This week, TargitFit is pleased to offer some healthy living advice courtesy of guest blogger, Henry Moore:
Getting rid of a bad habit may seem like something that’s easier said than done, but there are ways to go about it that aren’t as difficult as you may think. From binge snacking to overspending to smoking cigarettes, many people have a bad habit they’d like to get rid of. When you’ve decided it’s time to kick your bad habit, start by considering why you should stop partaking and then think about ways to reverse it. Each bad habit brings its own dangers, and solutions vary depending on the specific habit. Below are three bad habits and how to kick them.
Bad Habits That Are Health-Dangers
Spending too much time on the couch watching TV is a double whammy. First, the more TV you watch, the less physical activity you’re getting. A lack of exercise increases your odds of being overweight. Second, if you’re sitting around watching TV, you’re more likely to drink too many beers or sugary sodas or binge-snack, and those snacks are typically high-fat, high-calorie, processed snack foods.
Leading a stressful life is a bad habit that can be easy to overlook, but having an unhappy lifestyle releases large amounts of stress hormones that lower immunity, slow digestion, and increase your blood pressure and blood sugar. “Nature intended stress to be a short-lived fight-or-flight response to a threat, but modern life can lead to chronic stress and to far-reaching impacts on your health,” warns Reader’s Digest.
You may not think of sunbathing as a bad habit either, but skipping sunblock accelerates the aging of your skin. The sun destroys the elastic fibers in your skin, so instead of looking firm and smooth, you will have wrinkles, blotches, freckles, and discolorations. More importantly, sunburns are a huge contributor to cancers of the skin. Don’t forget tanning salons, which raise your risk for skin cancer and wrinkles.
Breaking the Habit
When watching TV, follow the 2/30 rule, which states that 2 hours is the maximum anyone should spend watching the tube in one day, and you should definitely participate in at least 30 minutes of exercise. Mindlessly surfing channels increases the time you spend watching, so only turn the TV on when you have something specific to watch. Make a point not to eat while watching TV. If you’re going to watch TV for two hours, you might as well exercise while you watch by walking in place or performing sit-ups and pushups.
Practice the art of refraining from getting stressed so easily. Your reaction to triggers determines your stress level. Next time you feel a stressful situation developing, make the conscious decision to manage it and stay calm, rather than letting the situation manage you. It helps to learn a formal stress-relief process, such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises. Pessimism is a learned behavior, so counter it by rediscovering optimism. It can keep stress at bay and help you regain your happiness. Diet and exercise play major roles in stress levels, so make healthy eating and working out part of your daily routine. Also, experiment with letting loose sometimes. Being an adult doesn’t mean having to suppress fun. Remember to enjoy yourself.
Take back your skin health. Start by scheduling an annual checkup with a dermatologist. Educate yourself on the danger signs of skin cancers and always wear sunscreen if you’re going to be outdoors, even if it’s cloudy or in the winter. If you’re forgetful, keep a bottle near the door of your house and in the car. It only takes a minute or two to apply sunscreen, and that’s two minutes that could save your life. For prolonged sun exposure, don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen. Stay in the shade when you can, and wear a hat and sunglasses. If you’re after the glow from the sun, use a lotion with a self-tanner.
Be a Better You
All of these changes above require a level of self-discipline, whether it’s remembering your sunscreen or getting off the couch during commercial breaks. It doesn’t matter what your bad habit is, you will need self-discipline to break it and re-train yourself with good habits. It may be hard at first, but the healthy changes doing so brings to your mind and body are worth it.
About the Author:
Henry Moore enjoys travel, running, cooking, baking, and reading. His favorite place in the world is Venice, Italy. He believes travel can change you, and good health preserves you. He combines both in his work on FitWellTraveler.