8 unhealthy mistakes even health nuts make 

By Jared Bilski
elderly women having tea
Eating right and exercising aren’t the only things that factor into your overall health and wellness.

Even those in great shape have developed certain habits that can easily translate to sudden sickness or injury.
Here are eight unhealthy habits that everyone needs to get rid of once and for all:

1. Sticking to organic only

While buying organic has its benefits, it doesn’t always make a difference with certain foods, like eggs or avocados. Many people assume organic food automatically means healthier food. That isn’t the case. In fact, on top of being higher in price, many of the organic foods have just as much sugar, fat, and/or calories.
What works better: Relying on well-known institutions for guidance. This article from the National Institute on Aging is an excellent example of evidence-backed healthy eating tips.

2. Not making sleep a priority

According to several studies, individuals need at least seven hours of sleep per night. Waking up extra early to work out or hit the gym may seem like a great idea; however, if you are cutting your sleep short, it may have reverse effects. Not getting enough sleep has been linked to heart problems, such as high blood pressure, depression, and diabetes.
This is especially true among seniors. And that’s because there’s a widely held but completely false notion that older people need less sleep in their Golden Years. Not only is this idea flatout wrong, it’s also dangerous. WebMD offers some excellent tips on how seniors can improve the quality and quantity of their sleep right here.

3. Relying on antibiotics

You know the feeling — stuffy nose, sore throat, body aches. When you feel like this, all you can think about are the things you need to do. Though it’s tempting to call to jump right to antibiotics to avoid interrupting daily life, this may do more harm than good – if you do it too often.
Antibiotics can kill off the good bacteria in your body and build up a drug resistance, making it harder to fight more serious illnesses.
Remember, it always pays to consult with your doctor to determine the next best steps for you.

4. Overlooking sodium

In between watching calories, fat, and sugar, there is one important ingredient that gets ignored too often: sodium. High amounts of sodium intake have been linked to high blood pressure.
From spaghetti sauce to frozen dinners, sodium hides in many common foods.

5. Judging by the package

While many products shout “ALL NATURAL” on their packaging, that isn’t always true. The Federal Drug Administration’s definition of all natural is very loose – same with low-fat labels.
While the rules for low-fat products are more clear now, many of these natural products still have high amounts of sugar, sodium, and/or calories, so look closely.

6. Missing vaccines

Regardless of age, vaccines are critical. Vaccines dramatically reduce the risk of contracting a number of completely preventable illnesses. Here is a detailed list of vaccines that a variety of specific groups — including seniors who have specific vaccine needs — need to stay on top of.

7. Putting too much stock on high-tech health care

Though it’s amazing how far we’ve come in medical science, it’s not necessarily the best idea to always count on surgeries and treatments to cure ailments.
Prevention is key, especially because medicine can’t fix every problem. Good overall health is imperative, regardless of the treatments available. Just like with a cold, consult with your doctor to determine the next best steps for you.

8. Avoiding check-ups

Sometimes even your average health nut doesn’t bother going to the doctor unless he’s sick or in pain. This means important screenings that could pick up on illnesses earlier aren’t being done, making them less treatable.
This is also a chance to get to know your doctor – and let him/her know your health and history. You can see more common unhealthy mistakes here: bit.ly/health469
Of course, the realities of staying healthy in your senior years adds an extra layer of complexity to the situation. That’s why a Woodhaven at Home Care Coordinator can be invaluable. Find out more about this, here.

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