We’re all guilty of justifying our bad habits, whether it’s being late to appointments or sneaking our number-coded cars out on the road and dodging the police. But now that another year’s coming to a close, it’s time to start rethinking all these excuses we’ve been making, especially when it comes to our health. After all, we’re not getting any younger, and the junk food and cigarettes are bound to catch up with us sometime soon.
We’ve compiled some common excuses we make about our health and the reasons these just don’t fly anymore. Which of these can you relate to? We challenge you to get a head start on your New Year’s resolutions by ditching these bad habits today!
1. “I can catch up on sleep when I’m older.”
You’ve got a big night out planned with your friends—so what if you have to wake up early for work the next day? That’s well and good if done as a one-off, but when you often find yourself tired and irritable, it may be a sign you’re not getting the amount of sleep you need. Not only does sleep deprivation cause sluggishness and mood swings, but research indicates that it also affects your memory, puts you at risk of serious health disorders, and in some cases, causes accidents. You don’t need to give up your late nights completely, but prioritize your commitments and be sure to get enough rest so you’re functioning at your best more often than not.
2. “I’ll just run off the fries/chips/pizza later.”
Junk food is delicious, and, yes, it’s convenient. But there’s no denying that it’s bad for your health, and no amount of exercise is going to cancel that out. The yummy deep-fried food that you find yourself craving is filled with chemicals and preservatives that affect your hormones and digestion. They also put your heart, liver, and kidney at risk and increase your chance of developing diseases like diabetes and cancer. So the next time you’re at the grocery, put down those chips in favor of fruits and veggies. You should also start bringing packed lunches to work with you.
3. “It says ‘diet’ anyway.”
Do you try to get around the “junk food isn’t good for you” rule by opting for diet alternatives of your favorite snacks and sodas? Don’t be fooled by the advertising. Diet sodas may have fewer calories than their regular counterparts, but the artificial sweeteners used in place of sugar are in no way your friends. Fox News reveals some of the downsides of diet soda, which include weight gain, headaches, and risk of diabetes and depression. Instead of downing those liters of diet soda by the bulk, opt for fresh fruit juice—or if you want something fat-, sodium- and sugar-free, stick to water.
4. “I’m tired. I’ll exercise tomorrow.”
Ever find yourself promising to get started on your exercise habit, only to welsh on it when the time comes? Don’t. Regular exercise has more benefits than getting you to sweat off those pounds. According to the Mayo Clinic, it builds up your resistance to diseases, makes you happier and more energetic, and improves your quality of sleep, not to mention your sex life! If those reasons aren’t enough, it can even give you and your loved ones something to bond over. So tie on those rubber shoes, get your butt off the couch, and get your heart pumping.
5. “I’ve had a bad day, and I need another smoke/drink to de-stress.”
When you living a hectic lifestyle, it’s easy to get caught up in nicotine and alcohol, especially when your peers are also into it. These vices may give you that initial lift or high, but they do more bad than good. You’ve no doubt heard about the dangers of smoking and drinking—how these take a toll not only on your organs, but your entire well-being and that of others’ too. There’s no better time to quit than now. If you need to unwind, why not take up a new hobby or, better yet, learn a different sport? That way, you can cross two things off this list in one go!