From workouts to healthy diets, many of us make an effort to look after ourselves. However, we could be compromising our health on a daily basis without even knowing it. From carrying heavy handbags to wearing crippling heels, here are the top five female habits you should try to break.
1. Wearing heels
More and more of us are opting to wear heels on a daily basis, and this could be bad news for our health. High heels affect our posture, put pressure on joints, and can lead to a range of conditions including arthritis, hammer toes, back pain and tendon injuries — and that's before you take into account any heel-related accidents! To minimise damage, limit your heels to 1.5 inches for daily wear, and wear insoles to help reduce the pressure on joints.
2. Carrying a heavy handbag
With the rising number of gadgets and accessories the majority of women haul around, many of us are carrying around several pounds of weight on our shoulders every day. As a result, lots of us are also putting our long term health at risk. While you may not feel the effects right now, lugging around a heavy handbag can lead to serious back problems and neck pain as well as poor posture. Don't wait until the damage is done — do your health a favour and try clearing out all non-essential items and switching to a smaller bag.
3. Matching men drink for drink
From networking drinks to first dates and social events, there are many instances when women may feel compelled to keep up with the drinking habits of the opposite sex. However, women not only tend to weigh less than men but they have less body water to dilute the alcohol, which means they tend to get more drunk more quickly. To minimise the risks of alcohol on your health, try to keep within the recommended guidelines for alcohol consumption and alternate alcohol with soft drinks.
4. Obsessing over appearance
While both genders suffer from body insecurity, many women tend to overly obsess over their idea of the "perfect" body. Research findings published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology found that 16 per cent of the normal or underweight women studied believed themselves to be overweight, while a study commissioned by Dove found that 90 per of women wanted to change at least one aspect of their appearance. Body insecurity not only affects our mental health, but it can also lead to physical damage caused by extreme diets, yo-yo dieting, eating disorders and cosmetic surgery.
5. Emotional eating
While comfort eating affects both genders, research has suggested that men are more likely to reinforce positive emotions with food, while women comfort eat when they're sad. Women are also more likely to satisfy their cravings with sweet, high calorie foods. Rather than letting your waistline suffer next time you're feeling blue, try distracting yourself from cravings by doing something you enjoy, or boost your endorphins and health with an uplifting workout.
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