Trying to develop healthy habits is hard enough as it is, what with all the salads and getting enough sleep and all the other things that cut into time that could be spent having fun. Hence, being vigilant about your health is important; and we’ve always heard the recipe for health is to get plenty of sleep and exercise, but can there actually be too much of a good thing?
1. Too much sleep
You think that it is better for your health and wellbeing if you get more sleep. But the truth is, too much sleep is just as dangerous for your heart as too little.
Chicago-based researchers discovered that people who routinely get more than eight hours’ sleep are at an increased risk of heart disease and are two times more likely to have angina, where insufficient blood flow to the heart causes chest pain and may be a warning sign of a heart attack.
According to scientists, the optimum amount of sleep for heart health between six and eight hours a night.
2. Consuming too much supplements
Overdosing on dietary supplements can have a range of side effects. More than 1g of vitamin C, for instance, can cause diarrhoea; too much iron can lead to an upset stomach, nausea, fatigue and joint pain; high levels of vitamin B6 can cause nerve damage, and excessive zinc intake may cause heart problems, anaemia and a lowered immunity, while also blocking your body’s absorption of copper and iron.
Researchers at the University of Colorado Cancer Center reviewed several trials over a decade involving thousands of patients, and found that overdosing on supplements may also increase one’s risk of cancer and heart disease.
If you are going to take a supplement without expert advice, ensure it contains no more than the RDI of any nutrient.
3. Brushing your teeth too often
The longer you brush your teeth, the cleaner it will be? No.
In fact, brushing your teeth for too long risks permanent damage. Research shows that once you go beyond a certain point you aren’t being any more effective – in fact, you could be harming your gums.
Two minutes of medium-pressured brushing was declared the optimum amount for an effective clean, say experts.
4. Drinking too much water
Do you really need eight glasses of water a day? Under normal circumstances, you probably don’t. And drinking when you’re not thirsty can have an unwanted side effect.
According to a Darthmouth Medical School study, you don’t necessarily have to drink eight glasses to stay hydrated. Other drinks including tea and coffee contain water, as do most foods.
5. Keep washing your hands
Constantly washing your hands does more killing germs. Long-term exposure can cause health problems – increased risk of allergies and negatively affecting adults’ immune systems.
According to study, using antibacterial soap may contribute to the ‘hygiene hypothesis’, which says living in overly hygienic environments limits exposure to microorganisms necessary for the development of a healthy immune system.
Research confirms that while soap is crucial for loosening dirt and carrying bugs away, antibacterial versions are no more effective than plain soaps at removing bacteria.
6. Too much of a fitness freak
Excessive exercising may harm your heart and your fertility. Swedish researchers say avid endurance racers are at an increased risk of arrhythmias, or unusual heart rhythms, and according to scientists from Boston in the US, too much vigorous exercise can delay pregnancy in some women.
Engaging in regular exercise is a good way to maintain healthy weight, gain muscle strength and joint mobility, prevent osteoporosis, and boost your immunity and emotional wellbeing.
7. Too supportive of your spouse
Depending on the type of support, it can do more harm than good. Experts explain that the idea of simply being more supportive is better for your marriage is a myth. While encouragement is well-received,support that is advice-based is the most detrimental when dished out in large doses.
8. Too much of Google
Trying to self-diagnose your symptoms may backfire as you may risk misdiagnosing your health concerns. UK researchers say women are almost twice as likely to check the Internet before consulting a doctor – and 50 per cent then try to treat the problem themselves.
Self-diagnosing is out but the Internet is also regularly used as a second opinion, something experts encourage.
9. Eating lots of salad with low-fat dressing
You chop up a fresh green salad, toss on your favorite low-fat dressing, and dig in guilt-free. Eating tons of fresh produce certainly does the body good, but your body actually needs some good fat to help absorb vegetables’ healthy carotenoids and phytochemicals.
Choose dressings made with monounsaturated fat, like olive oil, which promotes absorption of these important antioxidants. Not only will your salad be healthier, but it’ll taste so much better.
Text: Bauer/ Good Health/ Additional Reporting: Shenielle Aloysis