Sometimes I think that being healthy takes way more time and energy than I have somedays, and I find myself cutting corners or taking the easy way out. But then I realize I’m only hurting myself. Here are a few things all of us do that cost us time, money and serious health issues in the long run. Here are some safer alternatives to fit into your diaper changing, laundry folding, mess cleaning day!
Floss Shmoss. Taking the 5 minutes it takes to floss those pearly whites can save a lot of trouble. Brushing alone can leave up to 40% of tooth surface untouched. Flossing gets in those nooks and crannies that brushing can’t. Nighttime is the best time to floss because that is when plaque-causing bacteria really get nasty. If good oral health doesn’t motivate you to floss, maybe and increased risk of heart disease will: studies show there is a connection between severe gum disease and blocked arteries.
Drinking your fruit. Eating fruit takes more time than drinking it, so most people choose the latter. Most juices on grocery shelves (even if it’s labeled 100% juice) are more like soda pop. Loaded with sugar (look for high fructose corn syrup or concentrate) If it’s juice or nothing, go with the one with the most nutritional punch. Orange juice fortified with calcium and vitamin D, and if you are lacking in the veggie area, go for Low-Sodium V8, which has 2 servings of the greens in 8 ounces.
Skipping the pill. What the heck. You’re married, have all the kids you want and more. True, fertility decreases after 40, but for women with normal fertility in the past, it is more than possible to become prego from 40 to 50 and has a higher odds of complications for the mom and baby. On the flip side, some birth control pills have health benefits. For non-smoking, healthy women, low dose oral contraceptives help provide hormones to keep bones strong, control irregular bleeding, and clear up acne.
Wearing old exercise shoes. You just can’t give that favorite pair up, but here’s why you should. The first thing that goes with old shoes, is shock absorption. This helps protect your feet and joints as you exercise. It can also put extra pressure on your bones leading to soreness and stress fractures. A good rule of thumb is to replace exercise shoes every 6 to 9 months depending on how much you use them. Your hubby will love that!
The gosh darn drive thru! You are soo hungry from running errands and trying to keep your kids occupied through them, they are hungry, so you pull into the nearest “Old McDonald’s” as my daughter would call it. You are hungry 5 minutes later because there is no fiber or good protein in it to keep you satisfied. Just sugar, fat, and salt overload. Try to anticipate or avoid “must eat now” situations. Keep nuts, jerky, or fruit in your car to tide you over. If fast food is your only option, go for a grilled chicken sandwich- hold the mayo please.
Not warming up or cooling down. Your hubby is watching the kids, so you only have 30 min at the gym, so you skip your warm up and cool down. Cooling down helps remove lactic acid that builds up in your muscles after working out. It also helps prevent dizziness that happens when blood pools in the large leg muscles after a workout. Next time, just do whatever you were going to do for your workout for 3 minutes at a slow pace for your warm up. Make sure you stretch after your workout, when muscles are warm.