Breaking Bad Habits: It’s Never Too Late

Breaking Bad Habits: It's Never Too Late

It’s Never Too Late to Break Bad Habits

If you’ve been smoking since you were a teenager, avoiding vegetables all your life or choosing the couch over the treadmill for decades, you’re not too old to benefit from a change in lifestyle.

You have a mountain of bad habits that you’ve held onto for decades. In that time, your body has changed, but the habits remain the same. Perhaps it’s time to open the door and let your bad habits go. You won’t regret it.

The good news is that it’s never too late to change. Changes don’t have to be monumental. A small weight loss, taking a walk around the block, seeing the doctor regularly – these things add up and do make a difference.

Do these excuses for not changing bad habits sound familiar?

I’ve felt fine for years. I don’t need to change

You want to live a long time, and you want to remain healthy and active. Your body is forgiving and can overcome years of abuse and neglect when you start to treat it right. By adopting healthy habits, you can help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. You may not be able to undo all the damage, like heart disease or diabetes, but you can feel better and minimize health complications.

It won’t make a difference if I start exercising now. I’m too old for it to matter

Exercise is important at any time in your life. Even if you have been inactive up until now, you can still start an exercise program and feel better emotionally and physically because of it. Exercise can help with the pain of osteoarthritis. It can also help you lose weight. Being overweight or obese can be risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Even losing just a few pounds can help. Just be sure to check with your doctor first before beginning any exercise program.

It’s too late. I’m already sick with diabetes/heart disease

Even if you have diabetes or heart disease, exercise can be a powerful medicine to use along with your other treatments. Talk to your doctor about an exercise program that can help your body better utilize blood sugar. Exercise can strengthen your heart and blood vessels and can assist in lowering your cholesterol.

I’ve been smoking for 30 years. The damage is done and it’s too difficult to stop

True, it’s hard to stop smoking after so long, but your body will start feeling better and stronger if you give up smoking. The minute you have your last cigarette, your body begins healing. A year after your last cigarette, your risk of heart disease lowers substantially. After five years, your stroke risk is reduced. Fifteen years after quitting, the risk of heart disease is the same as a nonsmoker’s.

My grandmother lived until she was 99. I will, too. I don’t have to worry

Genes are only part of the equation. The rest of your health depends on your diet, stressors, activity levels, mental health and how often you see the doctor. These are lifestyle choices that you make every day.

At this point, changing my diet won’t matter

It doesn’t matter if you have health conditions or not, a good diet matters at any age. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts have antioxidants, which help fight cancer. Good food choices also help reduce the risk of heart disease. The fiber from these foods helps clear out bad cholesterol and helps maintain a healthy colon.

Scroll to Top