Thanks to writer, Barbara Brody with Better Homes and Gardens, I found this really cool “Health Report Card” article that I really want to share with you.
She covers (13) areas that we might think are OK or we’re wondering if they’re OK. Wonder no more.
For example, I sleep with my contacts ‘in’. How bad is that really? Well, she tells us.
She not only gives us a grade on our habits but takes a minute to explain herself, as well as offers alternatives to consider.
Read on, be inspired & possibly learn something new!
#1) Walking is my ONLY exercise: Grade A-
Walking is a great exercise…IF you’re doing it enough. Walking 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week is the goal. Doing this will reduce your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis & breast cancer. Also, add some other forms of exercise to your routine where possible. Add-in some yoga, resistance bands, and stretching to keep your muscles lean and flexible.
#2) I don’t get a check-up every year: Grade B
For those of you under age 50 and healthy (non-smokers, eat lots of fruits and veggies and exercise regularly), you’re probably OK. But the majority of our health depends on our everyday habits. Your goal should be to have a check-up every 5 years while in your 20’s. And every 3 years while in your 30’s. And every 2 years while in your 40’s. But once you hit 50, we should have a check-up annually. *Go annually if you have a family history of diabetes and heart disease.
#3) I wear flats everywhere: Grade C+
We get it. Flats are easy to walk in and easy to pack and far more comfortable than stilettos. But they can be hard on and lead to pain in your feet, knees, hips and back offering zero support. TIP: look for flats with a rigid sole and that are not easy to twist or bend and look for shoes that offer a heel height of at least 1 inch.
#4) I only floss once a week: Grade C
While something is better than nothing…the goal should be to floss DAILY! (YIKES) Our toothbrush alone cannot get in between the tight places. And not flossing, can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. As well as, increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes. So, I guess I’ll be flossing when I get home today! 🙂
#5) I’m too tired to wash my face before bed: Grade B+
So while this isn’t a life or death situation, you’re not doing your face and skin any favors in sleeping with your make-up on. Here are 2 tips: Place some make-up remover cloths by your night stand table whereby you can simply reach over and remove the excess make-up before you fall asleep. And, be sure to change your pillowcase after having slept on it with make-up on. This will help reduce the allergens.
#6) I change my sheets every other week: Grade C+
OK – this answer is a little gross. If you ever wake up with a stuffy nose or headache, it could be the dust mites and dead skin cells that have collected in/on your bedding. Even if you’re not an allergy sufferer, the recommended cleaning is weekly in hot water.
#7) I have a glass of wine every night (a big one): Grade C
A little vino can be good for you. But you need to be honest with yourself in your serving size. Too much can cross the line to harmful and heighten your risk for strokes, dementia and some forms of cancer. For women, 5 ounces a day is the recommended, daily portion.
#8) I don’t always wash fruits & veggies before I eat them: Grade C
Chances are you’ll be fine. BUT, it would be best to wash them under running water (removing any dirt and pesticides) and dry with a towel. The FDA recommends that, although our bodies can defend most bacterias, scrubbing some produce (such as cucumbers and melons) to avoid any germs being transferred from the knife to the actual fruit itself, is best.
#9) I sleep with my contacts in: Grade D
Here’s the thing…every time we close our eyes, we create the perfect incubator for bacteria. Remove them every night – even the extended wear contacts. Your eyes and your cornea will thank you.
#10) I eat full-fat cheese & yogurt: Grade A-
That’s OK. Eating full-fat cheese and yogurt is so much more satisfying for some that they then consume less. And it can help reduce your risk of diabetes as well as obesity. But here’s the deal: limit yourself to 1 cup regular yogurt and 1-2 ounces of cheese per day. If that’s not realistic, you might want to switch to the lighter versions.
#11) I cut my cuticles: Grade C+
Unless you NEED to cut a hangnail, put the clippers down. Trimming your cuticles leaves them open and prone to more infections and irritation. Consider, instead, pushing your cuticles back for a healthy nail bed.
#12) I watch TV in bed before I go to sleep: Grade B
Watching your TV in bed is far better than looking at your smart phone or laptop. Just be careful as to WHAT you’re watching. Avoid watching an action-packed movie or gruesome show as this will make falling asleep more difficult. And as for the TV timer – never mind. A worse habit would be ‘having’ to have the TV on to fall asleep at all.
#13) I only get 5 hours of sleep each night: Grade D
Sleep deprivation hurts our bodies more than we know. It weakens our immune system, our brain power and even expands our waistlines. The “sweet spot” for adults is to sleep 7-9 hours a night. Try going to bed 10 minutes earlier each night to reach your desired hours of sleep. It’s better to be consistent than to get 5 hours one night and 11 hours the next.
For some healthy living recipes, click here!