14 Unhealthy Time
Too busy to stay healthy?It’s no secret that leading a healthy lifestyle often feels like it takes more time than most of us have. So found a survey by the American Public Health Association in which 34% of adults said they were too busy to fit in things they knew were good for them, like eating right and exercising regularly.
So raise your hand if, as you hurry through the day, you cut a few corners: “I’m too tired to take out my contacts, so I’ll leave them in over night,” you say, or, “I won’t bother with my seat belt I’m not going far.” What you may not realize is that these moves could actually cost you time, money, and sometimes serious health issues in the long run.
Forgetting nightly flossIt’s been a really long day, so you decide to skip the dental string but brushing alone leaves as much as 40% of tooth surfaces untouched.
Flossing between teeth allows you to get into the nooks and crannies that a toothbrush can’t reach, and doing it daily preferably at night, when plaque causing bacteria really build up is your frontline defense against gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath.
If the benefits of good oral health don’t convince you to pick up the floss, perhaps an increased risk of heart disease will: Research at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health revealed a connection between severe gum disease and an increased risk of atherosclerosis, a condition in which arteries become blocked.
Next time: Swear to yourself that you’ll floss the following evening. Nightly flossing is ideal, but it’s acceptable to do it every other day, as long as it’s thorough and you don’t have a family history of gum disease, says Gordon L. Douglass, DDS, a past president of the American Academy of Periodontology. On days when you’re not going to floss, swish water around in your mouth after brushing; Douglass says this has been shown to reduce bacteria. (Read up on 5 reasons to take your teeth seriously.)
Sleeping in contactsSimply wearing contact lenses impedes the flow of oxygen that corneas need to stay healthy.
“When you close your eyes for hours while sleeping, it’s even worse,” says Thomas L. Steinemann, MD, an associate professor of ophthalmology at Case Western Reserve University. A study of 557 contact lens wearers in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that the odds of developing a bacterial infection with daily wear (including taking the lenses out at bedtime) were 1 in 2,500.
Next time: Switch to the newer silicone hydrogel lenses, which allow more oxygen to reach the eyes. According to a study in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, sleeping in these lenses reduced the risk of infection fivefold over traditional soft contact lenses. “The safest option is to take out your lenses at night, but if you think you’ll be a habitual offender, you’d be better off with this new technology,” says Steinemann. (Dry eyes? Not anymore!)
Not removing makeupWearing foundation to bed can clog your pores, which can lead to blackheads and breakouts.
But a more serious consequence is that mascara fragments will dislodge in your eyes while you’re sleeping and cause painful corneal abrasions.
Next time: Keep pre moistened makeup removal pads on hand, such as Olay Daily Facials Lathering Cleansing Cloths or Noxzema Wet Cleansing Cloths. A few swipes, and voil! you’re done.
More from Prevention: 8 Biggest Makeup Mistakes That Age You
Choosing juice over fruitYou can’t seem to fit fruit into your diet, so you down yours in a glass of juice.
“Most juice on the market even if it’s labeled 100% juice is still like soda pop,” says Elizabeth Somer, RD. It’s often loaded with sugar (look for high fructose corn syrup or white grape, pear, or apple juice concentrate on the label) and lacking in the fill you up fiber of fruit.
Next time: If it’s juice or nothing, at least choose the one that packs the best nutritional punch. “One hundred percent orange juice that’s fortified with calcium and vitamin D is my juice of choice,” says Somer. A good option if you also aren’t eating enough veggies is Low Sodium V8 100% Vegetable Juice, which delivers 2 servings of vegetables in 8 ounces. (Or these 20 Healthy Drink Options.)
Skipping birth controlWhat the heck, you’re married, you already have kids what are the odds?
“It is true that fertility declines after age 40. But for women who have had normal fertility in the past, it’s certainly possible to become pregnant between 40 and 50,” says Philip D. Darney, MD, professor of obst abercrombie and etrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. It’s also worth noting that pregnancy for an older woman brings with it higher odds of complications for mother and baby.
On the flip side, some contraceptives even confer health benefits. “For nonsmoking, healthy women, low dose oral contraceptives provide adequate hormones to keep bones strong; prevent a host of conditions, including pelvic infections and arthritis; control irregular bleeding; and clear up acne all in addition to preventing pregnancy,” explains Darney.
Next time: Ask your doctor about a long term birth control option, like Depo Provera, a progestin only injection you get 4 times a year or an implant like Implanon, a match stick sized rod that’s placed in your arm; it delivers progestin for up to 3 years. You may want to consider an intra uterine device (IUD), which can be used for up to 10 years. “Failures almost never occur with these,” says Darney. “They’re very safe and more effective than sterilization.” (And if the withdrawal method is in the back of your mind, read this first.)
Strolling in stilettosYou forgot your athletic shoes at home, but you head out for your lunchtime walk anyway in a pair of 3 inchers.
If your “walk” is a short stroll as you browse the shops, you’re probably okay. But if you’re planning a 20 block hike, you could be in trouble. “The sole of a high heeled shoe is not constructed correctly for long distance walking, and the higher the heel, the worse it will be,” warns Stephen M. Pribut, DPM, past president of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine (AAPSM).
Summer sandals and mules can be even more detrimental. “When your shoe’s heel isn’t closed in, the heel of your foot separates from the sole of the shoe as you walk, putting a lot more stress on your forefoot,” explains Pribut. The worst case scenarios: a sprained ankle or stress fracture either of which could really curtail your lunchtime forays. (Keep your feet feeling great with these stretches that ease aches.)
Next time: Throw a pair of sneakers under your desk or in your car, so you’re neve abercrombie and r without them, and lace them up if you’re going for more than a few minutes’ stroll. Look for a shoe that bends where the toes bend, not in the middle, advises Pribut: “A flexion point that’s in the middle of the shoe will put stress on that part of the foot and cause abnormal motion.”
Applying sunscreen once a dayOn beach days, you slather on the highest number SPF sunscreen in the morning to avoid reapplying later.
Even if you coat your entire body with the recommended amount of sunscreen (a full ounce, or more, if you’re going to be in a swimsuit), you’ll want to r abercrombie and eapply at least every 2 1/2 hours studies show that you’re five times more likely to burn if you don’t. Besides causing wrinkles, brown spots and coarse skin, overexposure to the sun is responsible for the development of potentially deadly skin cancers, which, according to the American Cancer Society, are the most common of all cancers.
“But if you’re involved in any type of activity that might cause sunscreen to be washed, wiped, or sweated off, you’ll need to reapply more often and that’s true even if you’re using a long lasting waterproof sunscreen,” says Andrew Kaufman, MD, a dermatologic surgeon in Thousand Oaks, CA, who specializes in skin cancer.
Next time: Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen that contains zinc oxide and/or avobenzone, which are the most protective ingredients, and one you won’t mind applying several times a day. Because studies show that most people apply only enough sunscreen to get half the SPF listed on the bottle, Kaufman recommends opting for a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 abercrombie and or higher, at least during the months of April through September.