8 risky activities that could affect your health

February 24, 2020 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

You know you should start working out.

You’re eating too much processed food, not getting enough sleep.

You end a stressful day with a glass of wine that often turns into 2 or 3.

You know you should change your lifestyle, but habits and routines are hard to break. Even if it puts your health at risk, you may be so entrenched in the routine that it requires a rude awakening or at least solid determination to snap out of it.

If you see yourself in any of the following unhealthy lifestyles or thought patterns, take a minute to consider your health risk with a free online risk assessment, including steps to get healthier.

  • Not exercising. A minimal amount of regular cardiovascular exercise can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, improve your blood flow and help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. By minimal, we mean brisk walking 30 minutes a day, 5 days per week. Remaining sedentary increases the pressure on your heart and sets you up for health problems as you age. Want to know your risk of heart disease or stroke? Take a HeartAware or StrokeAware.
  • Skimping on sleep. It might not seem like a big deal, but consistently getting less sleep than you need can contribute to health problems such as heart disease, stroke and obesity. Not to mention you’ll have more energy and improve your mood if you get enough rest. Sleep is a key to better health. Think you might have a sleep disorder? Take a SleepAware.
  • Drinking too much alcohol. When you begin to anticipate the release a glass of wine can bring at the end of a stressful day, and one drink becomes 3 or 4, the habit can become troubling. Alcohol not only affects your brain, it can damage your heart, weaken your immune system, and cause liver disease, tooth decay and ulcers. Want to know if your alcohol use is a problem? Take an AddictionAware.
  • Overdoing it on sugar. Sugar is almost impossible to avoid. Even though it’s common and everyone is eating it (hello processed food), it’s still not good. Too much sugar can lead to weight gain, which can lead to high blood sugar. Before you know it, you’re in your doctor’s office talking about diabetes. Are you concerned you might have diabetes? Take a DiabetesAware.
  • Smoking. If you’re a smoker, you’re probably aware that it’s not healthy. But how bad is it? When you quit smoking, you add years to your life. Smoking can harm almost every organ in your body as soon as you start, including your lungs. And, secondhand smoke puts those around you at risk. Gauge your risk of lung disease with a LungAware.
  • Ignoring the extra pounds. Maybe you aren’t obese but could stand to lose a few pounds. OK, maybe 20 pounds. When you’re overweight, it’s easier to slip into obesity. Obesity can lead to health problems, such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes and stroke. Is your weight affecting your overall health? Take a WeightAware.
  • Convincing yourself that your repetitive negative thoughts or anxious feelings aren’t a problem. Everyone has anxious thoughts or feels depressed sometimes. When worry becomes excessive, though, it could be because of an anxiety disorder. When sad feelings prevent you from living your life, depression could be the reason. You don’t have to live that way — help is available. Not sure whether you have anxiety or depression? Take an AnxietyAware or DepressionAware.
  • Not making time for a mammogram or colonoscopy. We know it’s uncomfortable. We realize the process could be unnerving. We know that’s most likely the reason you don’t “have time” to get a screening. Consider this: mammograms and colonoscopies can catch early-stage disease and prevent you from getting sick. These screenings can save your life. Gauge your risk for breast or colon cancer from the comfort of home with a BreastAware or ColonAware.

Put your health in your hands. Download our new app, MyEEHealth™.

Want to know your health risk for a variety of conditions? Check out our free online risk assessments through our app, MyEEHealth™.

Learn more from Healthy Driven Chicago:

8 small health changes anyone can make

5 ways to get a healthy meal on the table faster

8 tips for better sleep

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