Have you ever felt like you were doing everything right for your health, but still not seeing the results you want? Without realizing many people have developed unhealthy habits over time, which can lead to long-term health problems if left unchecked.
In this expert roundup, you’ll learn about the health mistakes that people make in their daily lives, which can negatively impact their physical and mental well-being.
From poor nutrition and lack of exercise to bad sleep habits and neglecting mental health, our experts will share their experiences and insights on how to avoid these common pitfalls.
We hired Minuca Elena to reach out to 80 health professionals including doctors, nutritionists, fitness trainers, and health coaches who have dedicated their lives to helping people live healthier, happier lives. We asked each of these experts a simple question:
What are the most common health mistakes people make?
Whether you’re looking to improve your diet, exercise routine, or overall well-being, this roundup is packed with valuable information and advice.
We’ll also provide practical tips and advice on how to break the current unhealthy habits you may have and develop new, healthier ones.
By becoming aware of these common health mistakes and taking action to address them, you can improve your overall health and well-being and live a happier, healthier life.
So without further ado, let’s dive into what these 80 experts had to say about the biggest health mistakes people often make.
Robert Herbst – Weight Lifter USA
The most common health mistakes people make all stem from ignoring the advice our mother gave us when we were children. She told us to go outside and play, eat our vegetables, turn off the television, and go to bed.
We now know that we should be physically active and that too much sitting is as much a morbidity factor as cigarette smoking. Being in nature lowers stress and improves brain health by causing the formation of new neural connections.
We also know that too much junk food leads to obesity and that a clean diet that includes lean meats and vegetables is heart-healthy and supplies protein and antioxidants.
We know that too much screen time affects our vision and posture, decreases our attention span, and disturbs our sleep.
We also know that one should get seven and a half hours sleep a night to prevent obesity, diabetes, and dementia.
Mom was right as confirmed by science. It is not too late to follow her advice to improve our health. We should also think fondly of her on Mother’s Day.
Dr. Juli Kramer – Radiant Shenti
1. Drinking cold drinks and eating cold foods all year long
Summertime brings up images of eating ice cream and drinking cold lemonade. This season is the perfect time for such things.
However, when someone eats or drinks too many cold items, their digestive energy weakens. As a result, they cannot absorb vital nutrients to keep their bodies nourished and healthy.
Ideally, in spring and summer, food should be lightly cooked by steaming or stir-frying. Adding more raw fruits and vegetables and cold items is fine.
In the fall and winter, all food should be cooked using longer cooking methods. Great foods include soups, stews, and roasted foods. Beverages should be at room temperature or warmer.
Consuming cold foods and drinks, when it is cold outside, puts extra stress on digestion.
The spleen and stomach must work harder, which uses energy that should be used to keep the body warm.
Therefore, the immune system weakens leaving people prone to illness and disease.
2. Doing one long period of exercise instead of moving throughout the day
People are bombarded with images and articles about working out hard for 30 minutes or more each day.
Current research, as well as over 3000 years of recommendations from Qigong masters, offers different advice.
People should do some form of exercise or massage at least every hour. Every 30 minutes is better.
Some examples include balancing on one leg, massaging the eyes and ears, walking 100 steps, and/or doing some stretching. Hundreds of Qigong exercises inspire and make this frequent movement easy.
Moving throughout the day keeps you healthier because you support lymphatic drainage, improve circulation of blood and energy, and strengthen your digestion, which is essential for proper nutrient absorption.
Dr. Sara Mikulsky
Here are three common health mistakes people make
1. Not treating pain
Pain tells us that something in the body is not right. But often we think the pain will “just go away.”
However, ignoring pain that lasts longer than 3 days can lead to long term health issues or injuries. If your pain feels muscular, meaning it only hurts with movement, seeking advice from a physical therapist can help.
A PT can refer you out to the correct medical provider or prescribe exercises that will combat the pain.
2. Exercising incorrectly
If you have never exercised before nor have a background in health sciences, it is probably a promising idea to seek a professional’s help.
Collaborating with a certified personal trainer or physical therapist will provide you with a customized program, designed to target weak or tight areas of your body.
This will help improve your outcomes, prevent injury, and improve posture.
3. Working with bad ergonomics
Many of us spend long hours at our computers and desk. And working in a non-ergonomic design can lead to back pain, neck pain, or wrist injuries overtime.
We can also develop eye strain or repetitive stress injuries that can nag us for years.
Seeking the advice of an ergonomic specialist or physical therapist can provide you with a proper desk or computer design, specified to your body type. This will help improve concentration, reduce pain, and elevate efficiency.
Dr. Matt Tanneberg – Body Check Chiropractic & Sports Rehabilitation
One of the most common health mistakes I see people make is that they don’t pay enough attention to their posture.
Bad posture, especially when it is repeated day in and day out, leads to health complications and associated pain.
Slouching provides an unhealthy balance of muscle fatigue (which over time will lead to spasm) and muscle elongation (which over time will lead to atrophy), this counteractive process creates a ‘muscle memory’ that our bodies will get used to over time.
The longer it takes to correct and start to fix the issues, the harder they become to fix.
The wear and tear that is associated with slouching begin to damage the joints or spine, leading to early joint degeneration.
Dr. Turner Osler – QOR360
The most common health mistake people make is sitting passively, slumped in front of a monitor, for most of their waking hours.
Not only does one’s posture suffer, but one’s core muscles atrophy.
The result is that 80% of Americans develop back pain severe enough to seek professional help.
Worse, sitting passively distorts our metabolism, leading to a decrease in lipoprotein lipase and subsequent elevation of blood cholesterol and glucose.
Over time the result is obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and lives shortened by as much as two years.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. By making sitting active, rather than passive, the harms of sitting all day can be largely mitigated.
Active sitting is achieved by creating chairs that require subtle moment-to-moment movement to stay balanced while seated.
The result is better posture, a stronger core, and less back pain.
Even better, it’s recently been discovered that even briefly interrupting passive sitting with 2-minute “movement snacks” every 30 minutes can dramatically improve blood chemical markers.
So it’s likely that active sitting will improve the metabolic harms of passive sitting as well.
Elizabeth Girouard – Pure Simple Wellness
As a health coach who works with women over 45 to get off the yo-yo dieting rollercoaster, the top health mistakes I see are:
Most people don’t follow the suggestion to drink ½ your body weight in ounces of water to stay hydrated each day. And, if you are not drinking enough water, you can mistake thirst for hunger which can lead to overeating.
2. Calorie restriction
Often people believe they need to severely reduce their calories to lose weight and this can cause muscle loss and slow down their metabolism.
When you go off your calorie-restricted diet, this can cause you to regain your weight. A slow and steady approach yields long-term sustainable results.
3. Label claims
Unfortunately, the information on the front of a food label doesn’t always tell the full story. Instead of believing the marketing hype, turn the package over and read the ingredient list and check the serving size.
If you can’t visualize the ingredients, then the food probably doesn’t fit within your healthy lifestyle.
Sleep is often the first thing to go away when you are busy. However, for most adults, a minimum of seven hours is critical for your body to repair and support your cognitive functioning.
Consistent lack of sleep can also impact your immune system and leave you at a higher risk for disease.
As we age, the high-intensity cardio of our 20s is no longer the best choice. Weight training is critical as you age as you can lose around 3% of your muscle mass each decade after 35.
The CDC suggests all adults do strength training at least twice a week and 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week.
1. Allowing too much stress to creep in
We can all have difficult periods in our lives but allowing stress to become constant can impact your health. Being continually stressed can leave you at risk of serious health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
Learn mindful activities that can help. Deep breathing, meditation, yoga, practising being present are all great strategies.
2. Not including enough fat in your diet
Many people avoid fat due to a misconception that fat makes you fat. But Omega 3 fatty acids and medium chain fats as found in coconut oil are needed for good cell growth. Of course, as with everything, include them in moderation. Avocados, olive oil, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds are all good examples.
3. Not keeping up with your health checks
Don’t wait for symptoms to appear when in some cases it may be too late. Keeping up with recommended health checks is good sense. As they say, prevention is the best cure. Visit your doctor to find out the checks that you should be doing.
4. Not getting skin checks
In Australia and NZ melanoma is particularly prevalent. Early diagnosis is important so no matter which country you’re in, get your skin checked regularly.
Oftentimes, people make mistakes with their health that they think are a good thing, but are actually compounding the issue.
One example is starvation or calorie restriction. Yes, it is true you can lose when you eat fewer calories, however, there is a fine balance when doing so. Too few calories can result in plateauing and not seeing a shift in weight loss.
Additionally, If someone goes all day without eating, they are actually slowing down their metabolism. The reason is, the body tends to go into starvation mode as it is then unsure when it is getting another meal and will break down meals more slowly.
On top of this, not eating regular consistently small meals also throughout the day impacts blood sugar levels and energy. This can lead to someone being hypoglycemic.
The better approach would be to eat small balanced meals and snacks mixed with healthy carbs, proteins, and fats every 2-4 hours, as well as stay hydrated throughout the day!
This will result in good energy, blood sugar balance, healthy weight loss, and excreting toxins through urine.
Liz Cook – OnPoint Nutrition
As a registered dietitian, one of the most common health mistakes I see people make is focusing too heavily on calories.
So many people who set out to lose weight and get healthier put so much of their focus on the number of calories they consume, and neglect other important factors.
Placing too much of a focus on calories takes away the consideration of the quality of food you are putting into your body. While quantity is important, quality cannot be forgotten.
In theory, you can meet your daily calorie needs by eating chips and cookies all day.
On the flip side, you can meet your daily calorie needs by eating a variety of fruit, veggies, complex carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats. The health outcomes associated with these two diets are very different.
Another issue with a fixation on calories is an all-too-common issue where I see people continually focused on eating fewer and fewer calories.
This can lead to undereating to a point where it is essentially impossible to continue eating less to lose weight.
Our bodies are smart, our metabolisms adapt, and simply eating as little as possible is not effective.
People often have black-and-white thinking when it comes to their opinions about healthy eating. And that’s a mistake. We don’t need to eat perfectly all the time to be healthy. I like to subscribe to the 80-20 rule—try to eat healthy most of the time.
Another common health mistake is thinking that what you eat matters more than how much you eat. I’d say that they both matter. All foods can, indeed, fit, but if you eat too much that can be a problem. Nuts, for example, are very healthy. But eating the entire jar is not.
While cookies are not the healthiest foods (unless you make them with super ingredients) it is perfectly OK to indulge in one cookie once in a while.
People often also think that if one nutrient is good for you (carbs, for example), then the other is bad for you (fat, for example.) In truth, there are healthy carbs and healthy fats. The solution is being balanced as opposed to all-or-nothing.
Pam Sherman – The Perfect Balance
Let’s talk about the most common health mistakes people make!
You cannot out exercise a bad diet. At my heaviest weight, I was a marathon runner. I ate too much food and gained weight. Your body doesn’t work like that. Your weight is all about the food. Period.
Thinking they will get bulky muscles if they lift weights/strength train. It will not happen ever. We lose muscle as we age- this is why so many seniors break bones when they fall.
No muscle is protecting their bones. Start regular strength training and never stop! Your future self thanks you!
Going for the quick fix for weight loss. It will work. Until you stop doing it. Lasting weight loss requires a lifestyle change and a calorie deficit. Eat real food, prioritize protein, go on daily walks, strength train and get enough sleep.
Using an app like MyFitnessPal (the free version is fine) to log your food. It really keeps you accountable and shows you what you need more of (protein) and less of (bread, crackers, sweets, etc).
Shaun Zetlin – Zetlin Fitness
Foremost, please don’t avoid “heavyweights.” If you are training consistently with great form – I would strongly suggest using weights, where you feel challenged for six to 12 repetitions for a minimum of two sets.
The benefits of heavier weights are that they stimulate muscle growth, improve coordination, help reduce your biological age through hormone stimulation, and reduce sarcopenia.
Secondly, performing more repetitions of a particular exercise (progression overload) certainly has its positives, but it’s definitely a limited form of progression.
A better method would be to use the same weight and change the tempo, performing the eccentric portion of an exercise at a slower pace.
The time under tension will certainly be a great challenge for your muscles and is an opportunity to concentrate on proper form.
Thirdly, some might think that walking can’t be an effective cardio workout compared to something more intense.
However, interval walking can be wonderful for your heart and is one of the safest forms of movement and a great social activity, too!
Dr. Tom Biggart – EBM Fitness Solutions
The most common mistake made by people when they are trying to change their exercise or nutrition is doing too much too soon.
People think going from zero days of exercise to 5-6 is realistic. It isn’t. This leads to injuries, frustration, and a lack of progress.
Exercise should start slow and ramp up over the course of the first few weeks (longer if needed).
When people think about changing their nutrition, they start by restricting foods and relying on willpower to make it happen. This never works for long.
Habits and behaviors run the show when it comes to nutrition. If you do not spend time on HOW and WHY you eat then WHAT you eat will never solve the riddle.
Instead, begin with the end in mind. The habits, behaviors, and other strategies you put in place to start should be able to be maintained months and years into the process.
The reality is there is no finish line. Working on your health is ongoing and ever-evolving.
Small, consistent changes yield big results.
Shahada Karim – Habibi Sport
Most people make three common mistakes in their health journey.
1. Trying to go too far, too fast.
In nutrition, it might look like going cold turkey with every food vice, or severely restricting calories. Both can lead to a high likelihood of binge eating, and even physical illness.
In fitness, they might try to power through challenging exercises, in the hopes of seeing results faster. This can lead to severe and sometimes debilitating discomfort, and might even lead to injury.
2. Believing that the amount of money they invest in their health endeavor will match their outcome.
Some people spend a lot of money on a nutrition program or a fitness space in the hopes of seeing results faster.
3. Trying to ‘hack’ their nutrition and fitness.
There is no hack for long-term health and wellness. Your body will continue to change as you age, and it’s your job to prepare it with a solid nutrition and fitness base.
I highly recommend – with both nutrition and fitness – starting where you are, not where you’ve been or where you believe you ought to be.
It takes weeks for your body to adapt to a new nutrition or fitness program, and months for those systems to lock into place and become a lifestyle.
Oluchi Taylor – Simply Holistic Wellness Coaching
The biggest health mistake people make is expecting big results too quickly.
This causes people to stay stuck in unhealthy habits and not give themselves enough time to make changes and see results.
People often think that if they start making small changes, their health will change instantly.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Making lasting health improvements takes time and dedication to stick with your goals. It also takes making healthy lifestyle changes.
This includes eating a balanced diet, getting regular physical activity, managing stress, and maintaining a healthy sleep schedule.
Making small changes to your lifestyle is the key to achieving lasting health improvements.
It helps to start by setting realistic goals and making small changes.
Also, give yourself at least three months to start seeing any significant changes in your health.
During that time, it’s important to focus on making small steps every day and staying consistent.
This will help ensure you don’t get discouraged and give up before reaching your goal!
One of the most common health mistakes people make is ‘yo-yo dieting. This is where people that want to lose weight do this by eating basically nothing for a few days in an attempt to lose weight.
The problem is, when people do this, they become incredibly hungry and their body forces them to overeat the next few days- resulting in no weight loss ever occurring!
However, due to the few days of starvation, many negative things will happen.
Firstly, most people doing this will likely get sick or have a cold after a few days of doing this, feel incredibly fatigued and have no energy, and may even have severe muscle spasms.
Yo-yo dieting isn’t a realistic way to lose weight at all. The true answer is consistency. Start by eating a little less and working out a little more, this will slowly cause weight gain that is consistent.
The longer you do this, the more weight you will lose. It isn’t as appealing as ‘losing it all overnight’- but those are just fantasy stories. if you want to lose weight in a healthy way, do it the slow way- you’ll thank me later.
Dr. Kiera Lane – Arizona Natural Medicine
We all want better health for ourselves and our families but sometimes we inadvertently make choices that might be considered health mistakes.
Here are three common health mistakes people make from a doctor’s viewpoint.
1. You don’t stay consistent with your health decision.
Creating consistency with your health goal makes you develop this into a routine or habit.
For example, start walking 10 minutes per day instead of boot camp. You are more likely to continue this as a habit if it’s achievable.
2. You are a “bad” vegetarian.
Becoming a vegetarian or switching to a plant-based can be amazing for your health benefits, including lowering your cholesterol, cancer risk, and increasing your nutrient intake.
Forget the high-carb, packaged on the go foods. Instead focus on whole foods, vegetables, and plant-based proteins.
3. You don’t read or question medication side effects.
If your doctor prescribes a medication for you there is a reason. Nonetheless, check the side effects of that medications so you are prepared.
If you know, for example, your medication causes increased gas and bloating, if this occurs you won’t think it’s another medical problem. Ask your doctor any questions you may have so you can be well-informed.
Ted Kallmyer – Healthy Eater
In my 8+ years experience as a nutrition and fitness coach, the number one mistake people make when it comes to their health is being too extreme with their nutritional approach.
Some people think that they have to give up sugar or greatly limit carbs to be healthy. Others think that they have to eat mostly fat and yet other people try to fast for 16-20 hours every day.
Anytime people make their nutrition too strict, restrictive, or confining, they are more likely to give up and become frustrated or adopt an “all or nothing” mentality.
You may have heard the saying “everything in moderation” and this is so powerful when it comes to a sustainable path to healthy eating and exercise habits.
The people that are the most successful long-term have discovered the power of moderation which means eating healthy most of the time but still allowing for those occasional treats that make eating and life enjoyable.
It’s all about understanding your personal nutritional needs and then learning how to balance healthy eating with those occasional indulgences.
It also means moving in a way that makes sense and feels natural in light of time limitations. A little exercise everyday is better than one extreme day of exercise every two weeks.
One of the most common mistakes I see people making is having an all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to their health.
If you feel like you can’t start unless you can be perfect or you give up anytime you fall short of that unrealistic ideal, it’s impossible to be consistent and that’s what really leads to improved health.
Another common mistake is equating weight with health. While the two aren’t mutually exclusive, many people approach losing weight in a way that jeopardizes their health in the process.
The best approach to weight loss is one that simultaneously improves one’s overall health.
One more mistake is overcomplicating the whole thing.
At the end of the day, there are a handful of key habits & behaviors that will almost universally help people improve their health: walking, strength training, eating plenty of lean proteins, fruits, and veggies, prioritizing sleep, and stress management.
Going back to the first mistake, learning how to do these things CONSISTENTLY is the key to improving health.
Paula Sturm – Radically Nourished
1. Counting calories
Thinking all calories are created equal and keeping your calories in a strict range could be leaving you depleted and undernourished. All calories are NOT created equal.
Food is information, which means the phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, proteins, fibers, fats, and carbohydrates all signal a certain message to your body. Either one of healing or one of illness.
Consuming a low-calorie diet full of processed foods and minimal colorful produce won’t lead to the vitality you are expecting.
Whereas, aiming for a diet rich in color, lean proteins, healthy fats, and an abundance of fiber while reducing or eliminating processed/packaged foods will support an overall healthy body and interesting enough be naturally low in calories without having to keep track.
2. Drinking juices
Even so-called “healthy” juices have their pitfalls. Juices characteristically have their beneficial fibers removed and this fiber is so important for a healthy microbiome in your gut. Not only that, typically there is a lot of fruit in these juices to make them taste appealing.
A straight veggie juice can be rather hard to put down without a significant amount of sugar from fruit to mask the bitterness. This could lead to a roller coaster for your blood sugar and won’t leave you feeling full and satisfied.
Add to this the fact that unless you are drinking fresh juice, meaning it was made and consumed within the hour, you miss out on the naturally occurring enzymes and certain vitamins present in these fresh foods.
Vitamins like C and enzymes are fragile and start breaking down once the cellular structure is broken.
3. Skipping breakfast
There’s a line of thinking that restricting the number of hours you eat by skipping breakfast can have beneficial effects on weight loss and other measures. I disagree and there are new studies that point to this being false.
Skipping breakfast has not been proven to be beneficial for weight loss. Additionally, a November 2022 study in The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics shows it may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease mortality compared to skipping lunch or dinner.
In my practice I find people who start their day with a good breakfast perform better during the day, have more energy, better sleep, improved body composition, and more balanced hormones.
4. Starting the day with a carbohydrate-heavy breakfast
Commonly people think breakfast has to be filled with toast, cereal, pancakes, waffles, and sweetened instant oats. This only leaves you feeling crashed and starving two hours later when you look for more carb-heavy, sweet snacks or beverages.
Now you’re on a roller coaster with your blood sugar and by 3-4 pm you’re tired, agitated, and ready to rip open the fridge and stuff yourself because you’re so hungry.
Instead of doing this, aim for 30 grams of protein in your morning meal to stabilize your blood sugar all day leading to fewer cravings in the afternoon. Not to mention better energy and clearer thinking throughout the day.
I see people making the mistake of setting strict guidelines when they decide to start eating healthy.
Some people might think their favorite foods are “unhealthy,” so they don’t allow them in their diet. But a restrictive diet won’t last for long, and you’ll benefit from including all food groups (yes, even your favorite treats).
Diets don’t work in the long run, but eating nutritiously balanced meals does. Eating healthy isn’t just about changing your diet for a short time, it’s about creating healthy habits and changing your lifestyle in a positive way.
We can still enjoy our favorite treats in moderation and not cut anything out in order to consume healthier and more nutritious foods.
When you’re trying to lose weight, make sure you don’t restrict any food groups, and eat your favorite meals from time to time. It’s likely that if you feel deprived, you won’t stick to your new healthy routine and will fall back into old habits.
Melanie R. Jordan – Weight Loss With Coach Melanie
When it comes to undertaking weight loss to improve one’s health, the following are the biggest mistakes I’ve seen people make:
1. The magic wand mentality
There must be some trick or shortcut to losing weight fast so you don’t have to put in the work to make healthy changes.
2. All-or-nothing mentality
If they “mess up” at one point in a day on food, they might as well throw in the towel on food for the day. Same thing with exercise–if they don’t have time for their regular workout, may as well skip it and do nothing.
3. Social situations
Allowing yourself to be “peer pressured” or “guilted” into food or alcohol choices that lead you astray from the healthy path you really wanted to be on.
The most common health mistake people make is radically changing their lifestyle immediately and spreading themselves thin.
Changing your behaviors and routine can be difficult – particularly altering your nutrition, stress management, and lifestyle choices.
If you spread yourself thin by adding too many new changes right off the bat, you’re going to feel overwhelmed. That’s when people start to feel they cannot maintain a new habit or change their life.
Instead of flipping the script with 10 new changes, start slow.
Write down a list of 10 changes you’d like to make, list the top 5 based on how easily you can implement them into your current lifestyle, and then narrow that down to three immediate actions you can take without much strain.
You’ll see soon that those three changes to improving your health will become a part of your lifestyle and take little to no effort.
Slowly add more changes after two weeks. This slow but steady approach is what builds consistency: the key to achieving any long-term goal.
Three of the most common health mistakes people make are around nutrition, exercise, and stress.
Nutrition is the most important component of your health, especially if you’re trying to transform your body. From running marathons to building muscle, fueling your body is key.
Many people think they need to starve themselves and “eat clean.” Focus on eating unprocessed foods vs processed and you’ll be on your way.
When it comes to exercise, a common mistake is working out strenuously for an hour a day and doing lots of cardio. You don’t need to push yourself to extremes during every single workout. Moderate exercise 3 times a week will get the job done.
Finally, many people commonly mistake or are unaware of the impact stress can have on your health.
From lowering your immunity to driving up your cortisol hormone and making sleep difficult, managing stress is a key component of good health.
Meditation, journaling, breathwork, and other tools can help cope with high-stress levels.
Juliana Leamen – Naturally Joyous
After over a decade in the health and wellness industry, the number one mistake I see people make is setting health goals that are unsustainable.
First, when setting a health goal that is not aligned with our inner desires, because we feel we should, or have to, we often end up self-sabotaging our progress.
Instead, choosing a goal that is deeply meaningful and that directly contributes to what is most important to us, our inner priorities, is a more sustainable way to get long-term results, with no willpower required.
Lastly, believing that success means getting to the finish line, aka the big goal, is also a common trap I observe. Success is a collection of little moments and it all adds up. Every time you do something to improve your health, to nourish your body and mind, it counts.
So instead, I like to measure progress by looking back, as it gives me perspective on how far I’ve come and continues to give me the desire to move forward. There is no small step, all we have to do is keep going.
Ashley Wood – Demystifying Your Health
There are a couple of common mistakes people make regarding their health. The first is using the internet to determine what’s wrong when they aren’t feeling well.
While good quality information can be available, verifying the source is essential. Use the data you collect as a starting point when talking to a doctor.
Keep an open mind because the doctor may reach a different conclusion than what you found.
Also, remember that most of the time, your situation won’t be the worst possible scenario or a rare condition.
The second health mistake people make is not investing in their health. To be healthy, you need to spend time and energy.
Learning more about nutritious food options, physical activities, and mental health exercises that can improve your health is essential.
Once again, you want to find reputable sources. After you gather the information, it’s vital to apply it. Consistent effort over time achieves the desired results.
Remember, everyone has moments where they slip up…just don’t give up. Your goal is a healthy body that allows you to participate in what you enjoy while reducing the chances of chronic health conditions.
James de Lacey – Lift Big Eat Big
Going all in or nothing is easily the biggest health mistake in my experience.
As in, the perfect diet, training 7 days a week, and other daily practices all added to a busy lifestyle in order to achieve a health goal.
The alternative is to do nothing. Eat poorly and no exercise.
This means when they inevitably fall off the wagon during their perfect health plan, it falls to pieces and no new good habits have been formed.
Luke Jones – Hero Movement
A common mistake when it comes to living a healthy, balanced lifestyle is aiming for perfection. The perfect diet, the perfect training regime, the perfect amount of sleep…
While these are all important factors, perfection is an illusion that doesn’t always serve us.
Perfectionism is a trait that’s often celebrated -particularly in the workplace and academia.
While it can be an asset in certain situations, perfectionist tendencies can leave us with deep feelings of dissatisfaction.
Shooting toward ever-moving goalposts results in a constant striving to outdo oneself, a deep fear of failure, and sustained pressure to meet impossible standards.
Perfectionists are often plagued by feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness, accompanied by a tendency to procrastinate.
What’s more, perfectionism is linked with increased instances of anxiety, depression, and physical health challenges. The world, in a sense, becomes a more hostile environment than it needs to be.
The good news is that things don’t have to stay this way.
A great first step towards a healthier relationship with perfectionist tendencies is to accept that we have them and to do our best to notice them when they pop up.
In the space between the stimuli and the action, can we challenge our previous assumptions and choose a more balanced response? To set more reasonable goals and expectations of ourselves and others?
To allow room for errors, and know that mistakes are inevitable and not everything we do has to meet the highest possible standard?
Instead of constantly putting pressure on ourselves to perform, perhaps we can extend a little self-compassion.
Taking time to intentionally practice this in a self-compassion meditation may be a useful habit to explore.
Altering habitual thinking isn’t as obvious as changing your diet or starting a new training program, and it can take some time and effort.
But it’s an endeavor worth pursuing if we’re looking to support our general well-being, which goes beyond the physical and can never be perfect.
Rachel Scott – Rachel Yoga
The most common health mistake that people make is to assume that you need a lot of time to get back a lot of value. Not so!
Consider this: you only brush your teeth for about 4 minutes a day. However, in just this tiny amount of time, you can prevent cavities, improve gum health, and keep your dentist away!
However, we often think that in order for a workout, yoga practice, or meditation to be “worthwhile,” it has to be a least 20 minutes. Not so!
I invite you to embrace the micropractice and notice how small daily acts of movement can transform your health and well-being.
Try it: One minute of slow breathing, two minutes of squats, three minutes of meditation, and/or four minutes of sun salutations.
A little can go an incredibly long way. So no excuses! Try it now and experience the difference.
Paul Warloski – Simple Endurance Coaching
One of the biggest mistakes people make in taking care of their health is not exercising consistently. The exercise does not even need to be strenuous – walking or gentle yoga is enough. Consistency is the difference-maker.
One of the best and most time-efficient ways to exercise is the 3-2-1 method: do strength training of some kind three days a week, do high-intensity intervals twice a week, and do a long endurance day once a week.
The strength training is anything that stresses your muscles and causes them to get stronger. The HIIT is simply short 20-second high-intensity efforts doing bodyweight exercises, or running, cycling, rowing, etc., followed by 10 seconds of rest.
This cycle is repeated for as long as you can. Finally, build in at least one day of a longer endurance session, like a long walk or bike ride.
Doing consistent exercise will help you lose weight, move better, and get stronger. And doing the 3-2-1 structure allows you to do 30-minute sessions on a regular basis to build consistency.
One of the most common health mistakes I see is done by individuals who blindly follow a health protocol that appears to have worked well for a family member, friend, neighbor, or an influencer on the web.
It’s important to keep in mind that the diet, supplement, etc. that seems to have benefited someone else may not be what’s best for you.
Your lifestyle needs and preferences, medical conditions, and prescriptions you’re taking are likely different from theirs.
In the worst case scenario, a person could end up taking a supplement that has an unsafe interaction with a prescription medication they’re taking, or they make a dietary change that contradicts their medical nutrition therapy.
Another very common health mistake occurs when people Google the question “Is [a certain food] healthy?”
You cannot actually get good information on whether a food is healthy or not through an internet search since what’s “healthy” depends on a person’s needs and health goals.
For example, most candies contain a lot of added sugar and may not be considered “healthy” (meaning nutrient-dense) by general nutrition standards.
But what if someone is recovering from a restrictive eating disorder, and a candy is a challenge-food in their therapy?
What if someone with diabetes carries candy to treat low blood sugar? Just about any food can be considered healthy in certain circumstances.
Trevor Wells – Living Fit
Most common health mistakes people make.
- Fad diets
- Not eating enough
- Lack of sleep
- Too much caffeine
With fad diets (like keto or paleo) you are eating only certain foods that are recommended with that diet. You will see results short term but long term you cannot sustain the eating plan.
Once you change and go back to eating how you were eating before you will deal with weight gain, bloating, stomach issues, etc.
To avoid this you want to maintain a well-balanced diet to avoid cutting foods from your daily intake.
Not eating enough is common among many people. You see examples of people forgetting to eat, or not eating their first meal until 2-3 pm during a regular work day.
They deal with headaches, not being able to concentrate while at work, nausea, irritability, sluggish metabolism and bowel issues, and low blood sugar.
Try to change your habits by eating something like fruit, yogurt, or something small and light to help keep your body balanced.
Lack of sleep and too much caffeine go hand in hand.
Most people use caffeine to stay alert and be able to function at work if they had a poor night’s sleep.
But if used too late in the day (after 2 pm) it will affect your sleeping pattern and you end up repeating the same process every day.
Lack of sleep reduces brain function and your ability to focus.
Many believe that limiting carbs is key to weight loss. They may even suggest going on a keto diet.
In this diet, around 75% of one’s daily caloric intake should come from fat, while a regular diet typically consists of 20-35% fat.
It’s all fun and games until you realize how hard it is to eat only 20-50 grams of carbohydrates a day. This is not a sustainable diet.
Yes, some weight loss will occur and naturally, blood sugar levels will drop – but keto is not sustainable. The weight will return like a boomerang once you get back to your regular eating habits.
Like any diet, you should always consult a physician before starting. Keto is not a good fit for everybody and in fact, it is harmful to certain groups.
If you have a health condition involving your liver, thyroid, pancreas, or gallbladder, keto could do some serious damage.
Healthy weight loss comes from a consistent and steady caloric deficit.
One of the most common health mistakes people make is practicing FAD DIETS before knowing enough about nutrition and what their body needs.
The effects of this practice may lead to passing out, dehydration, weight gain, and even skin inflammation, the body’s response to stress within the body.
The best DIET is a lifestyle change that includes vitamins, minerals, healthy grains, water, and moderate exercise while allowing you to live a little!
Another common mistake that people make is not knowing their own body. This is a very common mistake for those that are solely dependent on a doctor.
Doctors exist to support our health. Understanding your own body takes priority on a daily basis. Doctors see hundreds of patients per day.
If something feels off, it’s important that you understand what is different and be able to clearly explain it (pertinent info, only) upon any visit to their office/clinic. This will also allow a partnership to form between you and the doctor/medical staff.
The last common health mistake people make is assuming something happens, “because I am getting old”.
Brain fog, sore muscles, fatigue, poor eyesight, and dark spots on the skin, among other ailments, are actual alerts the body sends us when something is off in or on the body.
Never assume you are getting old right away. Get to a professional and have that uncomfortable conversation. It has lots of insight for you.
Matthew Reed – Orthopedic & Sports Acupuncture
I’d say, “Waiting too long to seek care.”
While this is obvious in some cases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease when the patient sees a physician, cancer has metastasized (spread) or atherosclerotic plaque has built up such that their coronary arteries are 80 or more percent blocked.
In other cases, it may be less noticeable.
For instance, in many cases of spinal stenosis causing sciatica (radiating pain to the leg), the problem most likely started as a seemingly innocuous back injury earlier in life, probably in their twenties or thirties (although an athletic injury from their teens could also be to blame).
The body is very good at activating large, superficial muscles to brace or splint an injury.
One problem is that the body doesn’t know when to return to normal once the initial injury has healed.
Over the years, muscular compression and rigid movement patterns can lead to chronic overload of the joints in the patient’s spine, leading to an overgrowth of bone.
As this process advances, the overgrowth of bone can shrink the openings spinal nerves have to travel through.
Eventually, this leads to nerve compression and irritation, leading to pain, numbness, loss of coordination, muscle weakness, etc.
When many patients present to a doctor’s office with back pain/sciatica, this process is so advanced that it has become a surgical issue.
Now, had the patient been proactive to seek a thorough medical evaluation and receive proper care in their 20s – likely including physiotherapy and dry needling / IMS to restore proper motor function and stop the degenerative process before it started – there is a good chance that they may have averted back surgery later in life.
Andy Marlow – The Back Coach
One of the most common mistakes that people with low back pain make is accepting the first diagnosis of ‘non-specific low back pain’ they get during a 10 minute consultation with their doctor.
The diagnosis is usually given with instructions to rest, take some pain pills and maybe do some exercise or stretches.
These vague, even contradictory instructions are a result of two things: firstly, the practicalities of a medical system that doesn’t allocate the required time for a thorough assessment.
And secondly, the mistaken assumption held by many medical professionals that there’s such a thing as ‘non-specific low back pain’ (it’s unlikely you would accept a similar diagnosis of non-specific knee pain).
As Dr. Stuart McGill (author of The Back Mechanic) says: ‘There is no such thing as non-specific back pain. There is always a cause.
In nearly all cases, the pain is worsened and may also be relieved by specific motions, postures, and loads.’
When you undergo a thorough assessment by a low back pain expert, you can identify and eliminate the mechanisms that cause your pain.
If you’re then willing to play an active role in your own recovery there’s a good chance you can get rid of your back pain once and for all.
Robert Yauckoes – Acupuncture Connections
One common mistake people make is ignoring their bodies’ signals. It’s crucial to listen to and understand our bodies because when something is wrong, our body will give us signs, which, if ignored, can lead to more severe health issues.
Our bodies are designed to function optimally, and when we experience symptoms, it indicates that something is out of balance.
Our body will signal through whispers, then talks, shouts and finally shuts down. It’s like a car with a dashboard warning light; so many people ignore it, and the car will eventually break down, leading to significant expenses.
We encourage people to make small, sustainable changes to their daily routines to achieve balance and promote well-being. Prevention is always better than cure.
Taking care of our bodies is our responsibility, just as maintaining a car is the owner’s responsibility.
We must be attuned to our body’s signals and seek help when necessary to maintain good health.
As we approach the New Year, there tends to be more focus on resolutions with most of them centering around health – weight loss, dieting, and exercise. While making resolutions are great there are a few common health mistakes people can make.
The first mistake is trying to change too many things at once. Eating better, working out or moving more, drinking more water, if these are all new things for you, it can quickly become overwhelming.
The key is to start slow and create one new habit, stay consistent, and then habit stack.
Another common mistake when it comes to eating is focusing on calories vs. food quality. You can consume 1800 “empty” calories or 1800 nutrient-dense calories and fuel your body properly.
Simply put, eating 1800 calories in the form of processed food will not provide the same nutritional benefit as whole foods.
Lastly, the biggest common health mistake is not getting enough rest. Rest is one of the biggest key factors when it comes to improving your overall performance, mood, and health.
If you’re able to avoid these key downfalls, you are sure to be successful in your new healthy lifestyle!
Dr. Saara Haapanen – Performance Is Haapanen
The media has brainwashed our society to believe that you need to be on a diet or be super strict to be a healthy human. This is not the case at all.
So many people fall into the trap of thinking there’s “a wagon” and that you are on the wagon or off the wagon.
Spoiler alert- THERE IS NO WAGON. There is only life and each and every day counts. At the end of each day, you want to know you’ve made more good choices than bad choices and aim to be just 1% better every day.
People tend to set these big crazy goals that are unrealistic, and they then easily give up when they don’t see results immediately.
Your body doesn’t work like that- it took time to get you to the state you are in now, and it will take you time to get healthy again.
If you feel like you “mess up” don’t throw everything out the window, just be sure that you make a healthy choice with your next workout or meal. So many people tend to do this all-or-nothing thinking and life really happens in the grey.
I help my humans live happier and healthier lives by making small sustainable changes. We focus on mindset and the way you think to change your life.
You have to take care of your body because it’s the only place you have to live. Focus on those small tiny 1% changes and not only will it be sustainable, but you won’t recognize yourself in a year.
I believe one of the biggest mistakes people make with their health is not being proactive.
It is all too easy to get busy and fall into unhealthy routines that become ruts. However, your life will be so much better if you choose to make your health a priority, instead of addressing your health only when you are sick or injured.
Choose to eat a nutritious diet, do resistance training, cardio, and add supplements that address your specific needs. Also take steps to eliminate bad habits from your life, or cut down as you can.
I encourage you to find health professionals that will help you optimize your health, not just meet wide-ranging norms.
Seek out a personal trainer, an involved physician, and a registered dietician. They can help you get started on a healthy path that will change the course of your life, and add quality to all your years.
Jen Rigley – Flourishing Over Fifty
As we move into the new year, it’s a good time to review how our health journey progressed throughout the year and what we might want to focus on in the future.
To help with that process, here is the most common health mistake that I see happening again and again:
The most common health mistake that people make is that they have a health goal but they do not set a specific intention, tied to a specific goal and specific action plan.
A good example of this is deciding to lose weight and then following that up with a restrictive diet. This typically results in a few weeks of misery and then a feeling of failure when it can’t be maintained.
The more productive way to approach a health goal is to set a specific, reasonable, and time-blocked intention.
For weight loss, use 3-month time-blocks and a 5-10% reduction in overall body weight (or 1-2 pounds a week).
This might look like “become more healthy by reducing my weight by 10% of my overall body weight over the next 3 months.”
With a specific intention, you can then create a specific goal and action plan to support that goal. If 10% of your body weight is 15 pounds, your goal would be to lose 5 pounds a month or 1.25 pounds a week.
Then create a specific action plan. What are the steps you will take each week to meet that goal?
Be very specific in terms of activity and nutrition – walk 10,000 steps a day, swim or cycle 3x a week, prep meals on Sunday, cook 5 dinners at home…you get the idea.
Revisit your intention and progress each week and you will be surprised at how having these tools in place will help keep you accountable and on track to meet your health goal.
The most common health mistakes that people make are not prioritizing their sleep, their diet, and daily mindfulness or meditation.
While these things are the basics, they are also among the most important for sustained health and well-being.
You can’t be healthy mentally, emotionally, or physically if your sleep, your diet, and your mind are not prioritized.
Before focusing on the latest trend or biohacking techniques, get back to basics and make sure these areas are well taken care of.
Elizabeth Quinn – The Whole Story
The most common health mistake I see people make is not eating enough food. We are led to believe that thinner is better and that the way to get to a healthy body is to eat fewer calories.
Your body needs a certain amount of energy and protein in order to function at its best. The only way to get this is from your food.
When you don’t eat enough to give your body the energy it needs, you will start to experience fatigue, poor mental health, a compromised immune system, weak bones, hair and nails that don’t grow, and poor sleep patterns.
Imagine deciding that you are only going to fill up your car’s gas tank halfway, but you will still expect it to run for the same distance as it does when you give it a full tank.
This is what you are doing to your body when you decide to restrict calories. I help people to figure out how much food they need to eat in order to be healthy.
1. Improper use of nutritional supplements
The bulk of your nutrients should still come from a good diet. Also, supplements cannot counteract the negative effects of a bad diet.
Understand that natural supplements can have medicinal effects. Just because it is natural doesn’t mean it’s suitable for you.
There is a right kind of supplement for each person’s specific condition and needs. Delivery system and dosing also play a big part to optimal therapeutic effect.
Always ask an experienced healthcare provider about supplements before starting.
2. Excessive use of prescription drugs and medications
When you’re under the care of conventional medical practitioners, they tend to use medications to improve symptoms rather than try to find the root causes.
Medications tend to have side effects, especially if taking multiple that can interact with each other.
Also, you could get a toxic overload as many of them have to be metabolized in your liver.
Morgan Balavage – Splendid Yoga
The most common health mistake my clients make is assuming that health marketing is targeting them.
I used to think I NEEDED a turmeric supplement-all the studies showed it helped with inflammation! I took TONS of turmeric every day.
Well, it does help with inflammation, but I didn’t have a problem with inflammation. I created a problem by overdosing on turmeric, though! I learned from my studies in Traditional Chinese Medicine that turmeric actually hurts my digestive system!
Work with a holistic doctor to determine what YOU actually need, not what the headlines say some people need.
Stephen Dunn – CORE Therapy And Pilates
One of the biggest mistakes people make that I see as a physical therapist when they are hurting or injured is to stop moving.
They go to their couch or lazy boy because they are afraid to move, and movement is medicine.
When people are in pain, they often rest and stay off the problem area, avoid exercise, and do not try anything new to fix the problem, and it just gets worse.
The next mistake is that people over-consume unnecessary medications without searching for other conservative treatments or ways to adjust their lifestyle or diet. They jump into medications too early.
As mentioned, people will take a break from exercising because of pain, and they will try to go back to exactly the same weight and vigorous routine as they had prior to getting injured.
Or maybe they try something on the internet instead of seeing a medical practitioner.
A big mistake is not seeking help because you think you do not need it or you can figure it out yourself, but the reality is that you need a little help.
Katy Malkin – Learner Vegan
As a health coach, one of the most common mistakes I see is clients failing to identify or tackle the root of their problems.
This applies to many health issues – whether you’re trying to change your eating habits, exercise more, or quit alcohol.
Let’s take weight loss as an example. You want to lose 20 lbs and so you go on a low-calorie diet.
However, you may have limiting beliefs, mindset issues, negative body image, emotional eating tendencies, or even an underlying eating disorder.
A strict diet with rules won’t help you – it’s simply a short-term solution.
You need to get in tune with what your body needs, how to nourish it, and figure out WHY you’ve struggled before.
Otherwise, the second the diet ends, you’ll be right back to square one.
Build habits that slot into your life. These changes should initially be easy to implement, such as drinking one less coffee per day or adding an extra portion of vegetables at mealtimes.
Real change takes time and effort – but it is so worth it to see long-lasting results.
Jack Grabon – Stellar Nourishment
As a nutritionist, one of the most common health mistakes people make is trying to out-exercise diet when trying to lose weight.
That is, many people believe that they can make up for poor dietary choices by exercising for longer periods of time, or more intensely.
While exercise does increase appetite, the amount of calories a person typically takes in when using this as a justification is still excessive.
For example, 30 minutes of running burns close to 250 calories. A medium-sized donut is anywhere between 200 – 300 calories. Assuming that a person only has that donut in addition to eating healthy throughout the day, they’ve broken even at best.
Very often, people forgot to add in all of the other little things they’ve eaten throughout the day, such as sauces, sweeteners, dressings, seasonings, etc.
For weight loss, a good rule of thumb is that losing weight is 80% diet and only 20% exercise. This helps to put things into perspective and to help people focus on the more important variable, their eating habits.
The primary health mistake I see people making is progressing too quickly through new exercise regimens.
I continually find myself educating clients on the importance of progressive loading – that is, not jumping straight into new workout activities without first laying the foundation.
For instance, understanding how to properly manage core pressure via breathwork prior to completing a Pilates reformer class that requires significant core control.
It’s no wonder people often complain of back pain following new exercise endeavors – many do not understand how to properly progress through new workout routines. We must build the foundation first.
The second common health mistake I see is a lack of time for rest/recovery. A good rule of thumb is at least one rest day per week. When we exercise, muscle fibers break down. Muscles need downtime to recover and heal stronger than before.
Finally, people need to recognize the impact lifestyle stressors have on the body.
Stress levels, quality of sleep, and nutrient intake affect the way the body responds to movement on a given day.
One cannot focus on movement alone when looking to make health changes.
Erin Reisner – Motivate A Mom
Most people look for quick fixes or go through extremes, instead of establishing daily healthy habits. Focusing on one small habit at a time can help you be more consistent and therefore lead to sustainable results.
They eat too many processed foods rather than focusing on eating a variety of whole foods. This is especially true if they are counting calories or following an IIFYM approach to lose weight.
Many times, when people cut calories, they don’t want to sacrifice their favorite treats and end up overindulging in them.
A better strategy would be to add whole foods to your diet before cutting out any foods.
They may be going through the motions in the gym and aren’t weight training at high enough intensities to yield muscle gain.
Following a workout program or having a workout partner with similar goals can help you push yourself more in the gym.
They rely on motivation rather than taking consistent action toward their goals.
Not every day you are going to feel like working out or eating healthy, but the key to motivation is taking action towards your goals. Consistent action will yield results and put more fuel on the fire!
Maxwell Kamlongera – Max Fitness World
Here are three common health mistakes people often do without realizing they are making a mistake. Check and see if you’re also guilty:
1. Not factoring in “extra” calories.
When counting calories, people often forget that extra ingredients such as oil, butter/margarine, condiments, sauces, and flavoring agents count as calories and they typically are full of sugars or fats.
2. Copying other people’s programs.
For better or for worse, we are all different and what that means is there isn’t one “amazing” diet or training program that works for everyone.
We have to figure out what works for us by experimenting with different programs and keeping the parts that work and switching out the things that don’t.
3. Not getting enough sleep.
We should aim to get roughly 7 hours of sleep every day, but for one reason or another, people tend to get much less than this.
Ways to achieve this goal can be by heading to bed early, decompressing/relaxing an hour before sleeping, or monitoring what you eat at least two hours before bed.
Alex Davis – Ryan & Alex
As health and fitness coaches, we receive hundreds of emails from people looking to lose weight, get into better shape, or feel healthier. Our first question always is, “How much sleep do you get a night?”
As simple as it is, sleep is essential but often overlooked. Not only does sleep regenerate cells and boost immune health, but it also regulates two important hormones when it comes to managing weight.
Studies show that getting less than six hours of sleep a night increases the production of the appetite hormone ghrelin while decreasing leptin, which helps you control food intake.
In other words, getting too little sleep will make you predisposed to eating more food!
So, when working on improving your health, take it back to square one and prioritize sleep. Ideally, you should get at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night.
Kent Probst – Long Healthy Life Blog
Not getting enough quality sleep is a common health mistake people make.
The National Sleep Foundation says that a third of Americans experience insomnia. It’s a widespread problem. A third get less than 7 hours of sleep per night.
Did you know that chronic insomnia can lead to heart disease, poor learning and memory, diabetes, depression, weight gain, and premature skin aging?
Insomnia also weakens your immune system by increasing levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), which promote inflammation.
A weakened immune system also increases the risk of bacterial, parasitic, and viral infections.
Getting a good night’s sleep (7 to 9 hours) helps you detox your brain of beta amyloid plaque, the substance found concentrated in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
When you improve your sleep quality over the long term, you’ll be happier and more productive during the day. Beating insomnia means significantly improving your health by reducing the risk of all the health problems that go along with it.
One of the most common mistakes people make with their health is undervaluing the effect sleep and stress have. We tend to overlook the things that don’t have a tangible feeling to them.
For example, we know what happens when we eat too much or when we do or don’t exercise.
However, measuring how stressed we are is very subjective, and in today’s world, we’re all stressed for various reasons so we go along with it.
Stress and sleep or lack thereof affect our mood, and our ability to bounce back from our day-to-day, and can affect how well we can focus on the other two rocks of exercise and nutrition.
One of the most common mistakes people make in their health journey is not combining the mind/body/soul approach to healing.
We all have the ability to transmute our health issues through diet and exercise as well as working with the medical community but very few people take a spiritual approach.
Meaning you also need to understand what thoughts and beliefs you are holding inside and how that manifests in your body. Our body is speaking to us each and every day.
So looking for signs of emotional or spiritual distress on a consistent basis can lead us to a vaster health transformation where we can slowly over time overcome our illness or chronic pain by connecting to our higher self which has the solutions we seek inside our mind.
I have also found working at a heal that the vast majority of people have karmic or past life traumas that show up in their physical bodies now.
As more people come to this knowledge I do believe a shift in consciousness will continue to create new ways of treating our common health concerns.
People commonly think they can diagnose and treat mental illnesses like major depression or an anxiety disorder themselves. This is a mistake.
Mental illnesses are real, medical illnesses like any other and need to be handled as such. No number of online quizzes are a substitute for a real, accurate diagnosis from a professional like a psychiatrist.
Mental illnesses and people’s experiences are more complicated than they are given credit for.
And while there is no shortage of articles online about how to improve one’s mental health, and those tips can be helpful for some, you can’t expect them to address an actual mental illness.
If a person has diagnosable obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), for example, no amount of self-care is going to fix that.
Similarly, while some supplements, vitamins, and dietary changes can help one’s mental health to a degree, mental illnesses require professional diagnosis and treatment.
This typically includes therapy given by a psychologist and for a serious mental illness like bipolar disorder, this is usually medication and therapy.
Garry Spink – Spink Psychology
In my opinion, the most common health mistake is separating mental and physical health as if they were two distinct parts in space. They aren’t and talking about them in this manner causes many difficulties.
We know that physical health (i.e., hypo/hyperthyroidism, cardiovascular disease, pain, etc.) affects mood, anxiety, and mental health concerns.
Similarly, we know that mental events like interpretations, mood, and mindset impact physical health down to a cellular level.
Likewise, healthy behaviors such as exercise and diet influence mood, and some of the most frequent barriers to health behaviors are mental (i.e., thoughts we have related to the benefits).
This separation has no basis in science or reality, yet many still hold it as if it is true. It would be much better for society to drop the distinction and address each person’s actual difficulties.
Life is complex, but such distinctions oversimplify the complexity and leave many suffering and struggling.
Don’t get me wrong, I think all the exposure to mental health concerns does normalize it; however, I think we need to go beyond normalizing it and acknowledge that it is the same thing we are discussing overall, the individual’s well-being.
1. Setting unrealistic health goals
Many people try to make extremely drastic changes, all at once.
For example, they go from unhealthy eating habits and being sedentary to trying to work out 5x/a week and restrict all of their favorite foods at once. It is best to do baby steps based on where we are now.
2. Attempting fast fixes and fad diets
Most of these fad diets and fast fixes are extremely restrictive, which is why most don’t succeed with them.
They may provide short-term results, but they are not good for long-term health and do not help build healthy habits.
3. Focusing on the small stuff instead of the larger picture
Many people focus on adding new supplements or health products instead of focusing on the larger picture (eating more fruits and veggies, moving more, adding more protein to our diet, hydrating, etc.).
Most of the time, improving our lifestyle through food and exercise will provide far better results.
The most common health mistake I see people make is trying to do too much too soon. It’s taken years to solidify the habits that have gotten you to where you are now, so it’s unrealistic to think that you can completely change those overnight.
Most people want to hit their goals as quickly as possible and they often try to make sweeping changes that they end up quitting in a few weeks.
You can’t become a different person in a day or even a month.
Sustainable change takes time. Instead of trying to do a complete overhaul of your fitness or diet, pick one or two small changes that you’re confident you can be successful with.
Once those new habits become a natural part of your routine, add one or two more.
It will take patience, but real change takes time. Start small, stay consistent, and watch your health improve.
A few mistakes I notice people make with regard to nutrition is they overcomplicate it.
For example, counting macronutrient calories and grams works for some people, but for others, it just doesn’t.
A balanced healthy diet doesn’t have to involve that if it stresses you out or just doesn’t appeal to you. It also doesn’t need to involve labor-intensive meal prepping and cooking.
All you need to do is keep it simple by making sure you incorporate a balance of protein, fat, and fiber in your meals and snacks. You need all three for optimal health.
Snacks are another area people could improve in. They eat healthily for their main meals and then eat snacks laden with salt, sugar, and saturated fat—negating the health benefits of their meal.
Bill Bradley – Mediterranean Living
1. One of the common health mistakes people make is not eating breakfast.
Some might not have time to prepare breakfast or not feel hungry.
Whatever their reasons, eating breakfast gives you more benefits. It breaks the overnight fasting period and helps you replenish nutrients that are essential for you to be healthy.
Eating breakfast also helps boost your metabolism, maintain your blood sugar levels, and give you the fuel your body needs to help you get through the day.
2. Another common health mistake is not sleeping enough.
While some may say they are busy, lack of sleep can cause serious health consequences.
Long-term sleep deprivation increases your risk of chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
Your immune system also weakens because it is during sleep that your immune system produces infection-fighting antibodies.
If you don’t get enough sleep, your immune system will fail to build forces to defend your body against illnesses.
Chelsea Newman – With Chelsea
The most common mistake people make is making it too hard and not focusing on the basics.
Many of my patients suffer from chronic dehydration, severely affecting their health and well-being. That’s why I always emphasize the importance of drinking plenty of water.
Did you know that up to 80% of body fat is lost through breathing? That’s why it’s essential to maintain healthy lungs by breathing deeply and regularly.
When it comes to food, my philosophy is simple – if it doesn’t rot, don’t eat it. I encourage people to adopt a whole-food approach, prioritizing fresh, unprocessed foods with nutrients and essential vitamins.
Another mistake people often make is not taking the time to slow down and fully engage with their meals.
By taking deep breaths and genuinely savouring the flavours and textures of their food, we can become more mindful of their choices and make healthier decisions as a result.
You can set a solid foundation by focusing on these basic principles of health – drinking plenty of water, breathing deeply, and prioritizing whole, fresh foods. Do this, and you’ve won half the battle.
Dr. Dave Candy – More 4 Life
The most common health mistakes people make are largely in three categories: nutrition, exercise/physical activity, and sleep.
Portion control and poor food literacy are big problems. Many people don’t get enough protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, or water.
Likewise, in general, many people get too many carbohydrates and fats, and not the right ones at that. Carbohydrates should come primarily from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and fats primarily from plant sources.
On the activity side, Americans in general don’t get enough activity. People should strive to get 30 minutes of physical activity or more at least 5 days per week.
That doesn’t necessarily have to be “exercising” per se, but we should spend less time sitting. Gardening, housework, or just going for a walk are great forms of physical activity.
Many people also don’t get enough sleep. America’s culture is fast-paced and on the go. There’s societal pressure to be productive and meet deadlines, and often that comes from sacrificing sleep.
Setting a consistent bedtime and wake time (and sticking to it) is a good place to start. Most people should strive for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
Katie Hlucny – My Dietitian Friend
As we enter the new year, the most common health mistakes people make are starting a diet, detox, cleanse, or other health fads.
This is a mistake because these fads are not encouraging healthy, sustainable habits. Instead, make small, realistic goals to have proven healthy lifestyle changes.
An example of a good short-term goal is “Try a new vegetable every week.” This is the start of a long-term goal to increase the consumption of vegetables.
Another common health mistake that people make is listening to health advice from non-professionals.
When looking for the best, evidence-based nutrition information look for registered dietitian (RD) credentials.
It is a mistake to follow any nutrition advice that promotes avoiding whole food groups or that promote expensive products. To have a healthy lifestyle most people do not need complicated or expensive products and programs.
Sticking to the basics of eating a variety of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lean meats, and heart-healthy fats and exercising often will deliver the most proven, sustainable results.
As a urogynaecologist, the most common health mistakes I see my female patients making include the following:
1. Not drinking enough water
Women who don’t drink enough water typically suffer side effects such as dehydration, constipation, fatigue, and poor skin health. A good amount to drink per day is 8 glasses.
2. Holding their bladder excessively
Women who defer their urination in favour of their busy schedules overdistend their bladder and put themselves at risk of urinary tract infections.
These women also tend to drink less water to reduce their toilet visits, which makes them prone to the fore-mentioned side effects in (1). A good practice would be to void regularly every 2-3 hourly.
3. Social voiding
Women tend to follow their friends for communal toilet trips whilst on an outing or visiting the toilet before leaving the house “just in case” run the risk of teaching their bladder the wrong habits of voiding when it is not yet sufficiently full.
4. Drinking too much caffeine/alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol contain bladder irritants that can result in an increased urinary frequency/urgency – keep your caffeinated drinks to a minimum and try to drink them only in the morning to reduce the stress on your bladder.
5. Drinking too much before bedtime
Nocturia refers to waking up at night to pee. Drinking too much before bedtime can result in nocturia and your ability to have a restful night.
Try to limit fluid intake starting from 2-3 hours before your usual bedtime, and void before retiring to bed to reduce nocturia episodes.
Lisa Jacobsen – Be Well for Good
A common health mistake I see in my practice is poor eating hygiene. You can eat the healthiest of foods, but if your body is not properly digesting and absorbing the nutrients, you won’t reap the health benefits.
How to improve eating hygiene:
Get into the parasympathetic state (a.k.a., the rest and digest mode). This increases blood flow to the digestive organs for strong digestion and nutrient absorption.
- Turn off the television, computer, and telephone.
- Find a quiet place. Perhaps light a candle or play soft music.
- Say a prayer or reflect on your gratitude for the meal.
Support stomach acid. Water is important for digestion, but not when consumed with food. Hydrate in between meals, not during meals, to avoid diluting critical stomach acid.
Here are some guidelines:
- Avoid consuming liquids within 20 minutes of eating. Conversely, wait at least 90 minutes after eating before consuming liquids.
- Limit drinking liquids with meals. To aid in swallowing, sip small amounts of water or wine. Wine has enzymes that can help with digestion.
Chew each bite of food until it becomes a paste in your mouth. Chewing breaks down food which aids stomach digestion and nutrient absorption in the small intestine.
Pam Hartnett – The Vitality Dietitians
One of the most common mistakes people make is to neglect proper hydration. Unfortunately, many people are unknowingly chronically dehydrated and are not aware of the life-altering consequences of this condition.
Long before reaching clinical dehydration status, an under-hydrated individual may suffer from achy joints, fatigue, low mood, slowed cognitive function, attention issues, and poor sleep quality.
The brain is 85% water and requires adequate hydration to perform well. Since the brain cannot store water it is important to continuously rehydrate.
Being under-hydrated significantly lowers scores in memory, attention span, and motor skills.
Overhydration also impacts cognitive function, so it’s important to hydrate in small increments throughout the day rather than to drink several glasses of water in one sitting.
A recent study published in EBioMedicine suggests that dehydration may accelerate aging and increase the risk of chronic disease.
Though more research is needed to prove causation, this study found that individuals who stay hydrated have lower serum sodium levels which in turn reduces the risk of heart failure, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol, while slowing the process of biological aging.
Tim Bilbrey – RecoveryPlus.health
Regardless of one’s condition, the number one mistake people make is not moving.
Yes, everyone needs to be attuned to their own stamina, strength, and flexibility, but experienced healthcare professionals are able to personalize a recovery and rehab program for anyone.
And now, with telerehab and exercise programs available virtually, there is no excuse.
Just make sure you’re working with a viable platform that does not take a cookie-cutter approach, that complies with your doctor’s prescribed activity, and that keeps your doctor informed about your progress.
Kieran Sheridan – GulfPhysio
There are several common mistakes that people make when it comes to physiotherapy and their health:
- waiting until their pain or injury becomes severe before seeking treatment
- not following a treatment plan
- not communicating with their physiotherapist
- relying solely on medication
- not staying active
- not seeking treatment for chronic pain.
It’s important to seek treatment early on, follow a treatment plan, communicate with your physiotherapist, use a combination of therapies, stay active, and address chronic pain.
A physiotherapist can help you develop strategies to manage your pain and improve your quality of life.
Becka Nieder – Becka’s Boot Camp
There are five pillars to your health most people drop the ball on at least one.
1. Quality sleep, getting 6-9 hours of sleep, developing a bedtime routine, daily wake-up time, and eliminating blue light three hours before bed.
2. Moving your body intentionally can be anything, from walking 10 minutes a day outside to getting a 30-minute high-intensity workout in every three days to training for a specific event.
3. Drinking adequate water is individualized.
Track current consumption, and gradually increase. Altitude, intense exercise, humidity, and heat, food, and beverages, certain medications can affect hydration.
4. Eat a variety of foods.
Eating the same foods, you miss out on nutrients that help your body work more efficiently. No food item is inherently good or bad. Food is fuel, there is no perfectly healthy.
If you have allergies or autoimmune conditions, there are foods you may need to completely abstain from to be your best. If you lack self-control or are trying to change your cravings, avoiding a particular food may be beneficial.
5. Coping with stress, like eliminating stressors in your life, making sure to properly recover from a work out picking up a hobby, or spending time journaling.
Dr. Gabriela Rodríguez Ruiz – Vida Wellness and Beauty
One of the most common health mistakes people make is focusing on short-term solutions rather than investing in long-term strategies.
For example, in weight loss, many people focus on quick fad diets or crash diets that promise dramatic results in a short period of time.
However, these types of diets are often ineffective and can lead to health issues in the long run.
Additionally, they don’t address underlying causes of weight gain, such as poor lifestyle habits or mental health issues.
Instead, it is important to focus on creating lasting changes that will help improve your health in the long term.
This could include developing better dietary habits, incorporating regular physical activity into your daily routine, and seeking mental health support when needed.
Taking a more holistic approach to improving one’s health is often much more effective than focusing solely on short-term solutions.
Jamie Nadeau – The Balanced Nutritionist
I’ve been a dietitian for over 8 years and I’d say that the number one mistake people make is trying to be perfect.
Healthy eating habits that are realistic and sustainable take time and consistency, and it’s not something that happens overnight.
So many people try to change their habits so drastically that they give up when they can’t stick with it.
When you throw in the towel every time a meal isn’t perfect, you miss an opportunity to learn from what went wrong, and ultimately you end up in a never-ending diet cycle.
People that are most successful with living a healthier lifestyle embrace some imperfections and learn how to move on after indulging.
The key is to keep going and accept that you’re not going to be perfect. When something goes “wrong”, reflect on why and figure out how to work on it going forward.
Dr. Stacey Donelson – Goodlife Acupuncture
The #1 most common health mistake I see my patients make is wanting an “instant fix”.
Most patients come in with symptoms and conditions that have taken years to develop and believe that they can do a quick diet or take a pill, and the challenges will go away.
Consistency over time is the key to good health – we can all weather a stressful event if we have good habits and take care of ourselves – most of the time.
When these little “bad” habits continue over time, it leads to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc.
The little dessert at night just before bed won’t hurt you if you do it once every few months – but nightly over time, you’ll have chronic symptoms appear.
It’s the same when you start to become healthy – walking daily for a week won’t do much; walking daily for a year will change your life.
You must think of the lifestyle change you want to implement – not the quick fix.
Angela Gentile – Sweat Remix
The most common mistake people make is looking at only ONE aspect of health and looking at it as a way to be holistically well.
Losing 20lbs or any amount of weight, will always be about connecting the dots with your patterns and daily habits.
Until you address those and the ways they are not prioritizing your health, then it doesn’t matter what you are trying to lose and change.
You will find yourself exactly here, in the same place, next year and the year after and then next.
It is important to understand all the ways that contribute to our wellness: physically, nutritionally, spiritually, financially, relationtionally.
-your stress levels
-your self love
-your creative outlets
-your home environment.
And like, everything. Doing the work to make all the moving parts WELL will be the key to losing weight and being overall healthy.
You can’t thrive in unwell places. The results you want will always be a byproduct of holistic work.
Dive in to uncover what holds you back and make behavior changes that will not only impact your physical, but they will create badass confidence to be more in control of your life and consistently choose YOU time and time again.
Olesia Stefanko – HitFit
Four of the common health mistakes people make:
1. Not accepting your body as it is
Many people don’t like how their bodies look, which may grow into a really toxic relationship within themselves.
What a person should do first is to focus not on the body’s form but on its function, the things it does for them daily, and what they are grateful for.
Taking care of the body means eating well and getting any activity so that it will feel healthier each day. Having a healthy body means you appreciate it.
Emotional health also improves when you take good care of your physical health. As a result, it gets easier for you to accept and love your body.
2. Underestimating sleep
Sleep gives your body energy. It helps you reload both mentally and physically after a long day. It speeds up natural processes in your body, such as physical growth or repair.
Not getting proper sleep, your body won’t function in all its glory. When you experience a regular lack of sleep, your skin becomes dull and pale, your body gets stressed, and it generates excessive amounts of free radicals.
Develop healthy sleep habits and ensure you get from seven to nine hours of quality sleep every night.
3. Trying to spot train
Women often feel uncomfortable and want to improve certain body parts, be it hips, thighs, belly, or any other, so they aim to lose weight in this concrete area. But there is no such thing as a quick spot fat reduction.
What you can and should do to achieve your body goals is to build a full-body workout routine that will help you reduce the overall percentage of your body fat.
Of course, you can give more attention to exercises that will tone up your target body parts.
Still, only training every major muscle in your body, engaging all muscle groups in the movement, can help you effectively lose weight and improve your overall strength and health.
4. Over-exfoliating your skin
It’s very damaging in the long term. When you remove the protective barrier of your skin, it gets more exposed to sun rays and environmental toxins, and it becomes more vulnerable and ages faster.
Some people with oily skin think that exfoliating with scrubs will help them eliminate the oiliness.
But the truth is that when you over-scrub your skin, the oil production speeds up because the skin’s natural recovery mechanism is put into overdrive.
Susan K Shaffer – Pneuma Nitric Oxide
Not choosing science-backed skincare ingredients
In the skin care industry, we see too many customers opting for expensive products with sub-par ingredients rather than utilizing the best formula to meet their needs.
For example, rather than choosing a product because of its attractive packaging – it’s best to inquire with a dermatologist or seek research that back-up ingredient claims that best match your skin type and concerns.
When choosing science-backed ingredients, you’ll have the best chances of achieving your desired results.
Avni Parekh – LuvlyLongLocks
Firstly, the most common mistake people make about their health is not caring enough about it.
The second mistake is that many don’t prioritize their health. For example, they don’t go for annual-checkup exams and they overlook the importance of visiting a doctor when something feels off in their bodies.
Mistake number three is that lots of folks don’t put into their bodies the appropriate foods and nutrients that promote longevity.
Interestingly, I find that all three of these factors are exhibited.
Breathing through the mouth instead of in and out through the nose on an everyday basis is one of the most common health mistakes people make.
Breathing through the mouth instead of the nose keeps the body (and consequently often the mind) in a stressed state.
It also doesn’t allow for optimal oxygenation of the blood, so muscles and other tissues aren’t being properly nourished.
Mouth breathing leads to over-breathing, perpetuating the cycle of oxygen not being efficiently used by the body. So what do we do?
On an everyday basis, as much as possible, breathe through the nose.
Nasal breathing is a “use it or lose it” type of thing – the more we breathe in and out through the nose, the easier it becomes. The less you do it, the harder it is.
Breath affects almost all systems in the body and how we breathe is hugely important to our health.
Breathing is also the only function in our body that is automatic but also under our control, so we can use it as a tool to calm us down in times of stress or get ourselves ramped up and ready for a workout.
Dr. Jacob Hascalovici – Clearing
Smoking may be your chosen way to relax or just a deeply ingrained habit…it’s also deadly. It increases the risks of many chronic conditions and can make it harder for you to heal from any injuries. As soon as you stop or slow down smoking, the body starts recuperating.
2. Sitting around
Being sedentary can lead to more problems with your heart health, to lost muscle mass, to weaker bones, to weight gain, and to mood disorders. It deprives us of natural mood-lifting hormones and weakens our bodies. The answer is to move more.
Sugar is nutritionally empty and can lead to poor moods, diabetes, and poor health overall. It should be enjoyed in moderation, but a little bit goes a long way. Sugary sodas, many alcoholic beverages, and even some juices should be avoided.
4. Not enough sleep
Without sleep, we lose focus, don’t heal as quickly, may feel mentally foggy, and may notice overall declines in our health. To feel better, prioritize good, deep sleep.
Dr. Jennifer Spencer – Magic City
Everyone Should NOT Be Doing Kegel Exercises
The kegel exercise is an important tool in strengthening your pelvic floor, but only if it’s done correctly.
Quick squeezes of the pelvic-floor muscle can strengthen the fast-twitch muscle that prevents leaking while sneezing, coughing, laughing, and jumping.
Longer endurance holds focus on recruiting slow-twitch muscle fibers that are required for prolonged activity as well as decreasing urinary frequency and urgency.
All muscles need to be able to contract and relax, even the pelvic floor. Most people we see in the clinic need to be relaxing their pelvic floor before they learn to contract it.
If you are habitually doing kegels or strengthening your pelvic floor without lengthening or relaxing it, this can lead to pelvic floor dysfunction (urinary and fecal leakage, urinary urgency/ frequency, nocturia, pain, prolapse, sexual dysfunction).
Squeezing can make a tight pelvic floor problem worse. For these people, many of whom present with feelings of pain in the pelvic floor, kegel exercises are not an appropriate form of treatment.
A pelvic floor therapist can guide you in pelvic floor exercises you should be doing based on your presentation!
Ryan Horton – Horton Barbell
One of the most common health mistakes that I see people make is having a lack of patience.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will you. Those beach-ready six-pack abs aren’t going to start showing after you’ve hit the gym for a week. Getting in shape takes time, consistency and patience.
Remind yourself that as you continue to consistently hit the gym you’re not only going to look better, but you’re getting yourself healthier one day at a time.
This is why it’s important to keep the big picture in mind – being able to have the energy to play with your kids for example – and not worry about what the scale says each day.
We hope that the advice and insights shared by our experts in this roundup have provided you with valuable information and inspiration to make positive changes in your own life.
The health mistakes described in this article above can be addressed through simple changes in our daily habits and routines.
Remember, small changes can lead to big results when it comes to our health, so start today and take that first step towards a healthier, happier you.
Minuca is a freelance writer specializing in creating expert roundups. Her expert roundup posts provide quality content, bring huge traffic, and get backlinks. I also help bloggers connect with influencers.