Having battled for most of my life with my weight, talking about a healthy lifestyle is something I love to do from time to time on New Girl In Toon but today I want to talk to you about a health issue you may not have considered before.
We all know that the different lifestyle choices we make can have an impact on our health. For example, one issue that seems to be in the news a lot at the moment is the effect that a poor diet can have on our health. Obesity levels are rising in the UK and at the moment sugar seems to be the main focus for the media with the alarming news that there's dangerous amounts of sugar, not only in fizzy drinks but also in the food that we all eat every day.
Similarly, we're all aware of the dangers of smoking and that it isn't really a good idea to smoke. Knowing that doesn't necessarily make it easier to quit, but the arguments against smoking have been well documented for many years and, since the smoking ban in 2007 (does that make anyone else feel old?!), the number of people you see smoking has really dropped. Just this month a new law was passed to ban smoking in a car if you have a passenger who is under 18. This is a great step forward to protect children from the harmful effects of passive smoking - provided that it's possible to enforce it.
But there's one lifestyle habit that many of us take part in every day without realising the dangers associated with it - listening to music. With the amazing choice of music that we have on our iPads and mobile phones it's not surprising that we travel to and from work with our headphones on.
But do you ever think about the potential danger this is doing to your hearing? Most people wouldn't consider it a risk but according to the World Health Organisation many people aged 12-35 may encounter problems with hearing in the future. Thankfully the World Health Organisation isn't suggesting that we abandon our headphones, it's just a question of adopting some sensible guidelines on how often we listen to music and at what volume. The recommended guidelines are to only use headphones for an hour each day and to never increase the volume above 60%.
It's not just headphones that you need to think about. How often have you had to shout to make yourself heard when you're out in a club with friends - the volume levels don't exactly encourage conversations. While we all accept this is part of the deal when you go to a club or music festival, the worry is that frequently exposing yourself to music at this level could lead to noise-induced hearing loss. Most nightclub employees wear earplugs at work and that's something that we, as customers, should also consider doing. You'll still be able to hear the music, but it wont be doing any damage to your hearing. Cheap and readily available in any pharmacy, a simple pair of earplugs could help you protect your hearing.
So when you're running through your healthy living checks, make sure not to forget about protecting your hearing. Once it's damaged you can't get it back.