Health isn’t just about what we eat and how much we exercise. It’s also about the practical day to day ways we look after our bodies. Many of the most important things we can do to ensure that our bodies stay functional into old age are often considered too simple to make it into health magazines or national health campaigns. Yet many of us completely forget about them to our perils. Here’s a few healthy habits that we all should get into and stick with.
Baz Luhrmann of Moulin Rouge fame also once made a chart topping hit reminding us that Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen. Most of us now remember to wear the stuff when we go to the beach, but it’s often forgotten other times when it’s needed just as much. Covering exposed skin when going out in the sun, even if we’re just walking to the shops, is important to help us avoid skin cancer. Skin cancer rates continue to rise, and protecting yourself from this potentially fatal disease is important. It’s not just about applying sunscreen however – you need to ensure that you’re using the correct amount, the correct factor and at regular intervals. Advice for beach goers is a golf-ball size portion every two hours. How many of us actually use remember to use that much protection?
While it’s nice to come back from holiday with a tan, it’s better to be safer in the long run and get a lighter tan using a higher factor sun screen. Go for a SPF of at least 15, and if you want to be extra cautious go even higher. Factors up to 50 are available in most chemists.
We all know that fans of heavy metal music who regularly attend concerns tend to lose their hearing young. But we’re all susceptible to noise-induced hearing loss from listening to loud music on headphones, working around loud equipment or getting too close to the gigantic speakers at gigs.
Even a single event can lead to permanent hearing loss or deterioration, but typically long term exposure is the problem. If you find yourself listening to music too loud it might be because you’re earphones aren’t particularly good. Better quality earphones, also known as IEMs, block out external sounds and allow you to hear more of the music at much lower volumes. If you haven’t used them before then you’re in for a treat: listening to music you thought you knew well with really high quality IEMs often reveals elements that you’d never heard on the track before. Plus, by listening to the music at lower volumes, you’ll be helping your hearing.
If you work with loud machines or in a loud environment invest in ear plugs. They’re cheap, they fit into even the smallest pockets, and can be taken in and out with ease. They might look a bit silly, but chances are no one will even notice unless they try to speak to you with them in. You’ll be protecting your hearing allowing you to enjoy listening to things long into your retirement.
Brushing your teeth twice daily is something that dentists have been recommending for years. But still a fifth of us aren’t following their advice. While fillings are available, other problems created by bad dental hygiene aren’t so easy to fix. Worse still dental treatment is far more expensive than the cost of keeping our teeth clean in the first place, plus involves pain and inconvenience. Brushing need only take a few minutes, so get it into your regular schedule now to protect your future health. Flossing is also important – some recommend flossing as often as daily, but even doing this weekly will help ensure your teeth stay healthy.
This post was contributed by Jenny Cooper. Jenny works for Monkey.co.uk – you can use their website to compare health insurance prices. Jenny can be contacted on Twitter, @Monkey_Jenny