Do you find yourself feeling groggy and lethargic for most of the day? Have you ever felt that you are slacking off too much?
If yes, it’s likely that you’ve made a habit of doing certain normal things that are causing terrible harm to your body.
These bad habits could be the reason why you’re not performing at work as well you’d like or achieving your fitness goals.
Many of these things are so normal that you’ll feel surprised when you hear about them. They are subtle but try to change them and you’ll start to notice improvements in your performance soon.
Here are 7 normal things that we do often which are actually horrible for the body…
1. Hitting the snooze button and oversleeping
Most of us are either oversleeping or under sleeping. Both of them do more harm than good.
While running on 5 – 6 hours of sleep has become the norm in certain competitive workplaces, oversleeping has become the case in a lot of not-so competitive environments.
Less sleep leads to lower will power and poor concentration, whereas excess sleep has known to deplete physical energy reserves and lead to lethargy.
The sweet spot for sleep is anywhere from seven to nine hours.
Anything more than that or less than that is likely to increase the chances of a breakdown and lead to various other illnesses.
At the same time, make sure that you aren’t setting the alarm too early. Snoozing your alarm and continuing to sleep is not ideal because your sleep is disturbed by the alarm.
If you’ve made a habit of snoozing your alarm regularly, try changing the alarm’s sound and change the time to a later time when you know that you’ll wake up for sure.
2. Consuming alcohol multiple times a week
A recent CDC report revealed that men who drink 3-4 drinks each day have a higher risk of developing neck, throat and mouth cancer. The study also reported that these men are twice more likely to develop conditions such as high blood pressure and liver cirrhosis (1).
Apart from compromising your health in the long-term, alcohol can also tax your energy reserves in the short-term by diminishing your physical energy capacity, contribute to unwanted weight gain and prevent you from achieving your fitness goals.
No matter how brilliant or intense your workout/exercise routine is, your training will be unfruitful if you are drinking alcohol multiple times a week. Try to bring down your alcohol consumption by setting aside time only during the weekends.
3. Watching TV for multiple hours
For many of us, watching our favorite TV shows for multiple hours seems like the perfect way to unwind after work. However, it’s unhealthy and dangerous.
If you are working for 8 hours at your desk and spend time watching TV at home for more than 2 hours, you are increasing your chances of an early death.
A recent study that was published in the JAMA Archives of Internal Medicine revealed that adults who sat for more than 11 hours daily were 40 percent more likely to die within three years compared to individuals who spent fewer than four hours a day (2).
Spending less than four hours a day at your workplace may be impossible. But you can always make other arrangements by moving around multiple times or setting up a sit-stand desk.
Once you reach home, try to cut down on your binge TV watching by making sure that you don’t watch TV for more than 30 – 45 minutes a day.
4. Spending a lot of time indoors
If you frequently experience tiredness, body aches and depression, it’s likely that you are deprived of Vitamin D. Many of the foods we eat do not contain the necessary amount of Vitamin D that our body needs.
Exposure to regular sunlight can increase your body’s vitamin D supply. Make sure that you expose yourself to at least 2 – 3 hours of sunlight daily. Light through windows doesn’t count though.
Getting enough sunlight will not only improve your energy levels and increases your body’s vitamin D supply, but will also promote better sleep.
5. Not stretching
Many people who perform strength training don’t always stretch after their workout. Even though stretching doesn’t have an impact on your body’s physique, it is essential to promote flexibility and aid in a quicker recovery.
Make sure that you incorporate a stretching routine after each and every one of your workouts (especially strength training workouts).
Also a stretching routine in the morning as soon as you wake up can help regulate blood flow, improve your flexibility and help you feel more focused.
Strength training is known to cause the muscles to shorten. Stretches enable you to counteract the shortening and promote flexibility.
Performing your stretches after each strength training workout can also help reduce some of the post-workout pain and aid in a faster recovery.
6. Not drinking enough water
Another bad habit that we’ve learned from the modern civilization is not to drink the required amount of water that our body needs.
Even though most of our lifestyles are sedentary and do not require much energy, Water is essential to keep us hydrated, transport oxygen throughout the body and remove toxins.
Make sure that you stay hydrated by drinking anywhere from 8 – 10 glasses of water a day (2 – 3 liters) apart from the water you’ll consume through your normal foods.
Hydrating yourself regularly can help increase your physical energy capacity and also your ability to focus.
7. Exposure to excess blue light
Blue light is common in almost all kinds of digital screens we use – smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops and so on. Various studies have revealed how blue light exposure has known to affect sleep pattern and cause insomnia (5).
If you’re someone who stays up for most of the night, it may be because you are exposed to excess blue light. Cut down on your exposure to blue light by limiting the number of hours you use digital screens.
Use applications like F.lux to regulate the screen’s brightness so you can work during the evenings without affecting your sleep pattern.
- Alcohol Use and Health Fact Sheet – http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm
- Sitting Time and All-Cause Mortality Risk in 222 497 Australian Adult – http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1108810&resultClick=3
- Warm-up and stretching in the prevention of muscular injury – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18027995
- To stretch or not to stretch: the role of stretching in injury prevention and performance – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20030776
- Blue light exposure reduces objective measures of sleepiness during prolonged nighttime performance testing – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19637049
- Image Credit – https://www.flickr.com/photos/v1ctor/