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How Bad Habits Upend Our World

By Sandy Schroeder

One bad thing really can lead to much more. When we forget to treat ourselves well and slip into careless health habits, we pay the price.

Bad habits may reflect how we feel about life. If we sleep too little, eat too much and forget to exercise, those habits play out in everything we do. We may be grouchy, sad, upset, sluggish or bored. This triggers more bad habits as we drink and smoke too much and tangle with those around us.

Rolling everything back really comes down to deciding to treat ourselves better as we deal with daily habits.

Here are some of the bad health habits that undermine life from Reader's Digest.

Skipping physical activity - If you move from home to work and back, sitting all day and heading for the couch at night, you miss all of the benefits of exercise. Short walks, stretching or a gym workout can get the blood flowing, trigger feel-good endorphins and ease anxiety.

Never pausing - If you run on empty as you meet deadlines and work late, stress may rule your day. Taking the time to listen to music, exercise, see friends or meditate could change the whole flow of your life.

Sleeping very little - The body and the mind need 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. When you short circuit sleep, it is easy to eat poorly and run out of energy during the day. Make rest a priority with a regular bedtime, no electronics in the bedroom, blackout drapes and an air filter to screen noise. You may be amazed at how much better you feel.

Hanging out with toxic people - Sticking with people who constantly criticize you, and always bring you down, can be an endless circle. You will never change them, but they can hold you way back.

Never unplugging - Our phones, laptops and tablets keep us aware and make a lot of tasks go faster, but they can overstimulate and isolate us. Taking breaks to walk, read, and reach out to friends lets us have the best of both worlds.

Eating poorly - What we eat affects our mind and our body. When bad habits take over, junk food, late night takeout and grazing on chips and cookies quickly follow. Stock up on healthy foods like old-fashioned oats, berries and bananas, fresh greens, nuts, chicken, fish and yogurt. Cook dinner at home and invite friends in for a great supper. Enjoy every meal.

Forgetting about goals - When bad habits get a grip on us, we often lose our focus for the things we really want. Our goals fade and every day becomes a grind.

Wherever you are with sleep, good food, exercise, and time with friends, see what you need to do to fix things and then keep right on going.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in McKinney, Tex.

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