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It's never too late to reverse years of bad habits!

Updated on November 14, 2011

Your lifestyle may be one long list of health no-no’s and you may think that the damage you’ve done is irreversible so there’s no point in trying to remedy it, but, the good news is - it’s never too late!

Here’s a list of five of the most common bad habits with suggestions of how to ‘stop the rot’…

SMOKING

We all know that smoking increases your risk of cancer, heart disease and having a stroke, plus it’s also incredibly ageing.

Stop the rot! - The good news is that it’s never too late to give up. Did you know that just eight hours after your last cigarette, your blood oxygen levels return to normal. Two days later, all the nicotine will have left your body and your sense of taste and smell will improve noticeably.

After 12 weeks your circulation will have improved, making exercise easier, and nine months later your lungs will be 10 per cent healthier.

If you manage to stop smoking for a year your risk of heart disease will be half that of a smoker!

SUN WORSHIPPING

Sunbathing leads to wrinkles, skin damage and significantly increases the risk of skin-cancer. Ultraviolet radiation is known to alter DNA, and can still do damage on a winter’s day.

Stop the rot! - Any sunburn that you got 10 years ago on holiday may be just a memory to you now, but your skin will still be damaged.

Cover up between the hours of 11am and 3pm when in strong sunlight and use a high factor sun cream. Research in Australia suggests that wearing SPF30 every day might even reverse the damage! People with pre-cancerous skin lesions who used factor 30 for 10 weeks found that their skin started to heal!

EATING FAST FOOD

If you eat lots of fast food and processed meals you could be missing out on essential vitamins and nutrients. These foods are often high in fat which increases your risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

Stop the rot! - Studies have shown that only hours after eating greasy fast food fat globules start to obstruct your blood vessels. Most of the damage, though, can be undone if you switch to a diet that contains a high proportion of fruit and vegetables. Also upping your level of exercise will help considerably in reversing the damage.

DRINKING TOO MUCH

Drinking too much is not a good idea for anyone but the effects of getting drunk are greater for women as the alcohol takes longer to leave the body than it does for men.

Binge drinking sends blood pressure rocketing which leads to an increased risk of heart disease and strokes. With excess drinking there is also an increased risk of cancer and liver and kidney problems.

Stop the rot! - Alcohol destroys vitamins & minerals in your body, so top up your vitamin C levels with fruit, your calcium with milk, magnesium with nuts and your zinc- found in meat and fish.

Try to have at least two drink-free days per week and stick to no more than a couple of drinks a night.

If you do overindulge, try giving up the booze for at least a week after so that your liver can recover.

YO-YO DIETING

While staying slim is much better for our health, constantly going on extreme diets is harmful. Not only do extra-low-calorie diets reduce the blood flow to your heart and weaken your bones, they can also upset your metabolism, making it even harder to lose weight.

Stop the rot! - Experts believe that it can take up to 20 years to reset our body’s fat thermostat. Because we have in-built fat ‘memories’, our bodies try to return to their maximum size as a survival mechanism against starvation.

It’s far better to lose weight slowly by changing to a sensible diet incorporating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, eating at least three times a day and cutting down on sugary and fatty snacks. Increasing your exercise level will also help your metabolism as well as helping to keep your heart healthy.

The Beauty Detox Solution: Eat Your Way to Radiant Skin, Renewed Energy and the Body You've Always Wanted
The Beauty Detox Solution: Eat Your Way to Radiant Skin, Renewed Energy and the Body You've Always Wanted

You truly are 'what you eat' and this book will point you in the right direction to choose the healthiest and most nutritious foods to make you feel your very best.

 

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    • Suki C profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara C 

      6 years ago from Andalucia, Spain

      Thank you for your kind comment Thundermama - unfortunately I don't follow my own advice as much as I should!!!!

    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 

      6 years ago from Canada

      Great Hub Suki, so positive and full of useful information. You've reminded that It's never too late to get healthy!

    • Suki C profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara C 

      6 years ago from Andalucia, Spain

      Thanks for your comment billips - and 'well done' your mother :)

    • billips profile image

      billips 

      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Excellent hub - you are so right! - it is definitely never to late to start improving your health - after sixty years of smoking, my mother finally stopped at the age of eighty - some of these unhealthy habits are not only injurious to our health, but also to our wallets - B.

    • Suki C profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara C 

      6 years ago from Andalucia, Spain

      Thank you for your comment Vinaya :)

      (I didn't want to be critical - just to help you to correct what you meant!) ..... :)

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      6 years ago from Nepal

      I feel so happy that I'm not addicted to these habits, however, I admit that I often do all these things. I'm trying to stop myself.

      PS: Thanks for reminding me my mistake about export, when I really meant import.

    • Suki C profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara C 

      6 years ago from Andalucia, Spain

      Thanks Jeannie, I know exactly what you mean - it's keeping to a consistently healthy plan that's so difficult!

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 

      6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Thanks for the tips. I have a bad habit of yo-yo dieting and I know I should stop. Sometimes I just fall off the wagon and gain a few pounds. Then I have to start the dieting process again. It is tough being healthy all the time!

    • Suki C profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara C 

      8 years ago from Andalucia, Spain

      Thanks Wanderlust - yes that's one habit I've not managed to shake - the wine is too good (& cheap) here :)

    • Wanderlust profile image

      Wanderlust 

      8 years ago from New York City

      Great hub! And you are absolutely right - bad habits never too late to give them up. I would love to stop doing some of them :)

      If I live in Spain as you do, I would never give up wine :)

    • Suki C profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara C 

      8 years ago from Andalucia, Spain

      So glad you enjoyed it Anginwu :)

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 

      8 years ago

      I love your "stop the rot" refrain--very effective. Enjoyed this interesting read and learned a lot from it. Thanks for sharing.

    • Suki C profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara C 

      8 years ago from Andalucia, Spain

      It's putting them into practice that can prove so difficult Paula :))

    • profile image

      Paula Walker 

      8 years ago

      Some really good reminders for us all there suki, thankyou.

      As from tomorrow im going to put these into practice!!!! :-)

    • Suki C profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara C 

      8 years ago from Andalucia, Spain

      Well done on the smoking! - as for the rest, it's all hard work isn't it ? :)

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Well I managed to quit smoking some time ago but still have a long way to go with other bad habits.

    • Suki C profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara C 

      8 years ago from Andalucia, Spain

      Well done lorkie6 for the willpower to give up alcohol - It sure takes a lot of strength :) (And I would still love to do it !!}

      As for the smoking - you've done it once & I'm sure you can do it again :)))))

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 

      8 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      Thank you, Suki! I quit drinking alcohol almost 2 years ago, but still smoke. I am trying, though, so thanks again for the reminder.

    • Suki C profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara C 

      8 years ago from Andalucia, Spain

      Dim - It's all well & good in theory - says me pouring another glass of wine!

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      8 years ago from Great Britain

      Great hub Very encouraging.Not quite sure where I should start..........

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