We review what are some of the most common habits harmful to health and that can deteriorate your well-being or cause the appearance of diseases, as well as reduce your life expectancy.
You may think that it is only a Coca-Cola, a cigarette or a glass of wine, or that one day you prefer to snooze on the sofa instead of going to the gym or going for a walk, but the fact is that in the habit lies the ability to Take care of your body and prevent the appearance of diseases.
Walking once a week reduces the risk of early death
There are several studies that delve into the subject. This week, research published in the American Heart Association Circulation found worrisome links between high intakes of soft drinks and premature death. Another review of two studies published in the journal last year pointed to five habits related to a significantly shorter lifespan. We review them below.
Drink sugary drinks and eat processed foods
Drinking soft drinks, industrial juices and other highly sweetened beverages has a high price for our bodies. In fact, a new study of 34 years with more than 118,000 people suggested that the more sugary drinks are taken, the chances of dying from heart problems and other diseases increase.
In addition to avoiding frequent consumption, a growing body of research suggests that it is essential to adopt a diet rich in vegetables, proteins and healthy fats, which helps regulate weight, keep the mind agile and protect the heart and brain. Therefore, it advocates a high intake of vegetables, nuts, whole grains, healthy fats -present in avocados, blue fish or olive oil- and reduces the consumption of sugary drinks, processed foods, red meat, trans fats and salt.
No other habit is as linked to death as smoking. In addition to cancer, smoking causes heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Smokers inhale burned tobacco and tar together with toxic metals, such as cadmium and beryllium, and elements such as nickel and chromium, which accumulate naturally in the leaves of the tobacco plant. Studies link not smoking with a longer life and stop smoking extends life expectancy.
Spend a lot of time sitting
In general, a sedentary lifestyle for long periods of time is terrible for your health. Regular cardiovascular exercise is essential to improve your mood, improve your memory and protect your brain against age-related cognitive decline.
“Aerobic exercise is the key to both the head and the heart,” says a recent article from the Mind and Mood blog at Harvard Medical School. Most research suggests that the best type of aerobic exercise for your mind is anything you can do consistently for 30 to 45 minutes.
Being overweight or underweight
People who weigh above or below average appear to face a slightly higher risk of death from a variety of causes, according to a recent study that evaluated people’s weight using a measure called body mass index (BMI). In general terms, a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered within the “healthy range” for adults over 20, according to the CDC.
People who had BMI that were above or below the “healthy range” lived shorter lives than people with BMI that were within that range, although many other determining factors can be considered.
Consuming eight or more drinks per week for women and 15 or more drinks per week for men is considered excessive alcohol consumption, related to a series of negative outcomes, including a shorter life expectancy in general. Other problems related to excessive alcohol consumption include cancer, heart disease, respiratory diseases and injuries. The best, of course, and as science points out, it is not drinking anything.