If you’re living a generally unhealthy lifestyle, you’re probably clued-in. Most of us are aware that we shouldn’t be shoveling garbage down our throats at every opportunity, reaching for sodas, completely ignoring our bodies’ primal urges for exercise — but we do it anyway. And we somehow are able to shut down the nagging voice in the back of our minds that tell us to knock it off and get ourselves into shape.
The message may come from our conscience, or even a doctor; we’ll still pretend that everything is OK. Even if those around us — friends, family, or co-workers — can clearly see that we’re hurting ourselves.
“Unhealthy” is an incredibly vague term, and can really refer to a lot of things. If you’re overweight, you may be considered unhealthy. The same may be true if you’re underweight or simply have a poor diet. But what the word “unhealthy” is truly striking at is that there are some serious concerns to our overall physical and mental integrity. Concerns that need to be addressed, otherwise we may see our lives end years before they should. Or, if we are able to survive, our quality of life could drop significantly.
So, the question becomes how to tell if you’re unhealthy. Again, you probably already know — and the people around you do as well. There are a number of ways that it manifests itself, too — ways that people can tell you’re unhealthy, just by looking or talking to you. Or, in the case that you’re somehow unaware that your choices are harming your health, these manifestations could be a clue — they may present an eye-opening revelation that it’s time for change. Big change.
Here are seven tell-tale signs that you’re unhealthy, and that it’s time to do something about it.
1. Bad skin
The quality of your skin is a sure-fire way to get a reading on your overall level of health. Of course, some people struggle with skin issues like acne and are otherwise perfectly fine — but skin quality can clue you in to some bigger problems. A poor diet can really impact your skin quality, and if you’re noticing blemishes like stretch marks? That should tell you that something is wrong.
2. Sleep issues
Can’t seem to fall asleep at night? That can be an indication that some aspects of your life need adjusting. Whether it be that you’re eating the wrong foods, ingesting too much caffeine late in the day, or not expelling enough energy during the day, not being able to sleep presents an issue — which cascades into further issues.
3. Bathroom problems
Yep, we’re getting down and dirty. Take note of the color of your urine, and even how frequently you’re going No. 2 — those could both provide important insight into the state of your overall health. Since you’re going to ask, your urine should be a pale yellow color — and hopefully odorless. As for your bowel movement frequency, there’s a wide range. But if you’re going regularly, you’re probably fine. And don’t ignore the grimy details during your investigation.
4. Lip balm reliance
If your lips are constantly chapped, and you find that you can’t live without lip balm, that’s your body’s way of telling you that something’s wrong. Specifically, your lip condition is an indicator of your vitamin levels. If your lips are chapped, you may be vitamin strapped — so diversify your diet, and get the nutrients you need.
5. Bad finger and toe nails
If the condition of your lips wasn’t a solid enough indicator, your finger and toe nails can also give you a heads-up if you’re unhealthy. You’re going to want to be on the lookout for ridges, discoloration, and bumps — all of which should be red flags. Your nails can tell you a lot about your overall state of health, so if something is strange, don’t ignore it.
6. Body temperature fluctuation
Icy feet and hands aren’t normal. Yes, there could be environmental factors at play, but if you’re consistently finding that your extremities are ice cold, it can be a sign of cardiovascular problems. Specifically, cold hands or feet might mean that you’re having circulation issues, and that your body isn’t getting blood where it needs to go. If this is a chronic issue, have it checked out.
7. A cloudy mind
It’s becoming quite clear that our cognitive ability and brain health are closely tied to our physical condition. That means that obesity and elevated levels of body fat can have a significant impact on our ability to think and reason. It’s kind of scary, but also a very promising area of research. So, if you can’t formulate a potent thought, it may be a sign that it’s time to drop some weight.