Ignoring your friend’s vacation photos, eating sunflower seeds, giving away your precious time — see why these and other lifestyle choices are surprisingly good for you.
1. Skipping your workout
We love seeing you at the Y, but if you’ve got a fever, the flu or a recent asthma flare-up, you should stay home, Kelli Miller of WebMD suggests. Also, if you’ve had an injury like a concussion or are experiencing sharp or sudden pain, you should swap the gym for a doctor’s appointment. It’s usually okay to exercise when your muscles are a bit sore from your last session, but severe soreness shouldn’t be ignored and might hinder proper form. Consult one of our personal trainers if you’re not sure whether you’re pushing yourself too hard or not hard enough.
2. Ditching Facebook
You might think you’re getting a head start on your morning by checking those work emails late into the evening, but in reality you’ll just wake up more stressed, less rested and less productive. The blue light emitted by cell phones, computers, tablets, and TVs hinders the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle, the National Sleep Foundation explains. In addition to the light disturbance, scrolling through Facebook or your inbox keeps your brain alert rather than winding it down into slumber mode. Try ditching the screen at least 30 minutes before bed or making your bedroom a screen-free zone.
Sorry, donuts and French fries still aren’t the healthiest picks but good fats — monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — should be part of your diet. These fats can lower bad cholesterol levels as well as your risk of heart disease and stroke, the American Heart Association explains. Plant-based liquid oils, nuts, seeds, avocados and fatty fish are great sources. On the other hand, just because a product markets itself as “fat-free” or “reduced-fat” doesn’t mean it’s a good option; manufacturers might replace the missing fat with extra sugar and artificial chemicals to retain flavor, so check those labels before you go to the check-out line.
Is there room for improvement in your routine? What’s one lifestyle change you could make this month?