, then just make some at home to guarantee that there will be no added sugar in it.
2. Staying up late at night for various reasons
Sleeping for at least 8 hours every night is ideal. As much as possible, this should be on a regular schedule in keeping with the body’s circadian rhythm. This will provide us with restful sleep that will may us feel refreshed and energized the next day. Try not to let anything interrupt this cycle. A few hours before your bedtime, do not do things that will keep you awake such as playing a game on your phone or console, binge-watching television shows, surfing the Internet, getting engrosses in social media, staying out late with friends, working on papers, eating something sweet, and so on.
3. Dealing with a lot of mental and emotional stress
Factors that influence health are not limited to the physical. A lot of times, mental and emotional stress can drastically affect our well-being. If you are dealing with problems at work, in the family, or with friends, then you may not be able to take good care of yourself. Some people are unable to eat and sleep well. They forget to do the little things that matter. Stress also releases hormones that are not good for the body. You may become lethargic and distracted. As much as you can, reduce the stressors in your life so that you can focus on the things that truly matter.
4. Exercising at a high intensity all the time
In our eagerness to make progress, we may do things that actually hold us back rather than push us forward. Some athletes try to go at a high intensity every training day in the hopes of breaking a time barrier or break a previous personal record. This is a big mistake as the body is likely to break down in the process. Even elite athletes know that they need to temper their training so that their bodies can absorb the load. High-level runners, for instance, only train at elevated intensity about 20% of the time while the 80% is spent on easy runs. If they pushed themselves with speed-work and hill reps every day, they’ll end up injured and unable to go to the starting line.
5. Not having enough rest between sessions
Rest is just as important as physical activity. Strike a balance between the two and you will get the results you want. Favor one or the other too much and you will take longer to reach your goals. You may even go backward instead of forward because of an injury. Rest is crucial as it gives the body a chance to recover from the physical stress and repair the muscles. It will get stronger as long as it is able to recover well with enough sleep, soothing massage, and the right nutrition.
6. Latching onto the latest diet fads
Speaking of nutrition, one of the worst things you can do is to get obsessed with the latest diet fads. Just because something is popular doesn’t mean that it actually works. Most of it is just marketing hype. Businesses want to push products on the market so that they could make millions. If you want to lose weight, then consult your doctor or a nutritionist. Tell them about your struggles, personal habits, chronic diseases, challenges, and long-term goals. They will be able to craft a plan that will help you reach these goals slowly but surely.
7. Eating at fast-food chains on a regular basis
It is much better if you could prepare your own meals at home as you will be able to control everything that goes into the food from ingredients to the portions. Check out healthy recipes online for guidance. Look up metabolic cooking and see how it might help you improve your calorie burn. Find expert tips on cooking meal plans.