A consistent exercise routine is only the first step to reaching your health and fitness goals. There are other habits and factors at play, some of which you may not even realize have an effect on your overall wellbeing.
Noticing what these factors are is the first step to understanding why you’re not as close to your personal goals as you’d like.
So, here are five that you need to look out for:
1. Work Burnout
There is a lot of pressure to remain busy in our society as some think it dictates a person’s value. However, working too much is a recipe for disaster. It can lead to anxiety or at least stress that can sometimes cause burnout.
This is not only a psychological state but it can also manifest physically. These physical and noticeable symptoms include headaches, exhaustion, and sleep disturbances or insomnia.
Studies have also found that chronic burnout can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease as much as smoking and being overweight does. While important, work should not get in the way of your personal wellness. Aim for a sustainable balance between your work and personal life which should include healthy lifestyle habits.
2. Financial Trouble
What’s money got to do with your health? A lot, as it turns out.
An article on the link between physical and financial health points out that being stressed out over money, especially when it occurs long-term, can lead to various health problems. Stress of any kind increases cortisol levels in the body, which in turn creates a bigger appetite.
People who are undergoing a financial crisis tend to overeat and often indulge in unhealthy food. This can put on unwanted pounds over time and increase your risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Furthermore, financial stress also tends to raise blood pressure and blood glucose which, again, can make you more vulnerable to cardiovascular illnesses.
3. Too Much Dieting
On the other hand, being too restrictive with food is equally detrimental to your health.
For instance, many people avoid carbohydrates for fear of gaining weight but this macronutrient is crucial to a well-balanced diet. Carbs are usually accompanied by fiber, which improves digestion and they’re the easiest source of energy. Without enough carbs, you’ll feel lethargic and unmotivated to workout!
More importantly, people who cut out certain food groups or reduce their calories often experience intense cravings and binge eat. However, this could be avoided by sticking to a well-balanced diet that contains the three main macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, fat) and micronutrients.
4. Poor Sleep Habits
Lacking sleep, bad sleeping positions, and using electronics in bed are poor sleep habits you need to break immediately.
Low quality sleep is bad for your health in a number of ways, one of which is that it lowers your immunity. You’re more susceptible to catching diseases when you’re constantly sleep deprived. It increases your appetite and makes you more distracted too.
Poor sleep also affects your ability to properly recover from a workout, which can explain why you’re still really sore, more prone to injury, or not seeing enough gains.
5. Unhealthy Social Media Habits
Social media is not all bad. It really depends on what kind of relationship you have with it.
One study points out that it can make you physically sick when you use social media to compare your life with other people’s. According to researchers, the stress from making social media comparisons can weaken your immune system as well as increase your risk of respiratory illness. What’s more, it can make you feel insecure, anxious, or even depressed if you feel like you don’t stack up against your peers.
The key is moderation and adopting a healthier attitude towards Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms. Recognize that a lot of it is airbrushed and curated so those standards are literally impossible to reach!
If these five signs are present in your life, then that might be why you’re not as healthy or as fit as you’d like to be. Find ways to improve on these aspects little by little and those goals will be within reach sooner than you think!