Most of us have a desire to be fit and healthy. However, our hectic lives can often get in the way of living up to that potential, leading us to find quick shortcuts on our path to health and wellness.
Unfortunately, some companies capitalise on this desire to be healthy and promote false promises of weight loss and remedies for illnesses, leading many to spend hundreds on things that may do them more harm than good, rather than investing in habits that will benefit them in the long-term.
Below, we explore five health misconceptions and how they can be doing more to empty your wallet than make you healthy.
The more expensive the gym, the better it is
While luxury gyms can make you feel pampered and guilt-trip you into working out due to their high monthly membership fees, they’re actually not that much better at getting you in shape compared to cheaper alternatives.
For instance, not only do cheaper public gyms provide almost all the same machines and classes you’ll need to get in shape, some of the most effective exercises don’t even require fancy equipment.
Unless you’re going to be using the sauna on a daily basis, these expensive gyms may not be worth their expensive fees.
Instead, there are plenty of effective ways to get daily exercise without spending a fortune.
There are tonnes of free workout guides and videos online if you want to workout at home. You can also take advantage of the gym at your apartment residence, use the swimming pool or play tennis at the courts there.
Supplements and high doses of vitamins can heal anything
Ever since scientist Linus Pauling started the vitamin and supplement craze in the 1970s, people have been spending billions on vitamins as a way to prevent or treat every illness under the sun.
However, taking too many vitamins can do more harm than good as studies reveal that certain vitamins when taken in high doses can actually lead to adverse health effects.
For instance, a 2005 study from John Hopkins School of Medicine found an increased risk of death in people who took high doses of vitamin E supplements compared to those who didn’t.
While taking supplements when you have certain nutrient deficiencies can be beneficial, you should ensure that the supplements won’t interact negatively with your current medications, that your dosage is safe and that each vitamin’s potency and ingredients can be verified.
You should only eat organic food
With fears of pesticides, antibiotics and hormones infecting our food, people may feel like their everyday groceries are not safe to eat.
Before you begin to exclusively eat organic foods, remember that food safety regulations in your country do restrict many harmful chemicals and additives in both domestic and imported foods.
There are only a handful of foods that really need to be bought organic due to their prevalence of having pesticide residue. This means you don’t have to spend exorbitant amounts of money buying everything “organic” to stay healthy.
Fad diets can help you lose weight fast
Every year there is a new diet that promises fast weight loss from the fairly safe vegan and paleo diets to extreme calorie restrictive liquid diets.
However, while some diets can be safe when done properly, others that tout miracle cures often end up doing more harm than good.
For instance, diets that include eating only one type of food can lead to yo-yo dieting: a cycle of dieting and binging that leads to serious negative health risks.
Yo-yo dieting has been linked to nutrient deficiencies, weight gain and all sorts of health problems including heart disease and high blood pressure.
Not only will these diseases drastically affect your quality of life, they are chronic conditions that can cost hundreds of dollars per year to treat.
The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to maintain a balanced and well-portioned diet full of fresh greens, fruits, healthy proteins and whole grains.
Weight loss pills are effective alternatives to diet and exercise
After studies showed an increased risk of disease in those who are overweight, weight loss has become an integral part of staying healthy for many individuals.
But when there is no time to go to the gym or cook healthy meals, many often resort to weight loss supplements to try and shed the extra pounds.
These supplements can be expensive and unfortunately many are ineffective. There are also those that can harm your health.
Instead, use the money on healthy food options or take exercise classes to shed the extra weight.
Not buying supplemental health insurance because you’re healthy
When you are healthy, it is easy to dismiss the necessity of private health insurance. However, those who are considering getting private insurance should consider purchasing a plan earlier rather than later in life for a few reasons.
First, buying health insurance when you are healthy will mean lower premiums. Second, any chronic conditions you develop down the line will be covered.
This article first appeared in thenewsavvy.com
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