Have you ever discovered that a “fact” you thought you knew about good health was utterly wrong? While it’s challenging to keep up with the latest research developments, falling behind on your science-savvy could take a toll on your health.
Sometimes, factors that you don’t consider likewise cause symptoms like fatigue and headaches. You need to don your “Dr. House” hat to discern the cause. Here are ten hidden things that are bad for your health to consider when you feel not-quite-right.
1. That Red Wine for “Heart Health”
You might have heard that the resveratrol in red wine is good for your health. While grapes do contain ample amounts of this phytonutrient, you don’t need to get tipsy. Doing so could hurt, not help, your heart.
When you drink alcohol, your body responds with an immediate increase in blood pressure. While this effect subsides within a few hours, prolonged overindulgence — more than one glass of wine daily — can lead to more permanent elevation. The harm to your ticker outweighs any benefit from that second serving of merlot.
2. Energy Drinks
Speaking of heart trouble, if you have a family history of heart disease, please avoid energy drinks. The caffeine can elevate your blood pressure.
Many folks drink these beverages to aid in weight loss, but you might do your appearance more harm than good. Even those low in sugar nevertheless raise the acid level in your mouth, making you more prone to cavities. If you don’t see your dentist regularly, this condition can lead to tooth loss.
3. Indoor Air Pollution
How frequently do you change your air filters? If you don’t do so monthly and smoke or have pets, the air in your home could make you sick.
Fortunately, it costs less than $20 for high-quality filters — which helps if you have a tight budget. Why don’t you coordinate this chore when you pay your mortgage or rent to make it a snap to remember?
4. A Poorly Fitted Chair
If you sit all day at work, a chair that doesn’t adjust to your frame can leave your lower back a misery. Talk to your HR department and request one that suits you — especially if you’re unusually tall or short.
Consider alternatives, too. An inflatable exercise ball works wonders for folks with degenerative disk disease because you can lean back and stretch your lumbar region as needed. Another option is a variable height desk that lets you segue from sitting to standing with ease.
5. Your Computer Monitor
The blue light from your computer screen can suppress the sleep hormone melatonin, making it challenging to get Zzz’s at night. Even if you ban electronics from the bedroom, too much of this wavelength can cause insomnia and health woes.
Learn how to set your devices to twilight mode to cut the emission level. You can also invest in screen covers or specialty blue-light-cutting glasses.
6. A Lengthy Afternoon Nap
Do you like to hibernate on your couch every Saturday and Sunday? Please exercise caution — research shows long naps may increase your Alzheimer’s disease risk by 20%.
Fortunately, you don’t have to forbid your siesta. You should set your alarm for no longer than 30 minutes before bedding down during the day, though.
7. Those Netflix Binges
Maybe you heard, “Sitting is the new smoking.” While remaining sedentary isn’t the equivalent of intentionally ingesting a carcinogen, prolonged inactivity can damage your health.
Ideally, you should stand up at least once per hour — every 30 minutes is better yet. This principle also applies in the workplace, so use an app to remind you to stand up and stretch periodically.
8. Hitting the Gym Too Hard
Exercise boosts energy, but hitting the gym too hard can have the opposite effect. It’s not only that you get tired — workouts longer than 60 minutes amp up your cortisol production.
In short bursts, this hormone suppresses appetite and boosts energy. However, long-term overexposure makes your body react as if it is under a prolonged siege. You feel hungrier and lazier, which can derail your weight-loss goals.
9. Your “Healthy” Sandwich
If you watch ads for many popular sandwich chains, you’ll see they use the word “healthy” a lot. However, much like Inigo said to Vizzini in “The Princess Bride,” that word might not mean what they think it does.
The World Health Organization classifies processed meats as a Class 1 carcinogen — meaning it’s likely to cause cancer. Chemotherapy may have benefits, but improving your immediate feelings of well-being isn’t one of them.
10. Getting a Manicure
Did the technicians in your favorite beauty salon wear masks way before the COVID-19 pandemic broke? That’s because the chemicals in acrylic nails and polish removers can prove hazardous to your health.
Does that mean that you have to give up your sculpted digits? Not necessarily, but you should follow their lead and mask up, too — even if your jurisdiction doesn’t currently require it.
These 10 Hidden Things Can Pose Health Hazards
It’s challenging to keep abreast of all the latest medical research developments. However, now you know ten hidden things that can pose hazards to your health.