Bad habits—we all have them and we all wish we could break them. But breaking bad habits is sometimes easier said than done. Still, there are some bad habits that deserve our attention. Here are three you should break—right now.
Bad Habit: Skipping Meals
It’s a classic mistake—you’re short on time or worse, looking for some quick weight loss, so you skip a meal or two or ten. But this habit will come back to haunt you—in the form of fatigue, brain fog, low blood sugar, and ultimately, even weight gain. If you regularly skip meals—especially breakfast—you’re not only depriving your body of necessary calories and energy, you also run the risk of disrupting your metabolism, which can result in weight gain.
Good Habit: Eat at Regular Intervals
Eat at least four times per day to keep your blood sugar levels stable and your energy strong. Stoking that internal fire throughout the day will help keep you fueled and ensure peak performance—from mind and body—for the whole day. If you’re too busy to stop for meals, keep a stash of snacks with you at all times. A handful of nuts can go a long way to keeping your energy high.
Bad Habit: Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation is one of the most common ailments in our culture today. In fact, studies show that more than 50 percent of Americans don’t get enough sleep. Some people are so busy that they choose to forego sleep in order to get achieve more, whereas others are so stressed that they can’t sleep. Many of us treat sleep as if it’s a luxury, but the truth is that sleep is an integral component of our health. Sleep deprivation can lead to drowsiness, irritability, lack of concentration, impaired performance, and a compromised immune system. Skipping sleep is a surefire way to compromise your health.
Good Habit: Make Sleep a Priority
Make healthy sleep a top priority. Create a sleep plan and stick to it. It helps to have a relaxing nightly ritual to help you wind down for bedtime—maybe 30 minutes to take a bath and read, or whatever puts you in a calm state. Also, for several hours prior to bedtime, avoid anything that may interfere with sleep, including alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, exercise, and large meals. Make sleep a priority and watch your health—and life—improve.
Bad Habit: Skipping Exercise
We know, you’re busy and it’s hard to find the time for exercise—but exercise is important no matter what, and there is really no good excuse to skip it. Exercise is crucial to physical and mental health. When you put exercise on the back burner, your health suffers and your stress level rises.
Good Habit: Make Exercise a Non-Negotiable Habit
You don’t have to spend hours in the gym to reap the benefits of exercise. In fact, high intensity interval workouts are effective and quick. Spend 30 minutes working at a high intensity and you’ll reap the benefits without sacrificing your time. And remember, when you’re busy and stressed, exercise is one of the best stress-busters available! Just put exercise on the calendar before everything else and make it happen.