God has blessed us with these bodies that he commands us to take good care of. If we are in Christ, then the holy spirit lives in us and our bodies become his temple! God has called us to do amazing things in his name, but it can be hard for us to fulfill these things if we don’t properly care for his temple! There are many things we know are bad for our health that we try to avoid as much as possible, but what if we told you there are hidden dangers in some of your everyday habits that are actually ruining your health? Here are 6 bad habits that you may not have realized are ruining your health:
1. Using plastic containers: Even though plastic containers can be used to promote healthy habits like meal planning and portion control, these storage bins could actually have a negative effect on your health. Dr. Emelie Ilarde, who is a family medicine physician at Advocate Christ Medical Center, said “Meal prepping is popular right now and is known to help with portion control. However, most people don’t realize that the plastic containers they are storing their food in can actually affect their health negatively.” The reason these containers are bad is because many of them contain BPA. BPA is a chemical that can actually interfere with weight loss because it makes it harder for you to feel full. Ilarde recommends that if you are doing meal prep make sure to double check the container is BPA-free.
2. Starting your day with negative thoughts: Waking up with a negative attitude can really be detrimental to your health. Dr. Oluchi Immanuel, who is a physician and the founder of Fidem Wellness LLC, explained that waking up with negative thoughts can make your day more challenging than it has to be. “Your mindset is an important factor in how well you will respond to the situations that you face,”Immanuel said. Instead, Immanuel recommends trying gratitude first thing in the morning. “In the morning, list three things that you are grateful for and three things you will accomplish that day.”
3. Bringing electronics into bed with you: Many of us like to bring our electronics into bed and look up things on the internet before we go to sleep. This bad habit may cause you to lose sleep and keep you from enjoying a restful night. Dr. Immanuel said that a hormone called melatonin regulates our sleep, but bright lights can decrease our levels of melatonin, and in turn can result in sleepiness. “Poor sleep can lead to many health issues such as decreased concentration, impaired immunity, and heart conditions.” Immanuel said, “Try to avoid electronics and bright lights prior to bedtime. Instead, take a warm bath, read a book, or listen to music to help you wind down.”
4. Skipping sleep: Not getting enough sleep can have a negative impact on your entire body. Dr. Michelle Robin, who is a chiropractor, author, and holistic healer, suggests “Instead of skipping sleep, plan for seven to nine hours of sleep. For most of us, that means we will have to pick a bedtime based on the time we need to get up. For example, if you need to get up at 6 a.m., and you want to get eight hours of sleep, you will need to be asleep by 10 p.m. Not on your way to bed, actually asleep. Plan your bedtime and give yourself time to wind down.”
5. Skipping meals: Some people skip meals in an attempt to lose weight while others are just to busy and simply don’t make the time to sit down and eat a balanced meal. However, skipping meals is a big no-no. Mandy Enright, a registered dietitian, said that eating regularly keeps your energy levels and metabolism where they need to be. “Snacks are as equally important as main meals,” Enright said. “These are small meals to sustain hunger and energy levels until the next meal. Instead of skipping, plan to eat every two to four hours to maintain energy levels and promote metabolism. Set an alarm or create a personal calendar to make sure meals aren’t skipped.”
6. Washing your hands too quickly: We all know how important it is to wash our hands, but did you know the amount of time you spend washing your hands is just as important as how frequently you wash them? Dr. Jacqueline Ivey-Brown, who is an internal medicine physician at Advocate Christ Medical Center, said “The Centers for Disease Control says that when washing our hands the goal is to do so for 20 seconds to remove the majority of germs. I recommend aiming for 20 seconds of good hand washing with soap and water (one can hum ‘Happy Birthday’ twice to achieve the goal).” Ivey-Brown said that spending less time washing your hands can put you at a greater risk of contracting viruses and bacteria that lead to illness.
Share this story and ask your friends to join you in trying to break these bad habits in 2018!