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  • Kenko Desk

10 Bad Habits To Kill For Good Health! 📍

One in four Indians risks dying from diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, stroke or cancer (non-communicable diseases) before turning 70.

In 2021, of all the deaths in India, 64.9% were due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). NCDs are usually a result of an unhealthy lifestyle. We recommend you kill your bad lifestyle habits before they get you. Here are the top ones that need your attention now!

1. Ignoring vital signs

Many people procrastinate or live in denial when it comes to their health. They don't visit the doctor even when they're showing symptoms.

Denial can be fatal. It is always easy to nip it in the bud than repent later. Don't have time? Make time. Think you're fine? Think 100 times?

It is never a bad idea to visit the doctor, check your symptoms, solve your doubts and start treatment early if necessary.

If you have one or a combination of the following symptoms, it's time to call your doctor now!

  • Chest pain (radiating to jaw or upper back)

  • Shortness of breath

  • Weight loss

  • Unusual bleeding or sores that don’t heal

  • Allergic reactions/anaphylaxis

  • Severe headaches

  • Swelling of the legs without injury

  • Eye floaters and flashes

  • Abdominal pain (sudden, recurring or severe)

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Lumps or changes in breast skin

  • Urge to self-harm

All these symptoms are a cause of concern; you can read more about them here!

2. Popping pills like candies

Taking medicines unnecessarily without consulting a doctor is like flying a plane without training to be a pilot. Never go to your local chemist and ask him to recommend medicines. Always visit a doctor and take your prescriptions seriously. We tend to forget that all drugs can cause side effects.

The common side effects of over-the-counter medicines include:

  • Constipation

  • Skin rash or dermatitis

  • Diarrhoea

  • Dizziness

  • Drowsiness

  • Dry mouth

  • Headache

  • Insomnia

  • Nausea and vomiting

Never self-medicate, not even with over-the-counter medicines or supplements. Always talk to an expert about your needs and requirements.

At Kenko, we make doctor consultations and medicine deliveries (including over-the-counter items) super easy and safe. Check out our plans that give you up to 50% off on them.

3. Skipping medicines

Think you don't need medical intervention, or a celestial quack can fix all your conditions? Wake up, Sid! By now, you know the effects of popping medicines like candies. It's time we jump over the other side of the fence.

It is tempting to stop your medication when you start feeling better. Know that the doctor has more than one reason to prescribe a specific dose for a particular duration. They know better. Period. If you stop the medication midway, you risk the condition staging a comeback.

And when it does, it will be stronger, resistant to antibiotics and harder to treat.

You must take your medication more seriously if you're a chronic illness patient. If you don't, the required drug levels in your blood can become too low to battle your illness effectively.

4. Binge drinking

In 2020, Indians consumed around 5 billion litres of alcohol. By 2024, it is estimated that Indians could be drinking 6.21 billion litres of alcohol.

Going out with friends for a couple of drinks every other week is fun until the following day. Alcohol consumption can cause severe mental, physical and financial issues in your life. A global study claims that no amount of alcohol is good for your body. So don't shy away from being a teetotaller. Your body will thank you later.

Excessive alcohol can cause long-term problems in your liver and heart. The short-term issues include feeling dizzy, gaining weight and feeling fatigued more easily.

5. Exercising the wrong way

Exercising is always beneficial. However, exercising wrong or at the wrong time can be futile and harmful.

If you exercise during the day, you get to sleep better. Exercise stimulates your body to make cortisol, a hormone responsible for making you more alert. Doing it too close to bedtime will disrupt your sleep cycle.

If you're exercising with incorrect form, you're setting yourself up for injuries, pain, and soreness. This is more relevant in the case of strength training exercises. You risk a torn muscle or sprained body parts with the wrong form/technique.

6. Excessive use of devices

Stop scrolling through social media before you go to sleep. Too much of any light after sundown can mess up your sleep. The blue light from your devices is the devil. Not just after sunset. Spending too much time staring at the screens can strain your eyes.

For kids, excessive use of electronic devices can lead to delayed speech, hyperactivity, aggression, violence, desire for instant gratification, fear of missing out, fear of being left out, cyberbullying, distorted perception of sex by exposure to pornography, cyberbullying, drug use, self-harm, anxiety, and depression.

When we say no devices, we're not talking about just phones and laptops. Wearing headphones at a stretch can also be harmful. It can result in hearing loss in the long run.

7. Unhealthy dental hygiene

You're exhausted, and your bed is calling you. You convince yourself that it's okay not to brush at night. You risk plaque buildup when you hit the bed without brushing your teeth.

Apart from brushing twice a day, you can get rid of plaque, reduce the risk of cavities, prevent gum diseases, reduce bad breath, and help your heart health by flossing.

Without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can probably reach levels leading to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.

Are you wondering if dental care is expensive and whether it should be a part of your healthcare plan? You can read all about it here.

8. Following irrational dietary habits

In 2019, India ranked 2nd in deaths caused by poor food choices. While burgers, pizzas and the ease of ordering food make us happy, we don't realise the calories it brings.

When you lack vegetables in your diet, you risk getting digestive problems. Many of us hear about a fad diet that miraculously helped a colleague, friend or family member lose/gain weight. Next, we are following the diet without knowing its repercussions. We need to follow a diet that is fruitful (literally) to our bodies.

There are numerous other controllable diet problems that we may want to address: Binge eating, eating when we're not hungry, not eating at the right time, eating leftovers, eating a lot during the festive season and so on.

9. Being a couch potato

According to the National Family Health Survey 5, in 2021, 3.4% of children, 24% of women, and 22.9% of men suffered from obesity. A sedentary lifestyle is one of the biggest reasons for obesity.

A sedentary lifestyle makes you susceptible to type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases. It even increases your chances of developing cancer, dementia, anxiety, depression, and chronic back pain.

To kick this bad habit, all you need to do is:

  • Run, cycle, swim or play an outdoor sport regularly

  • Take the stairs when possible

  • Workout if possible

  • Walk and talk, especially when on the phone

  • Prefer to walk to your nearby grocery store instead of ordering in

  • Do some of your household chores

  • Keep correcting your posture every hour

10. Irregular sleeping habits

As of February 2022, 57% of Indians experienced poor sleep quality. Insomnia or sleep deprivation can transform into memory issues, mood changes, weakened immunity, high risk of diabetes, trouble with concentration, high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease.

Hypersomnia is the other end of the spectrum where one feels excessively sleepy during the day. It can lead to narcolepsy, depression and anxiety, sleep apnea, or other conditions.

To get rid of insomnia or hypersomnia, you need to regulate your sleep cycle, follow a bedtime routine and revisit your sleeping conditions. You may also make use of medication or treatment devices.

While you're kicking your bad healthcare habits, it's time you make a good healthcare habit. Subscribe to Kenko Health Plans and get up to 50% off on doctor consults, medicine expenses, lab tests, daily healthcare and much more.

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