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Smart People - Dumb Mistakes

6 Dumb Health Mistakes Smart People Make

“Some folks are wise and some are otherwise. ”

Tobias Smollett

Sure, you’re an intelligent person, but is your health a top priority? If not, it’s time. You’re educated, well-read and are the go-to person for solving your family’s and friend’s problems. You consider yourself pretty knowledgeable on many topics but somehow you still manage to make stupid health mistakes. Your well-being should be one of your top priorities. Smoking aside, if the one area you’re lacking in expertise is how to maintain proper health or if you are just ignoring what you know to be true, wise up. Here are 6 stupid health mistakes even the smartest adults are making:

  • 1. Sabotaging Your Skin for a Little Color: Do you insist on being tan in the dead of winter by using tanning beds? When it comes to the sun and your safety, are you current on your skin cancer knowledge or is ignorance bliss in favor of a tan? Well consider this: Skin cancer is diagnosed more often than all other cancers combined. Have we caught your attention now? Besides, too much sun damages our skin, so why do we continue frying ourselves in the pursuit of a golden tan? Sun tanning and skipping the sunscreen both increase your exposure to the sun’s harmful rays, which can cause premature aging and even worse, skin cancer. Tanning is simply not worth it, especially when self-tanners are available.
  • 2. Skipping Breakfast: Breakfast is too easy and beneficial of a meal to pass up in the mornings. As you sleep, your body’s metabolism slows down, so when you wake up, your body needs food to get your metabolism going again. When you skip breakfast, your energy levels suffer. Although you may try skipping breakfast in an attempt to cut calories and lose weight, you’ll actually tend to eat more throughout the day to compensate for your hunger and may gain more weight. Studies have also shown that eating breakfast increases your ability to perform better mentally.
  • 3. Skipping the Weights: Lifting weights will not necessarily make you bulk up, an effect that many people, especially women, want to avoid. In fact, women actually lack the testosterone and often the time it takes in the gym to really get beefy. It’s true that when you start lifting weights or using a resistance training program, you generally gain a bit of weight before you start to lose it, but that’s simply because muscle weighs more than fat. If you want to get in shape, “pumping iron” will make you look trimmer and more toned, and will help you burn more calories even after your workout is done.
  • 4. Avoiding the Doctor: Sure, seeing the doctor can be time-consuming, require tons of paperwork and even be somewhat embarrassing, but having a checkup can mean detecting and treating issues early enough to avoid further complications. Women over 40 should see the gynecologist yearly for a pap smear, breast exam, and a mammogram. Men should have their testicles examined for irregularities and should also be checked for colon cancer. You should also see your dentist and general practitioner yearly. These doctor visits may be uncomfortable, but they can potentially save your life.
  • 5. Not Getting Enough Sleep: Do you constantly go to bed at 1 a.m. and wake up feeling groggy? Most people need at least 8 hours of sleep to function at their fullest, so why do we go to bed so late? Sleep deprivation not only makes you feel less than your usual perky self, but has been linked to weight gain, depression, anxiety, heart disease, and insulin resistance, not to mention the accidents that occur from diminished alertness. To accomplish more, many sacrifice sleep. Instead, we should sacrifice less important commitments and set a regular bedtime to get a full 8 hours in to avoid the effects of sleep deprivation.
  • 6. Drinking your Calories: Starbucks lattes and high-sugar smoothies might be a regular fixture in your day, but you could be consuming nearly all of your calories for the day in just one cup. Coffee drinks, smoothies, sodas, juices, and alcohol are all notorious for being high in calories. If you’re drinking these regularly and not cutting back on your calories from food, you could be consuming up to an extra 1,000 calories a day, which leads to weight gain. Instead, try limiting yourself to one liquid treat once a week and drink plenty of water.

    You are now armed with great information, so no more excuses when it comes to making dumb health mistakes!
Article Reviewed: July 5, 2012
Copyright © 2014 Healthy Magazine

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