Worst health mistake 1: Incorrect breathing
Breathing is something that most of us do without much thought. However, did you know that there is a 'correct' way to breathe, and – more importantly – that you are probably not doing it? The fact is, many of us go through life breathing incorrectly, yet experts believe that learning to breathe properly could help prevent many conditions including asthma, high blood pressure and anxiety.
Most of us take shallow breaths and breathe from our chests; however, breathing from the abdomen is considered to be a healthier way to breathe as it provides us with more oxygen with each breath. To help boost your physical and mental health, spend some time each day concentrating on your breathing technique, trying to focus on abdominal breathing. Incorporating regular breathing exercises into your routine is a good way to stay energised, healthy and stress-free.
Worst health mistake 2: Not drinking enough water
Did you know that thirst can be a sign that you are already dehydrated? Yet this is something that many of experience on a daily basis, as many people underestimate the importance of drinking enough fluids. However, while feeling thirsty every now and then is unlikely to be a cause for alarm, getting enough fluids is essential for keeping your organs healthy, increasing energy levels, helping to detoxify your body, curbing hunger, improving digestion and reducing fluid retention.
Furthermore, drinking water is also one of the cheapest beauty treatments around, helping to promote a clearer, more radiant complexion. While there is no definitive guideline for how much you should drink, try to have some water to hand – keeping a bottle in your bag and on your desk –and take regular sips throughout the day to help you stay energised and hydrated.
Worst health mistake 3: Poor posture
Shoulder, back and neck problems account for a large percentage of work absence rates, yet much of this is related to poor posture. Many of the physical problems related to poor posture – including headaches and digestive problems as well as back and neck pain – are completely avoidable and can be alleviated by paying attention to your body's position, particularly while you are sat at your desk.
Slouching at, or hunching over, your desk are reasons why office workers in particular suffer so much with back pain. To avoid this, try to make sure that your monitor is high (level with your eyeline) so that you are forced to sit upright and with a straight back. Although this will be tiring at first, your body will soon adapt to the position as your core strength improves. You can also improve your core stability and the flexibility of your spine through exercises such as yoga and Pilates, which will improve posture and help to prevent back pain and other associated health problems.
Worst health mistake 4: Sitting down
According to a number of research studies, sitting for long periods of time puts you at risk of dangerous illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes, even if you are otherwise physically active. This is particularly bad news for office workers who are obliged to sit still for prolonged periods of time.
If you spend a lot of time sitting still at work, try to make an effort to move more often throughout the day in any way you can. Have standing meetings, set yourself a reminder to regularly get up and stretch, take more trips to the water cooler, or organise your workspace so that things are out of reach. Even the smallest activities done regularly can make a difference to your health. You should also make an effort to stay active during your time away from the office; going for a walk, run or exercise session on your lunch breaks and keeping active throughout your evenings.
Worst health mistake 5: Taking on too much
With many of us juggling personal commitments alongside heavy workloads, hectic to-do lists are a common feature of most of our lifestyles as we continually try to multi-task and squeeze too much into our days. However, while you may think you are being dynamic and productive, you could actually be compromising your mental and physical health, as well as the quality of the tasks you are completing.
Not only can multi-tasking lead to stress and anxiety, having a hectic daily to-do list can cause you to miss out on sleep. Furthermore, a busy lifestyle can lead to erratic eating patterns and a reliance on unhealthy fast foods, while having a busy day can also cause you to miss out on essential breaks, which are good for your mental health as well as your productivity. To look after your mental and physical health, make a list of your tasks and priorities and get rid of any tasks that aren't completely necessary. Also, make sure you take all the breaks you are entitled to and find some time at the end of each day to relax and unwind.
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