Top 3 Common Health Myths

Top 3 Common Health Myths

Whether you’re planning on becoming an expat, or even if you’ve lived abroad for a number of years, common myths around health and wellbeing may be etched in your mind due to false information you’ve been given in the past. Read on and discover the truth behind our top 3 common myths you’ll no doubt be familiar with.
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1 - Vaccinations aren’t necessary, and actually make you sick

For whatever reason, this one continues to do the rounds, but it is indisputably false. Some people believe that most major diseases have been eradicated, but in fact, Small Pox remains the only disease to be wiped out completely. Vaccines are tested more extensively than antibiotics and vitamin supplements. They do not make you ill, and are vital for everyone at different stages of life, especially those travelling or moving abroad. For example, the flu vaccination is recommended to everyone as a preventative measure every winter, but Hepatitis jabs are generally only recommended for people travelling to regions with high rates of infection, while the Shingles vaccination is mostly given to people over the age of 60. Always consult your GP with any questions you have around vaccinations, particularly if you’re moving or travelling abroad.

2 - Heart disease only affects the overweight and the elderly

This one seems logical, but it too is false. Yes, a healthy diet and exercise will minimise your chances of heart problems, but you can still fall foul of the disease,and certain smarter lifestyle choices could help keep your ticker in tip-top shape. Being healthy in childhood is a key factor, as studies show that children with a high BMI,high blood pressure, or high cholesterol end up more prone to heart problems in later life. Some issues like your gender (men more prone to heart disease than women) and hereditary problems can have an effect, but by making small changes to your life, you can reduce the risk of heart problems. Things like exercising for at least two and a half hours a week, having an annual heart check by your GP, monitoring your cholesterol, and eating plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains will make a considerable difference.Regardless of where you are in the world, these are all changes you can make with relative ease, and they’re certainly worth it.

3 - You can train yourself to need less sleep

We all lead busy lives nowadays. Between the pressures of work, parenthood, socialising,family life, or all of the above, some of us find it hard to get the required amount of sleep. The popular myth is that you can train yourself to need less sleep, but this simply isn’t the case. Adjusting to expat life can cause a hectic schedule initially, but it is hugely important to ensure that you’re getting enough sleep. You cannot manipulate your body to need less sleep. People who claim to be able to get by on four hours a night tend to not be aware of how sleep-deprived they actually are. Sleep deprivation can cause significant weight gain, and studies show that it contributes to serious health problems, such as cancer. The solution to this one is simple: exercise regularly, and maintain a regular sleep schedule, aiming for eight hours a night. Deep breathing, progressive relaxation and even yoga are options if you struggle to get to sleep at night. As moving to a new country can be a stressful time, getting a good night’s sleep will be more important than ever, and will play a vital part in helping you bed in to your new surroundings.

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