By now you've probably seen hundreds of articles about the importance of exercise and diet, and you've probably implemented some healthy habits into your daily routine. You may go on a diet to lose a couple extra pounds or undertake a cardiovascular exercise to lower your heart rate. In either cases, these are health habits that we think about everyday. However, there are health habits that usually fall through the cracks because their effects are not directly visible to us. But trust me, you'll kick yourself in the future for ignoring them now. While you can always lose a couple of pounds by going on a diet or running off the calories, these forgotten few habits, if not adhered to now, can cause permanent damage.
1. Protect your hearing
The only time we ever really worry about our hearing is after we've lost them. While some aspects of hearing loss may be hereditary, it's a fact that exposure to excessive noise invariably damage your ear drums and is the number one cause of hearing loss among young adults. Noise induced hearing loss or tinnitus can be temporary and can cause ringing in your ears for hours after the exposure, but they can also lead to permanent damage. If you don't want to deal with hearing aids when you're older, it would be wise to protect your hearing now. Limit the volume you set on your headphones, take a break from listening to loud music, and don't forget to wear ear plugs the next time you're going to a concert. Hearing loss may not be something you worry about now, but by the time you do begin to worry, chances are, it'll already be too late.
2. Protect your teeth
Not protecting your teeth now can lead to potentially serious and very expensive procedures (and painful as well). At first, minor problems like tartar and gingivitis may occur, but eventually you may contract inflammatory diseases like periodontitis, which cause all your teeth to fall out. In any case, be sure to visit the dentist every 6 months to a year for cleaning, and don't forget to floss as well as brush your teeth to avoid cavities.
3. Protect your skin
Prolonged and intense sun exposure can lead to skin cancer. Skin cancer rates and melanoma diagnosis have continually risen in the past decade. Whether you're going to the beach or taking a stroll outside, it would be wise to apply sunscreen to protect your skin. Look for sunscreens with SPF between 15 and 50, and you should look for sunscreens that provide both UVA and UVB protection.
4. Get more sleep
While the common saying goes 'you can sleep when you're dead,' you better hope your lack of sleep doesn't cause the death itself. Studies show that sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Research also suggests that getting the right amount of sleep every night can even lower your death rate. Quality sleep is more important than the quantity, and readjusting your sleep cycle is not an easy task. To get more quality sleep, reduce screen time before bed, exercise during the day, and perhaps think about investing in sleep tracking applications to gauge your sleep.