Walking In High Heels
Fashion over function, right? But no matter how comfortable you claim your stilettos are, know that this habit could be killing your feet .
Women who walk around all day in high heels are more prone to injury than those who keep their feet flat on the ground , a recent study at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, found. Sharon Kolasinski, MD, a rheumatologist in Camden, N.J., says that all those hours in heels put undo stress on your hips, knees, and back, and therefore, create a health risk.
Break the habit: Reserve heels for special occasions where you’ll only wear them for just a few hours. If you know you’ll be walking any distance, wear a pair of flattering and functional flats, and change into your heels when you arrive.
Carrying Too Much Baggage
Women are notorious backpack rats, throwing everything in their favorite tote — makeup, magazines, gym shoes, wallet, cell phone, keys, water bottle, electronics, snacks, and more. But if you’re carrying the weight of (your) world on your shoulders, you could be putting your whole upper body at risk.
“Packing it all in could knock you off balance and stress your neck, shoulders, and upper back,” Kolasinski says. The American Chiropractic Association recommends that your tote weigh no more than 10 percent of your body weight, fully loaded.
Break the habit: Learn to travel light. Pack only the essentials when you leave the house every day. If you must lug around a large purse or a gym bag on a daily basis, go for a backpack with lots of pockets to help you distribute the weight as evenly as you can.
Shying Away From Strength Training
Many women skip the weight rack at the gym for fear of bulking up. Not to worry, says the American College of Sports Medicine, the high levels of estrogen in your body will prevent you from looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger, no matter how much weight you lift . Strength training is so essential because it protects your joint and bone health, helps you tone, and according to some research, even wards off cognitive decline, dementia, and diabetes, so don’t be afraid to reach for that heavier weight.
Break the habit: Add strength training twice a week to your workout routine, using resistance bands, free weights, or your body weight to work your muscles
Juggling Too Much at Home
You’re trying to put a load of wash in the dryer, get dinner on the table, help your son with his math homework, and answer a call from your boss all in the 20 minutes since you walked in the door. No wonder you’re stressed! Working Moms spend 48 hours per week multitasking, and this bad health habit leaves them feeling overwhelmed, overstressed, and exhausted, a study at Bar-Ilan University in Israel and Michigan State University found,
Break the habit: Prioritize — and realize you can’t do it all, at least not simultaneously! Asking your spouse and kids to pitch in with housework and child care duties can also help alleviate some of the pressure.
Lying About Your Diet
You enjoy a large slice of chocolate cake after dinner, but later in the evening, you’re telling yourself it was only a tiny sliver. You overeat at lunch and promise yourself you won’t eat a big dinner. At the end of your meal, you swear that whatever you ate will be the last thing you eat today.
Sound familiar? Women lie to themselves about their eating habits an average of 474 times a year, a British survey says, which could cause weight to creep on and unhealthy eating habits to develop.
Break the habit: If you’re trying to lose weight, journal your calories to stay honest. If your goal is health, monitor your hunger and fullness signals to determine if your body needs to eat or if you’re eating out of habit or emotion. If it’s the latter, take steps to avoid emotional eating and skip the diet lies.
Putting Everyone Else First
You’ve got to run to the drugstore for your mom. Gather the files your boss needs for his meeting. Drop your husband’s shirts off at the cleaners. Pick up your son from soccer practice. Work a fundraiser at your daughter’s school. But nowhere in your packed schedule is a minute to yourself.
“Women are prone to putting everyone else’s needs first and neglecting themselves,” says Christy Matta, MA, a dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and mindfulness trainer and author ofThe Stress Response. This neglect leads to physical as well as emotional health problems — more than half of women say they feel unhealthy, and one in five says it’s a struggle to be healthy because they put themselves last, a poll of more than 1,000 women by the health communications firm TeleVox found.
Break the habit: Make a list of your needs and wants. Matta suggests identifying those that are high priority and allowing yourself time to meet them, even if it means saying no or compromising with the people who are demanding your time.
Cutting Out All Snacks
With all the negative news about snack foods like chips and candy bars, you might think you’re helping to manage your weight by cutting out between-meal eating.
But snacking on good foods isn’t a health risk; in fact, it has merit for women’s health. A study of overweight post-menopausal women, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, found they had more weight loss success when they had one to two healthy snacks a day — popcorn, low-fat yogurt, almonds, carrots, and berries, for example — especially if those snacks were in the afternoon, breaking up that long stretch between lunch and dinner.
Break the habit: Bring two small 100- to 200-calorie snacks with you to fight hunger in between meals and prevent overeating.
Working moms may have it even worse: After analyzing diaries kept by more than 18,000 working couples who were parents, sociologist Sarah Burgard of the University of Michigan found that, even if mom works all day, she is 2.5 times more likely than dad to get up in the night to quell a child who cries out. All that sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on women’s health and can exacerbate certain health conditions, decrease cognitive function, and cause weight gain.
Break the habit: Make better sleep a priority . Get more restorative sleep by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even Saturdays and Sundays; keeping your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet; and reserving your bed for sleeping and sex, not watching TV or working on your laptop. If you have small children, negotiate with your partner about who gets up with the baby.
Do you find yourself saying things like, “I’m sorry I interrupted you,” “I’m sorry, but I just had a question …” or “I’m sorry I didn’t do that for you”? Women tend to over-apologize, Matta says, and definitely apologize more than men, a study at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, confirmed. The problem with this bad habit is that it can lower your self-esteem. “If you’re constantly apologizing, you can feel as though you’re just taking up space in the world,” Matta says.
Break the habit: “Become aware of what you’re doing,” she says. “Realize you have a right to your opinions, too.” Take a moment to reflect before you start a sentence with “I’m sorry.” Apologize if you were wrong and made a mistake, but don’t apologize for something you didn’t do or don’t need to do.
Culled from EverdayHealth.Com