Health / 13.08.2018

5 health mistakes even the experts make

By Beth Gibbons
Make sure you're not falling for any of these

You exercise, eat your five a day and get eight hours’ sleep. But is that enough? Here are the health traps it’s easy to fall into, without realising it.

1. Worrying about ‘The Big C’
Dave Bell, spokesperson for Dementia UK, says: ‘While it’s a good thing that awareness has risen around our risk of getting cancer, dementia actually affects far more people. In fact, it is now the leading cause of death for women in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics. But your lifestyle now can have a major impact on your future risk of developing dementia.’

Read more: 7 ways to reduce your risk of getting Alzheimer’s

2. Avoiding salt at all costs
Lily Soutter, nutritionist, says: ‘Though UK guidelines recommend we consume less than 6g of salt per day (roughly a teaspoon), the aim is not to remove salt from the diet altogether. It’s an incredibly important source of sodium, vital to maintaining fluid balance, and the transmission of nerve impulses. If you don’t consume much processed food, and don’t dine out regularly, a light sprinkle from time to time will help keep your sodium levels optimal. Himalayan salt, a favourite with Instafoodies for its pretty, pink shade, contains 84 minerals and trace elements.’

Read more: The truth about salt

3. Forgetting to protect your hands
Dr Ross Perry, medical director of Cosmedics Skin Clinics, says: ‘In a recent study published in the Journal Of The American Academy Of Dermatology, researchers observed the habits of more than 2000 people applying sunscreen. Just 33 per cent of them applied sunscreen to all exposed skin. The hands are particularly prone to sun damage. Of course, it’s not just wrinkles we need to worry about – skin cancer can affect anywhere on the body. So next time you’re applying SPF to your face, don’t forget your hands.’

4. Lighting up scented candles
Dr Paula Baillie-Hamilton, an expert in environmental health, says: ‘They might boost feelings of wellbeing, but scented candles can release a cocktail of potentially harmful toxins into the air, according to a report by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Frequent inhalation could contribute to the development of cancer, not to mention asthma and other allergies. Look for ones that use natural ingredients – synthetic colours and fragrances can contribute to indoor pollution. If you do light a candle, open a window for ventilation.’

5. Exercising too early
Charlotte Chamberlain, a fitness instructor, says: ‘When you wake up, your body will be stiff, so there’s increased risk of injury. Physiologically speaking, the afternoon is the best time to exercise, as your heart rate and blood pressure are at their lowest. If time is an issue, try working out at a higher intensity for shorter periods. If you have no choice, alternate dawn workouts and hit the sack earlier to give you those all-important eight hours.’

With thanks to Dave Bell, Lily Soutter, and Charlotte Chamberlain

5 health mistakes even the experts make
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5 health mistakes even the experts make
You exercise, eat your five a day and get eight hours’ sleep. But is that enough? Here are the health traps it’s easy to fall into, without realising it.
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Healthy Magazine
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