By: Devin Morrissey
Everything we touch and everything we consume impacts our health, whether we realize it or not. And while there are several behaviors that are universally considered unhealthy, such as smoking and the excessive consumption of sugary beverages, some health risks are hidden in plain sight.
Watch out for the following five health risks that frequently crop up in our day-to-day life.
1. The Segregation of Our Overall Health
Many people make the mistake of separating our body when discussing overall health — sexual health, eye health, and mental health are typically seen as distinct, separate entities. But the truth is that everything is connected, and that’s the biggest lesson you can learn regarding your overall health. Comprehensive preventative health doesn’t leave any part of our bodies behind.
2. Questionable Ingredients in Beauty Products
The FDA has stringent regulations in place regarding medications, so it’s only logical to assume that they have the same high standards when it comes to beauty products. Sadly, however, that’s not necessarily the case, and some common ingredients found in makeup, soap, and other beauty products may be negatively impacting your health.
Many Americans are aware that asbestos has been under fire for decades, as the substance is known to cause cancer. Unfortunately, the use of asbestos is not illegal in the U.S., according to legal professionals. In fact, about 340 metric tons of the fiber was imported to the U.S. in 2016. It remains a common ingredient in some brands of makeup as well as fertilizer and alkaline batteries.
3. Binge Watching
“Netflix and chill” has become part of life in the digital age, and it’s negatively impacting our overall health. One of the adverse effects of binge watching is that it keeps us sedentary — that is, planted on our couches for hours at a time.
A sedentary lifestyle may cause high blood pressure, obesity, insomnia, and even depression. Fortunately, it’s also one of the simplest daily habits to remedy. Break up your binge watching marathon with 20- to 30-minute intervals of activity, such as walking around the block or doing some low-impact yoga.
4. Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)
With all the hype surrounding breast cancer awareness, you may believe that it’s the leading cause of death among American adults. However, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is actually No. 1. The mostly preventable condition contributes to the death of about 610,000 people annually.
CVD can occur for a variety of reasons, many of which are directly related to your lifestyle and everyday habits. To reduce your risk of developing CVD, medical professionals recommend that you maintain an active lifestyle, avoid tobacco products and alcohol, and drop your poor dietary habits.
Along with improving heart health, cultivating a healthy mindset and lifestyle holds additional benefits. It can give you a leg up in the fight against cancer, as well as elevate your mood and lower your blood pressure.
5. Painkillers with a “Gateway” Effect
The last several years has seen cases of opioid dependency evolve from a troublesome problem into a veritable epidemic. A strong, dependable sedative with pain relieving properties, opioids are cultivated and/or synthesized from the opium poppy plant.
They are also highly addictive. Commonly prescribed opioid-based pain medications include oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine. These medications can be misused by patients who take more than the recommended dose as well as by those who are taking someone else’s prescription.
Unfortunately for those who end up addicted to prescription opiates, that dependency can open up the floodgates to stronger substances like heroin and fentanyl. Researchers postulate that doctors and nurses who advocate non-narcotic pain management techniques may hold the key to ending prescription opiate addiction.
The majority of Americans believe that we embody healthy living in the course of our daily lives, but perhaps we’re deluding ourselves. Research shows that we’re not as healthy as we think we are. Healthier living is within reach, however. Remaining aware of our bodies and habits, coupled with dedication and the desire to change unhealthy behaviors, gives us the necessary tools to successfully navigate the risks inherent in everyday life.