6 lies you should NEVER tell your doctor

by TNN

black woman hospital

More often than not, obese people consider themselves a ‘healthy’ size and too many of us are blissfully unaware of the true impact our lifestyles are having on our health.

1. Running after the kids is enough exercise

Reality check
You are risking your health by failing to get enough exercise.

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If finding 30 minutes a day seems daunting, break it into five or 10-minute segments. Use ad breaks while you’re watching TV as triggers. Do a set of squats or lunges, push-ups and abdominal crunches four or five times across the evening and you will have racked up a decent workout. Get outside. Research shows exercising outside can burn up to 30 per cent more calories than doing the same workout indoors. Studies also prove that those who exercise in the morning are 75 per cent more likely to be exercising a year later.

2. Red wine is good for me

Reality check
We underestimate how much we drink. Excessive drinking not only affects the liver, it also increases your risk of cancer, heart disease, weight gain and addiction.

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Total up how many units you are really getting through in a week. You will need to measure your alcohol to do this properly. But, as an example, 250 ml of 13 per cent ABV wine works out at 3.25 units, and a woman’s daily recommended intake is only two to three units.

Stop topping up, both, at home and when you are out. It is impossible to work out how much you have drunk and you will simply kid yourself thinking that you have guzzled far less than you actually have. Try low-alcohol wines instead of your usual tipple.

3. My eyes don’t need testing

Reality check
Even those blessed with 20/20 vision should have an eye test, because it could prove to be a lifesaver. An eye specialist can not only detect potential sight-threatening problems, such as glaucoma, but may also spot signs of serious health conditions, including ¬hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and even a brain tumour.

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All adults should have a full eye examination, with follow-up tests, about every two years. Age increases the risk of cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration but, if detected early, these can be slowed or halted.

4. I am not overweight, but big boned

Reality check
More often than not, obese people consider themselves a ‘healthy’ size and too many of us are blissfully unaware of the true impact our lifestyles are having on our health. Get your partner or a close friend to take a photo of you in your underwear, work out your body mass index, or measure your waist. A waist measurement of 80 cm (32 in) means you are at increased risk of suffering from heart disease and type 2 diabetes while the risk really escalates with measurements above 88 cm (35 in).

Polish the halo
Consider joining a slimming class. Studies show you are three times more likely to be successful with the help and support of others. Write down everything you eat. In studies, those who kept a food diary lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t. Slow down. Food-bolters are more likely to overeat, say scientists, who believe eating quickly stops the release of a hormone that tells the brain when the stomach is full. Use a smaller dinner plate. The average portion sizes have increased by 25-50 per cent over the past 30 years, say nutritionists. As a guide, cooked rice, pasta, potatoes or noodles should be the size of your fist, red meat should only be as big as your palm, chicken or fish your whole hand, while a portion of cheese should be the size of a small matchbox.

5. I can get by with five hours of sleep

Reality check
Studies have linked sleep loss to increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and breast cancer. Hormonal changes caused by sleep deprivation can also alter metabolism, triggering weight gain.

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We all need different amounts of sleep. If you get six hours, but stay alert during the day, then that’s enough for you. If you wake up feeling tired, then you’re not getting enough restorative sleep. Turn in early rather than opting for a lie-in next morning. Earlier sleep tends to be more refreshing, as it contains more slow-wave sleep, which is good for repairing and building your body’s defences. If you are going through a spell of disturbed sleep, brush up on sleep hygiene. Make sure your bedroom is not too hot, your bed is comfortable and you allow 30 minutes of winddown time before turning in.

6. I’m not really a smoker

Reality check
Women who smoke as little as just one cigarette a day put themselves at higher risk of dying suddenly from a heart attack, researchers warn. And smoking one to four cigarettes every day makes you five times more vulnerable to contracting lung cancer, according to scientists from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo.

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Change your diet. Studies show that some foods, including meat, make cigarettes more satisfying while others — including cheese, fruit and vegetables — can make cigarettes taste terrible. Change your drink. Fizzy drinks, alcohol, cola, tea and coffee all, apparently, make cigarettes more appealing. So try drinking more water and juice instead. A craving can last five minutes, so make a list of coping strategies — brush your teeth, get on the Internet or even phone a friend. Exercise (even a quick five minute walk or stretch) cuts cravings and may even help you produce anti-craving brain chemicals.


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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

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