Smoking is branded as one of the most lethal activities we can succumb into, and this consensus does not lie. Smoking is found to be related to cancer and cardiovascular diseases. So we don’t smoke and we steer clear from anything related to it and we might think that we generally live a healthy life.
However, even if smoking cigars is not part of our daily consumption, there are still many things that we do on a regular basis that is as dangerous as smoking. Researchers found six habits that are just as dangerous as smoking. These habits can either expose us to the same contaminants found in cigars or these can promote obesity. But these habits can be modified to achieve a healthier lifestyle.
Sometimes we spend more time working on our desk jobs than working towards a healthier life. We sometimes sit 8-10 hours a day to meet all the deadlines and to get the job done. We might have accomplished our daily tasks, but we become more vulnerable to a variety of health problems. According to Alberta Health Services-Cancer Care in Canada, inactivity is linked to nearly 160,000 cases of breast, colon, prostate, and lung cancer every year, about two-thirds as many cancer cases caused by smoking.
Modify it: Leaving our desk jobs to go to the gym is not a very practical solution. We have to make conscious efforts to move even if we are at work. Take a hike going to work or going home. Walk and stroll around during quick breaks. Standing up while doing some typing is also a good modification in the workplace. Incorporate running or swimming on off days. Even 30-minute yoga before hitting the bed can do so much for our health.
Cooking with Natural Gas
Majority of the households prepare meals on a gas stove. We thought that this was okay. Researchers later found out that cooking in natural gas can add carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and formaldehyde in every meal. These three contaminants are also common in secondhand cigarette smoke.
Modify it: Cooking in an open-air or installing good ventilation in the kitchen can reduce these pollutants up to 60-90 percent.
Overconsumption of meat and cheese
There are reasons why people are shifting to vegetarian or vegan diets. Aside from animal cruelty advocacy, people want to avoid a certain hormone found in animal protein. This is the IGF-1 and it is a growth hormone that promotes the growth of cancer cells. A study from the University of Southern California found out that people on high-animal-protein diets during middle age were four times more likely to die of cancer.
Modify it: There are many vegetables and plant-based food that are also high in protein that isn’t rich in IGF-1. Experiment on cooking with beans, it has equivalent protein levels to some meats but will not increase cancer rates.
Cooking with the WRONG oil
Oils, unlike what we used to hear, are actually healthy. If we choose the right oil. Studies show that vegetable oil in the U.S. releases a particular matter, aldehydes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These compounds are found in cigarette smoke. We may not inhale it but we are still putting it inside our body.
Modify it: Use the correct cooking oil when cooking. Olive oil is healthy but it is not for high-heat cooking, so better not using it when frying food. Avocado oil, on the other hand, is great for high-heat cooking.
Tanning never seems to get old. Celebrities or not, Westerners sure do have a thing for this activity. A recent study shows that indoor tanning causes up to an annual 420,000 cases of skin cancer in U.S. alone. Smoking on the other hand only reported 226,000 cases of lung cancer.
Modify it: Try to have a healthy tanning experience under the sun with the right amount of SPF.
Not getting enough sleep can make us cranky and moody. We think that coffee can fix all the all-nighters but something is happening on the inside that no coffee can fix. Chronic sleep deprivations trigger high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and obesity. One study even found that not getting at least six or seven hours of sleep led to mortality rates on par with those seen in cigarette smokers.
Modify it: Try to schedule a consistent sleeping pattern. Turn off any mobile devices 30 minutes before hitting the sack to avoid any disturbances that can affect the body’s ability to snooze.