You resist the urge to eat pizza for every meal. You occasionally go on a jog around the neighborhood. You get a physical from your doctor every couple of years. You don’t smoke or drink to excess. For the most part, you’re conscious of your health. But that may not be enough. You could be unknowingly sabotaging your health. Here are a few of the most common mistakes people make:
1. Spending Too Much Time on Social Media
How much time would you say you spend on social media every day? Would you be shocked to learn that the average American adult spends nearly two hours on YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter every day? In fact, the average person will spend more than five years of their lifetime on social media.
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with social media, it’s easy for these platforms to create a comparison trap where you look at quick highlights of everyone else’s lives and contrast them against the doldrums of your own.
It’s best if you schedule a set amount of time per day to spend on social media and to use the rest of the time in a constructive manner – like reading or exercising.
2. Staying Inside All Day
There’s nothing wrong with spending a lazy afternoon inside or snuggling up under the covers over a weekend, but staying inside all day, every day is a big mistake. Not only does it expose you to chemicals and toxins (indoor air is way more polluted than outdoor air), but it also prevents your body from producing the vitamin D it needs to thrive.
Sunlight enables your body to produce vitamin D, which has been shown to regulate the immune system, keep your body clock on a schedule, reduce inflammation in the body, and regulate appetite. For best results, try to spend at least one to two hours per day outside.
3. Using Household Cleaning Products
“We use a wide array of scents, soaps, detergents, bleaching agents, softeners, scourers, polishes, and specialized cleaners for bathrooms, glass, drains, and ovens to keep our homes sparkling and sweet-smelling,” Organic Consumers Association explains. “But while the chemicals in cleaners foam, bleach, and disinfect to make our dishes, bathtubs and countertops gleaming and germ-free, many also contribute to indoor air pollution, are poisonous if ingested, and can be harmful if inhaled or touched.”
As good as they smell – and as shiny as they leave your home – it’s important to safely dispose of household cleaning products and replace them with your own homemade cleaning solutions. Natural ingredients like baking soda, lemon juice, and vinegar can clean just as well (and don’t leave behind toxic residue).
4. Using Talcum Powder
Talcum powder is in a lot of things, but it may not be the safest ingredient in your household.
“Many everyday products contain some form of talc, even some of the foods that we eat,” Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers explains. “There have been documented links between its use and the development of cancer for decades now, however, and while some companies have turned to alternatives such as cornstarch and silk powders, others have chosen to conceal the risks from their consumers.”
Much like your household cleaning products, it’s smart to dispose of anything containing talcum powder. There are plenty of alternative products you can use. It’s simply not worth the risk.
5. Checking Your Email First Thing in the Morning
Are you in the habit of checking your email first thing in the morning – before you even get out of bed? There’s data to suggest that this may not be the best idea. A team of researchers presented a study at the British Psychological Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology annual conference in 2016 that showed people who check their emails first thing in the morning tend to experience more stress, higher blood pressure, and a host of other health problems.
It’s best to give yourself some time between waking up and checking your email. If you can help it, wait until you get into the office in the morning.
What’s Adversely Impacting Your Health?
By no means does this article provide a comprehensive look at habits that could be sabotaging your health – but it’s a start. The moral of the story is that you need to be more conscious of the decisions you make on a daily basis – not just the ones you hear other people talking about. Only then can you truly live out a healthy lifestyle.