Health Mistakes You Make Every Day
By Paige Fowler
Your day is fraught with peril—from the dumbphone that bloops while you’re driving to the NSFW website that beckons at 3 p.m. Those risks you know. How about these?
7 A.M. You Brush Just After Breakfast
Brushing after eating acidic foods-especially fruit and juice-can weaken enamel, says Mark Wolff, D.D.S., Ph.D., of NYU College of Dentistry. That may lead to discoloration or greater odds of cracks and chips.
Rinse And Wait: Didn’t brush before eating? Swish with water and wait 40 minutes for the calcium in your saliva to remineralize weakened areas. Then brush.
PLUS: Diagnose every pop, crack, and whistle before they become something worse with these 6 Weird Body Noises Explained.
8:30 A.M. You Commute with the Windows Open
Air pollution on highways can be up to 10 times what it is in the burbs, says Scott Fruin, D.Env., an environmental health researcher at USC. Diesel fumes may contribute to headaches, cancer, and heart disease.
Recirculate: Shut the windows and hit “recirc” on your AC. Doing this can cut your particulate pollution exposure fourfold, one of Dr. Fruin’s studies found.
1 P.M. You Microwave Your Lunch in Plastic
BPA-free? It’s better, but not perfect. Phthalates can still leach into your food, potentially damaging sperm and altering hormones, says Germaine Buck Louis, Ph.D., a director at the National Institutes of Health.
Go for Glass: Transfer food to glass before nuking it, or warm it on the stove at home and pack it in a stainless-steel thermos to keep it hot. (TRY THIS: Frozen entrees can help you avoid overeating because the calorie-control work is done for you. These Healthiest Frozen Meals are rich in protein and fiber—and actually taste good.)
7:30 P.M. You Drive Home After Happy Hour
People with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of just .01 percent-well below the .08 legal limit-are 46 percent more likely to cause a crash than drivers who are totally sober, a UC San Diego study reveals.
Chew Before Brews: Cut your BAC by 30 percent by eating beforehand, says Aaron White, Ph.D., of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
DID YOU KNOW? A beer and sausage diet? It’s just one of the Weird Diets That Actually Work.
10.30 P.M. You Check Your Work E-Mail Before Bed
Managers who use their smartphone for work after 9 p.m. wake up groggy, a University of Florida study found. And a large Singaporean study shows that too little sleep can raise your odds of dying of stroke.
Power Down: Keep the charging station out of the bedroom, and turn off e-mail notifications after 9 p.m. If it’s an emergency, someone will call.
PLUS: Set your body on snooze control with this guide to Sleep Right, Tonight.