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Health Education Blog

Bad Health Habits You Should Stop Doing Right Now

Posted by Staff on June 29, 2017

stop bad habitsIf you are like most people, you have bad habits that are affecting your health. Many people have bad habits and they call them vices so that they don't seem as serious as they actually are. In reality, these bad habits can have lasting effects on your health. Luckily, it isn't too late to reverse the effects of these bad habits. Below is a list of the most common bad habits that are dangerous to your health and how you can quit them before it is too late.

#1 Smoking Cigarettes

This is the most obvious of all the dangerous habits. According to the Center For Disease Control (CDC) , cigarette smoking is to blame for 30 percent of heart disease deaths and 30 percent of cancer deaths. Between 80 to 90 percent of lung cancer deaths were due to cigarette smoking. Cigarettes are also responsible for many cases of mouth and throat cancer. Many older people believe that it's too late for them to benefit from quitting. This is not true. Immediately after quitting, your lungs and cardiovascular system will start repairing itself.

How To Reverse the Habit:

If you are ready to quit smoking, there are a few treatment methods that you should consider.

  • Prescription medications (Chantix, and prescription antidepressants)

  • Nicotine gum

  • Nicotine patches

  • Hypnotism

#2 Drinking Too Much Alcohol

If you have a glass of wine with dinner a couple of times a week, it isn't a problem. It is when you over-drink on a regular basis where things can get dangerous. According to WebMD, drinking in excess can result in liver damage, cancer of the liver, and cancer of the mouth. People who over-drink regularly also often suffer from depression and high blood pressure. If you cut back on your drinking, your blood pressure will drop, your blood sugar level will remain steady, and you will have a chance of living a longer, healthier life.

How To Reverse the Habit:

There are a few ways to reverse your drinking habit, depending on the severity.

  • Cut back to one or two drinks each week.

  • Sip your drinks slowly.

  • Drink for the flavor not to get drunk.

  • If you cannot reverse the habit on your own, you should consider attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or check yourself into a rehab facility.

#3 Over Exposure To the Sun

Many people love to have a nice, dark tan. They love to sit on the beach for hours or they visit the tanning salon regularly to get the sun-kissed skin that they desire. Unfortunately, this habit can be deadly. Over exposure to the sun destroys the elastic fibers in your skin that keeps it looking smooth and firm, resulting in freckles, skin discoloration, and early aging. It can also result in moles that could be cancerous. If you find a suspicious mole, you should visit  Orchard Hospital's Medical Specialty Center - Your Everyday Health Care Clinic to have the mole checked.

How To Reverse the Habit:

  • Trade in the sun and tanning beds for bronzer or spray tans if you want sun-kissed skin.

  • Wear sunscreen when outdoors, even on overcast days. An SPF of at least 30 is recommended.

  • Stay in the shade whenever possible.

  • Wear a hat when you are outdoors on sunny days.

#4 Eating Too Much Fast Food

Most people eat fast food because it tastes great. Many eat it because it is the quickest and most convenient way to eat a meal. Unfortunately, your fast food habit could be killing you. Not only can overeating fast food put you at great risk of becoming overweight or obese, it can also be dangerous to your health. The trans fat in these foods raises your bad cholesterol and blood fats. This can result in you arteries becoming hardened, resulting in heart disease.

Frequent consumption of fast food can also increase your risk of developing diabetes. The salt and sodium in fast food can also be detrimental to your health. If the majority of your diet consists of fast food, the first thing that you should do is see a doctor. The doctors at Orchard Hospital can run a blood panel to see how much damage your habit has done.

How To Reverse the Habit:

Seeing a doctor and getting the necessary medication is not enough. You need to reverse your bad habit.

  • Pack a lunch for work each day rather than eating out.

  • Buy your meals in the supermarket's prepared food section. They are much healthier than fast food.

  • Choose the healthier items on the fast food menu such as salads and wraps.

#5 Overusing Painkillers and Sedatives

If you don't take your medication as prescribed or if you are a long-term habitual user, it can create more problems than it can solve. Many people know that overusing prescription painkillers can be dangerous.

What you may not know is that overusing aspirin or ibuprofen can be just as dangerous. If you are taking these drugs for arthritis or muscle pain for long periods of time, it can increase your risk for gastrointestinal bleeding, ulcers, high blood pressure, and heart attacks. Prescription sedatives can be dangerous if they are not taken as directed and over-the-counter sedatives can be just as dangerous.

How To Reverse the Habit:

  • For chronic pain, switch to acetaminophen. It won't raise your blood pressure and cause stomach irritation the way that ibuprofen and aspirin will.

  • Physical therapy can improve your pain level.

  • Try natural sedatives such as Melatonin.

  • Acupuncture can help with pain and insomnia.

Many people have at least one bad habit that can have a negative effect on their health. The good news is that the bad habits can be reversed before any permanent damage is done. Many of these habits can be broken with sheer willpower. If you cannot seem to kick the habit, there is no shame in getting professional help. In the end, it can save your life.  

Our mission at Orchard Hospital is to provide our community with superior healthcare. We strive to ensure that your experience at Orchard Hospital is as pleasant and comfortable as possible. Our priority is to provide you with the care you need when you need it, with skill, compassion, and respect.

Topics: Healthy Lifestyle, Prevention

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