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How to tell if your lifestyle is toxic

written by Vidya Sury November 17, 2011

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Toxic Lifestyle. Can’t say that has a nice ring to it, can you?But it is true. What with the current affinity for the fast food fad and somewhat sedentary lifestyle, more and more people are leading a toxic lifestyle. And you can’t always blame it on technology, right?One of the reasons I write this blog is because I am eager to share all the learning I’ve had the good fortune to absorb, thanks to being a caregiver for several years.There are studies to show that young adults in the 30-40 age group are being diagnosed with heart disease thanks to an unhealthy lifestyle and they will probably die before their parents, unless they decide to make the switch to a healthy habits. Even sadder than this is how the children of these people also look like they’re headed in the same direction.

Can this be reversed? 

Of course. And glad you asked. For the most part, it is as easy as making an improvement in our eating, exercise, and sleep habits. Now think about this: do you need to improve your lifestyle?  Yes, if you agree with the following statements.

– Fast food is your main source of food
– Your computer/phone screen has you mesmerized
– Exercise is not on your list of priorities.
– You don’t believe in regular sleep habits 

But why?

Fair enough. Knowing why will inspire you that much more to plan your lifestyle changes as soon as you can.
Fast food, as you probably know, is perhaps the worst kind of food to eat, especially if you want to improve your health. When you eat those sugary, starchy and fat-rich fast food, you’ll put on weight. This will in turn increase your risk for a series of health problems that includes pre-diabetes and diabetes. Be a regular fan of fast food and you will only be depriving yourself of essential nutrients you need to stay healthy. You also end up loading yourself with empty calories.

How to tell if your lifestyle is toxic

What to do?

Make sure you include healthy foods like nutrient-rich high-fiber carbohydrates, lean protein, low fat dairy and healthy fats into your diet. There is an app to tell you what to include in each of those nutrition categories.

If you find yourself stuck to your screen most of the time and unable to tear yourself away, because you find it so easy to manage your entire existence online, stop to think about it. Get up, stand up. Sitting increases the risk of death by 40%. So rather than let technology take your life over, why not leverage it for your benefit?

Get health tips. Join a support group. Use it to remind you to exercise. Play music as you stretch.

Next – exercise. Moving is an important part of life. See how silly that line sounds? As I said earlier, a sedentary lifestyle is an invitation for health problems. So now is the time to get off that chair/couch and away. Spend at least 20 minutes of cardio or core-strengthening exercise every day. You can start feeling slimmer within the week!

There are easy ways to exercise without going to the gym. If you enjoy the outdoors, here’s what you can do:

–   Jog around the park
–   Biking
–   Walking
–   Use a jump rope
–   Take your pet for a walk
–   Mow your lawn 


–  Get the music on and dance like there’s no tomorrow 
–  Get an exercise or fitness DVD
–  Take the stairs at work
–  Catch up with housework

Regular exercise, healthy diet, what next?

Sleep, of course. We spend one-thirds of our lives sleeping. Did you know that? Get enough sleep. Practice power-napping if you can. If you don’t get enough sleep, you can increase your risk for many health problems like obesity, weak immune system, heart disease, depression, stroke……the list is endless.  Arrange your bedroom in a way that relaxes you and try to get at least eight hours sleep every night.

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Paige | simple mindfulness February 23, 2012 at 7:41 am

Great advice Vidya!

While my diet is great and my daily yoga and meditation practice and walking help me on the exercise front, I’m struggling with my sleep. Having three little kids at home with me while I work is difficult. While I’ve never seen myself as a night owl (I actually prefer getting up early), I’ve found that the time I can get the most work done is between 10pm and 1am. Unfortunately I can’t sleep later in the morning because my 2 year old wakes me up.

While I treasure every day with them, I’m looking forward to getting back to a better sleep schedule.

Thank you for sharing this great advice!

Vidya Sury February 23, 2012 at 7:48 am

Oh, I totally hear you, Paige. It is very tough to work with little children around, because 🙂 I would certainly want to spend time with them, rather than work. I can understand your quandary. When my son was little (I only have one) it was also the time my Mom was diagnosed with lung fibrosis which required us to visit the hospital frequently. The medication also caused complications. I often wonder how we managed those days. Two years later, I got a job when Vidur started playschool – and what I realized is this: it is very easy to compromise personal care.

I sit up late at night because there are zero interruptions too. But I tend to doze a bit in the afternoon – for about half an hour and find that very refreshing. Perhaps you can try doing that – nap with your children. Hugs. Do take care and get enough rest!

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elaine schoch @CarpeTravel.com November 7, 2013 at 6:40 pm

I had no idea that sitting increases the risk of death by 40%. Another good reason to go for a run.

Cher @ Designs by Studio C November 7, 2013 at 11:45 pm

I am absolutely going to take your advice, Vidya! I’m going to incorporate more exercise into my life. I’m tired of the “old lady” aches and pains!!

Tammy November 9, 2013 at 4:25 am

For me it’s the sleeping. THE SLEEPING!!


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