Kim GregoryComment

The once-a-day habits ruining your health

Kim GregoryComment
The once-a-day habits ruining your health

Doing something once a day might seem harmless. But it can be moredamaging to your health than you realise…

We’ve all reached for that glass of wine after another long day at work or with the children, thinking: It’s OK, it’s just the one. 

Nowadays, it seems there’s a mentality that doing something we know is bad for us is OK, as long as it’s just once a day. 

But actually, the effects can add up to serious long-term health problems. 

For example, we know binge drinking is terrible for our health, but what about that one glass of wine in the evening? Or that one cheeky chocolate bar to perk us up at lunchtime? 

Facts and figures about these daily treats pop up in the news constantly, but what is the truth? 

Smoking

We all know smoking is bad for us but how much damage can one sneaky cigarette a day really cause? Well, experts have recently come out and said that just one cigarette a day can increase the risk of early death. The cancer researchers warned that there is no safe level of smoking. 

Dr Maki Inoue-Choi and her team at the National Cancer Institute in the USA compared the risk of death of smokers with non-smokers, and found that those who smoked fewer than 10 cigarettes a day still had higher risk of early death from all causes than those who had never smoked. 

Sleep

Having a nap for an hour during the day increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 45 per cent. A study of 300,000 people suggested there was no increased risk for naps shorter than 30 minutes. 

Dr Yamada Tomahide from the University of Tokyo, who led the research, said that sleep is a key component of healthy life along with a good diet and exercise. 

With the increase in people’s workload and social lives, we’re sleeping less at night and napping more in the day. We need to kick this unhealthy habit and stick to at least eight hours a night. 

Wine

Drinking a glass of wine a day increases the risk of a potentially fatal heart flutter. According to scientists, small amounts of alcohol on a regular basis can lead to an eight per cent higher risk of irregular heart rhythms. 

Researcher Peter Kistler says that previous work, which found a light to moderate intake of alcohol can cut the risk of heart disease, could be misleading. Irregular heartbeats can lead to serious issues such as heart failure and stroke. 

Kistler says: ‘People with an irregular heartbeat should probably drink no more than one alcoholic drink a day with two alcohol-free days a week.’ 

Skipping breakfast

During the first few hours of the day, the brain soaks up nutrients to manage psychological processes after the lack of food overnight. 

If the brain doesn’t get these nutrients from breakfast, it will need to use reserves and make an extra effort to work properly.

This can cause a lack of energy, loss of concentration and bad moods. In the long run, it can cause poor memory and poor physical and intellectual performance. 

Not flossing

Flossing your teeth might feel optional. But it’s important, and not just for your teeth. Studies show that bacteria associated with gum disease promotes inflammation in the body, which has been associated with increased risk of heart disease. And a study found that people with coronary heart disease who flossed experienced fewer cardiovascular problems.

Fizzy drinks

One can of fizzy drink puts you over your daily sugar limit. A study revealed that some cans contain as many as 12 teaspoons, or 52.8g, while the recommended daily allowance for over 11s, male and female, is 30g.

Too much sugar each day can cause tooth decay and can contribute to you becoming overweight, which in turn increases your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and strokes. Think before you reach for that glass of cola!

Make-up

We’ve all been in that position after a long day or night when the last thing you want to do is take your make-up off. ‘It won’t hurt this once, right?’ Wrong!

Sleeping with make-up on can badly damage your skin. Leaving foundation on often leads to clogged pores, congested skin and spots, and mascara can cause irritation, leading to vision loss.  

Late-night snacking

It’s easy on an evening to feel a bit bored or restless and grab a snack. But chances are, you’re not going for a banana — usually, it’ll be something unhealthy. 

The calories you consume rev up your metabolism and raise your body temperature, interfering with your REM cycles and the sleep you really need to keep your body working well. Late-night snacking has also been linked to poor memory. 

While you might think one biscuit before bed won’t hurt, it can cause a knock-on effect. 

Edited by Kim Gregory