Words "too much salt", warning about excessive consumption.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Words "too much salt", warning about excessive consumption.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

World Health Day 2020: 20 habits to give up that are ruining your health

This World Health Day 2020, let us resolve to get rid of some habits that stand in the way of building strong immunity and good health.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON APR 07, 2020 04:39 PM IST

Every year, World Health Day is celebrated to spread awareness on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and various aspects related to ensuring efficient healthcare across the globe.

From supporting healthcare professionals to leading campaigns against substance abuse and sounding the bugle to fight some of the leading non-communicable diseases, the World Health Organization settles on a theme every year on World Health Day.

The WHO has named this year the ‘International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife’. This year’s World Health Day theme couldn’t be more apt as it is dedicated to honouring the indefatigable nurses and midwives across the globe.

As the world unites to honour the many nurses and healthcare workers across the globe, the least we can do is to take a pledge towards maintaining our health. This World Health Day, let us resolve to get rid of some habits that stand in the way of building good health.

Let 2020 be the year where we bid adieu to 20 health-damaging habits.

1. Sleep deprivation

There’s nothing as bad as depriving your body of sleep. Experts suggest an average adult requires between 8 to 6 hours of sleep every day. Following a routine is of the utmost importance for good health.

2. Binge eating

This is a shortcut to gaining weight, especially around the waistline. Reach out to healthy snacking like eating nuts instead to binge eating.

3. Excessive screen time

Limit screen time, need we say more?

4. Smoking

Smoking and tobacco consumption kills thousands across the globe every year. It is also one of the leading causes of lung, throat and mouth cancer.

5. Excessive alcohol consumption

Too much alcohol consumption at regular intervals can have a debilitating effect on your health. From altering your gut microbiome to affecting stamina, the cons of excessive alcohol consumption are many.

6. Prolonged sitting

Apple CEO Tim Cook had described sitting as the “new cancer” some years ago. Take regular breaks, stretch or go for a quick 5-minute walk while at work - keep moving.

7. Processed sugar consumption

Sugar is the enemy, experts have often warned. Make a switch to jaggery or honey over refined or processed sugar.

8. Excessive refined flour consumption

Give your health a boost by giving indigenous flour a try. Supermarkets these days are full of a variety of flours made from ragi, whole wheat, buckwheat among others that will not only give your regular dishes a delectable spin but also give your health a boost.

9. Eating too quickly

Chewing your food properly and for long gives the brain and the gut the required time to come into action and digest the food efficiently.

10. Consuming large meals

The mantra is to exercise portion control. Consuming large meals makes digestion sluggish and makes one feel lethargic.

11. Fast food consumption

Full of empty calories, excessive sodium, sugar and fat - fast foods are something you must say goodbye to on your road to achieving good health. Eat local and fresh as much as possible. Read your labels and steer clear of processed and packaged foods as much as possible.

12. Too much salt

Excessive salt consumption has been linked to elevated blood pressure levels and cardiovascular diseases. The World Health Organizations suggests less than 5 grams per day for adults.

13. Excessive meat eating

Red meat consumption has often been linked to many lifestyle diseases including cardiovascular ailments. Those who relish their meaty delicacies too often in a week can try giving it a break.

14. Not drinking enough water

Our body needs 2-3 litres of water every day. We lose a lot of fluid not just through urine and sweat but while the body performs various essential functions. Dehydration or lack of enough fluids can have severe repercussions on health.

15. Skipping meals

Skipping meals, especially breakfast, regularly can have grave side effects including weight gain, nutrient deficiency, weakness, loss of muscle, et cetera.

16. Lack of exercise

The World Health Organization recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity in a week for an average adult to maintain optimum health.

17. Eating right before bedtime

One should eat at least a couple of hours before bedtime to allow smooth digestion and promote good sleep.

18. Not brushing teeth before sleeping

Brushing teeth twice a day is essential for maintaining optimum oral hygiene and dental health.

19. Excessive caffeine intake

Excessive caffeine intake has been linked to dehydration and can give rise to sleeping difficulties and anxiety as it revs the nervous system. Consuming caffeine in moderation, less than 1,000 mg a day, can help boost stamina and alertness.

20. Not eating enough fibre

Fibre is good for the gut. It aids digestion and helps in proper absorption of nutrients by the body.

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