Common Health Faux Pas

Adding healthier choices into your routine can be difficult, especially when there seem to be so many conflicting ideas.

Avoiding some of the most common health faux pas can have lasting effects on your overall health and well-being.

To help you navigate the good ideas versus the bad, we’ve compiled some of the most frequent healthy living mistakes and tips to avoid committing them below.

Failing to Understand that Sleep and Hydration are Key to Health

Sleep: Did you know? Going to bed too late (getting less than 7 hours sleep each night) can increase the risk of breast cancer by 200%, heart attack by 100%, the risk of premature death by any cause by 20% and the risk of obesity – by a lot. Aim for, and get close to, 8 hours/night and you will be glad you did.

Water: It’s a common belief that you must drink eight 8oz glasses of water per day. However, that is not necessarily true– your activity level, environment and general health all play a crucial role in determining how much H20 you should be consuming. Keeping these factors in mind, remember to drink lots of water throughout the day and choose fruits and vegetables with a high water concentration for snacking, like cucumbers or celery. If you are unsure of how much water you should be consuming, check out this Hydration Calculator that does all of the work for you.

Skipping the Strength Training

Focusing your workout routine strictly on cardio and neglecting strength training is another healthy living mistake. While cardio is an essential component to an active lifestyle, strength training provides equally important benefits. Incorporating simple strength training exercises like these into your weekly workout regime can help with long-term weight maintenance, disease prevention, and promote mood and energy boosts.

Forgetting to Stretch

Stretching is very important when exercising, but is often overlooked. It is essential to stretch both before and after your workouts, to help your muscles prepare and recover. Even basic stretches like these, can help improve your flexibility and reduce your risk of injury.

Substituting Fruit Juice for Fruit

The label may read 100% fruit juice, but juices are not a healthy substitution for fresh fruits. While fruit juices do contain fruit, they are often high in added sugar and unnecessary calories. Instead of grabbing that glass of fruit juice, instead try substituting water infused with fresh fruit, a homemade muddled fruit drink, or an easy, on-the-go fruit snack like an apple or banana. This swap will help you significantly cut down on your sugar intake, provide more nutritional benefits and help you feel full longer.

Ignoring Nutrition Labels

The nutrition labels on the back of all food and drinks are based on the U.S. dietary guidelines. Learning how to read and interpret these labels can help you with portion control and encourage you to be more cognizant of how much sodium, fat, and sugar you are consuming daily. To learn how to better navigate nutrition labels, check out this guide from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Eliminating the Wrong Sugars

Not all sugar is bad sugar. While eliminating processed sugar from your diet may help with your goal of maintaining a healthier lifestyle, you should not completely cut sugar from your diet, especially natural sugars like those found in fruit. Unlike processed sugar, natural sugar is more complex for the body to metabolize, which helps reduce drastic spikes in blood sugar and keeps you feeling fuller longer.

Avoiding Frozen Fruits and Vegetables

Frozen fruits and vegetables are often just as nutritious as produce fresh from the farmer’s market. In some instances, like when certain fruits and veggies are out of season, frozen produce can contain even more vitamins and nutrients than their fresh counterparts, as it usually is packaged at its peak ripeness.

Making a few simple changes to your routine can help you avoid these nutrition and lifestyle pitfalls.

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