Monday, March 19, 2012

7 ‘good’ habits that are bad for your health

 Healthy Living

7 ‘good’ habits that are bad for your health

Think you know what’s good for you? You may be surprised. Take a lookat these seven seemingly good habits that can actually be bad for yourhealth.

Drinking water
While we are probablyall familiar with the advice to drink eight glasses of water a day,more recent research has suggested that there is actually no scientificevidence supporting this recommendation and that drinking excessiveamounts of water can actually be dangerous by lowering theconcentration of salt in your blood. Health-conscious water drinkersshould also be wary of the trend for drinking bottled water, as studieshave suggested that the chemicals (phthalates) from plastic bottles canleach into water and disrupt hormone levels.

Talking over your problems
Talkingthrough your problems can be a great way to gain some perspective andget things off your chest. However, studies have suggested that, aftera certain point, rehashing and dwelling on problems can actually be badfor your health. According to research, revisiting and analysing thesame problems with friends (“co-rumination”) can lead to anxiety,stress disorders and depression. Next time a problem arises, by allmeans talk it over with a friend, but try to focus on problem-solvingrather than simply dwelling on the issue.

Sipping on mocktails

Learn 5 good habits that everyone should be imbibe. 

Youmay think that by swapping cocktails for mocktails you are doing yourhealth a favour, but this may not actually be the case. While cuttingdown on alcohol is beneficial for your wellbeing, mocktails are oftenhigh in refined sugar which research suggests is just as damaging andaddictive as alcohol. For a safer swap and a shot of nutrients, makesure you stick to mocktails made from pure fruit juices instead ofthose made from syrups.

Early morning workouts
Whilea daily workout is great for your health, studies suggest that gettingup for early morning exercise may not be as ideal as it seems. A studyby a researcher from Brunel University, Middlesex, found that heavytraining sessions early in the morning can compromise the immune systemand put athletes at increased risk of bacterial and viral infection.While a morning jog or gentle exercise session is unlikely to put youat risk, it may be better to save heavier workouts for later in the day.

Taking nutritional supplements
Weall know that vitamins are good for us, but relying on nutritionalsupplements can actually be bad for your health. Separate studies haveshown that high doses of vitamin supplements including iron, magnesiumand vitamin B6 raise the death rate of older women, while takingvitamin E can increase men’s risk of prostate cancer. While certainpeople may be required to take vitamins (those with low levels ofvitamin D, for example, or vegans who may be deficient in vitamin B12),for most people a better approach is to opt for a varied diet full offruit and vegetables which will give you all the nutrients you need.

Slathering on sunscreen

Officialadvice for many years has warned about the dangers of skin cancer,causing many of us to take measures to cover up in the sun at alltimes. However, while it is extremely important to protect your skin,experts have more recently advised that little and frequent sunexposure is good for us, preventing vitamin D deficiency, which canlead to rickets, osteomalacia and depression. Official advice in theUK, where rickets has recently made a comeback, is to spend 10 minutesin the midday sun without sunblock each day before covering skin up.

Switching to low fat foods
Whengetting started in healthy eating, it is tempting to opt for low fatfoods in order to help keep off excess pounds. However, cutting out‘good’ fats such as omega-3 fatty acids could be detrimental to yourhealth. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish, walnuts and flaxseeds,not only help to keep skin supple and wrinkle-free, they are alsoessential for good brain and heart health and can help preventarthritis.