Our overall health is the sum total of many habits we form over months and years. What we eat, how we sleep, move our bodies, and manage our stress can have long-term implications for our well-being. There are certain habits that could ruin our health over the years without us realizing their negative effect on our physical and mental health. Not being aware of what we are snacking on can load the body with excess sugar and fat which could turn into obesity which can lead to several chronic diseases such as diabetes, blood pressure and heart disease. Similarly, sleeping late at night can disrupt our circadian rhythm and worsen levels of metabolism, digestion, and alertness, which can affect our daily productivity. (Also read: 5 rules for eating mangoes to avoid blood sugar spikes in people with diabetes)
Paying attention to instilling positive habits can go a long way in building a healthy life for the future. Most importantly, one should listen to one’s body and mind before doing anything, be it eating or exercising. Overworking your body by working excessively, for example, can do more harm than good. Eating without an appetite can disrupt your digestive health.
Ayurveda expert Dr. Dixa Bhavsar Savaliya talks about the habits you need to get rid of to be healthy.
1. Eat without hunger
Eating your food at a fixed time is good, but there are times when we are not able to digest our food well and hoarding more food in this case can further upset your digestive system and should be avoided.
“Hunger is a sign that your previous meal is well digested. When you eat without an appetite, you overload your liver. The best rule to follow is to eat only when you are hungry. Avoid eating when you are hungry and eat without hunger can upset your gut and lower your metabolism,” says Dr. Savaliya.
2. Go to bed late
Many of us end our day quite late and go to bed after midnight trying to relax while staring at our smartphone screens. It’s one of the most toxic daily habits anyone can have and it can harm your digestive health and nutritional absorption process. Instead of staying up late at night, one can use the early morning hour for self-care and rejuvenation, which will also do wonders for your overall health.
“The best time to sleep is 10:00 p.m. From 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., the dominant pitta hour means that your metabolism is at its peak. If you stop eating between 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and go to sleep early, it allows your digestive fire digest everything you’ve eaten throughout the day and facilitates optimal liver detoxification which helps you maintain your weight, sugar levels, energy, and most importantly, your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from foods you eat,” says Dr. Savaliya.
Ayurvedic expert warns that sleeping after midnight deteriorates your sleep quality and also disrupts your circadian rhythm, leading to mental issues, vitamin deficiencies, poor gut health, and more.
3. Eating after 9 p.m.
This is something the majority of us do and it can be the root of all of our health issues. Eating late at night can actually negatively affect your metabolism and in the long run can invite chronic diseases like diabetes and high cholesterol. Eating early, on the other hand, can reverse many of these lifestyle diseases and lead you to better health.
“It’s best to have dinner before sunset or within an hour of sunset or no later than 8 p.m. Late dinners after 9 p.m. can disrupt your metabolism, liver detoxification, and even your sleep. It can lead to diabetes, cholesterol, obesity, heart problems over a period of time,” says Dr. Savaliya.
We are all guilty of multi-tasking at one time or another. Some do this more than others and are therefore at increased risk of health problems. Your mental health can be particularly affected when you try to do too many things at once. The increased stress level from doing multiple things together can increase the risk of autoimmune and lifestyle-related diseases.
“Multitasking increases excess cortisol (stress hormone) in the body, which makes you more susceptible to autoimmune and lifestyle disorders. Doing one thing at a time consciously improves your work efficiency, reduces stress and also makes you feel more content and peaceful in the end,” says the expert.
5. Exercising too much
It’s true that you need to be healthy and fit to feel energetic and maintain overall good health. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t listen to our body’s signals and that we burn out. Optimal exercise is the way to go.
“Exercising beyond your capacity can make you exhausted, lead to bleeding disorders, dyspnea, cough, fever, excessive thirst and even vomiting. Maximum exercise can be done in the cold season up to half strength. This is indicated by sweating on the forehead, palms and If we exercise too much beyond the capacity of our body without following a nutritious diet, it can lead to severe worsening of Vata, loss of tissues and a bad agni. So moderation is key,” advises Dr. Savaliya.
Getting rid of these five habits and the basics can dramatically improve your overall health.
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