9 Surprising Things That Might Be Negatively Affecting Your Health

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Today’s guest blog post is brought to by Sarah Walters from www.freedomhealthinsurance.co.uk.

We all know the deal with cigarettes and alcohol – they may make for a great indie anthem, but they aren’t so good for our bodies. However, there are plenty of seemingly innocent habits that most of us wouldn’t expect to have a detrimental effect on our health, but which in actual fact could be deemed bad for us.

If you think that your life is a pretty healthy one, then take a look at our list and see if any of the following could affect you…

Lack of sleep

It’s something that most of us suffer from at one point or another, but lack of sleep can cause more problems than you may realise. Apart from impairing our attention and alertness, sleep deprivation can also actually lead to the sufferer developing heart disease, high blood pressures, strokes and even diabetes.

 

not-enough-sleep
Image Credit: Catching up on sleep

Add to that the mental health risks, and it becomes even more imperative that you get your allotted eight hours. If you really can’t find enough time in the day, power napping can help to make up for a lack of night time sleep.

Mobile phones

They’re brilliant for surfing the web, playing games and sometimes even calling people, but mobile phones can also be a great breeding ground for bacteria – and superbugs. Not only that, but dermatitis has actually started to increase since mobiles became more common, and some scientists believe it’s down to the metal in our phones.

And your mum isn’t wrong when she says your thumbs are bound to drop off from all that texting – it has been known to lead to repetitive strain injuries that need splints or even operations.

The worst thing about phone usage is that is causes small amounts of damage, so you’re unlikely to feel the ill effects in the next 10-20 years, but when you do you will have already had 20 years of exposure.

Watching TV

It’s probably no surprise to you that being a couch potato isn’t going to make you look like Miss Universe. However, apart from the lack of exercise meaning weight issues and weak muscles, watching TV has even been linked to Alzheimer’s disease – and according to one study at the University of Queensland, every hour spent watching TV could shorten your lifespan by up to 22 minutes.

Too much exercise

I know I only just pointed out that a lack of exercise is bad, but it seems that too much of a good thing can kill you, too. Over exercising can cause stiff joints and even arthritis, and a bad injury could put you out of the exercising game for a while, leading to – you guessed it – weight issues and weakened muscles.

Admittedly, too little exercise is much more common than too much, but if you fall into the too much category you probably know it as you read this. Take it easy, guys; rest days are called rest days for a reason.

Marathon Running

Ok, this probably falls into the above category, but it’s worth mentioning on its own because it goes against what most people would assume. Research suggests though that long distance running can actually cause heart problems. Quite simply, our bodies are not designed for that sort of endurance.

 

running
Image credit: Running up that hill

Long-duration cardio can cause your heart to enlarge as an adaption mechanism. Unfortunately this puts more of a strain on your body when you are not exercising and can cause premature heart failure. In comparison, short bursts of high intensity exercise are much more beneficial (ie, sprinting).

Divorce

Divorce isn’t just bad for your heart. The stress caused by splitting up from your long term partner – which normally also results in other stressful factors such as moving a house and financial issues – can put strain on your immune system, leaving your body open to illness.

Of course staying together in an unhappy marriage isn’t great for your health either, so if you are facing this situation there’s probably not a lot that you can do, but it’s food for thought.

Low fat diet

It seems like a low fat diet should be fantastic to our health, and it’s certainly sold to us as such by women’s magazines and yoghurt adverts. However, too little fat can cause problems. We need Omega 3 in our diet to have healthy brains and hearts, and it can also help to extend our lifespan. An extremely low fat diet can also even interrupt menstruation, and cause osteoporosis.

Plus, fat free foods often have other things added to them for taste such as salt, sweeteners and sugar, which have been linked to other problems. Our bodies often have a hard time digesting the additives that are often found in fat free or reduced fat versions of foods like mayonnaise, for instance.

Natural fats are actually very healthy, but they do also contain a lot of calories, so wherever possible, buy the full fat version and eat less of it. Almonds are a great source of healthy fats by the way.

Social media

Believe it or not, Facebook and Twitter may be bad for you. The websites may purport to be a great way to keep in contact with friends and family, but all too often we check our phone to see what our loved ones are doing rather than using it to call them.

This, coupled with the damaging impact the sites can have on our self esteem when we get a distorted view of what ‘fantastic’ lives everyone we know is leading, can mean that social media can cause mental health issues for some of us. Try to limit your intake – they’re addictive, too!

 

About The Author

Hi there, my name is Sarah Walters. I work at www.freedomhealthinsurance.co.uk. I am also a bit of a health nut and I love running and cooking. If anything I would say that too much exercise and lack of sleep are my biggest downfalls, but I’m working on it! Oh and you can find Freedom Health on Facebook too!

Freelance Graphic Designer, Lifestyle Blogger, Natural Hair Enthusiast and Fitness Convert...yeah, I wear a lot of hats. :)