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