We all have a bad habit or two that we can’t quite break, even though we know it isn’t that good for us. Smoking is a particularly well-known example of a habit that often has major consequences health-wise. But smoking is just the beginning of the list of bad habits that can negatively affect our health. In fact, we’re willing to bet that even if you don’t smoke, you’re guilty of taking part in another habit that isn’t particularly healthy.
If so, you’re not alone: we all sometimes let some bad habits slide into our daily routine. Sometimes this happens because people enjoy indulging in these bad habits; in other cases, they just may not realize that what they’re doing is as bad for their health as it is. Either way, breaking bad habits is one of the best ways to give your overall health a bit of a boost. With that in mind, here are five very common bad habits that may be a regular part of your routine – and which you need to break:
Don’t regularly eat lunch at your desk. Chances are that you’ve found yourself eating lunch at your desk due to your busy day at work. However, if this has become a regular part of your routine, it’s time to ditch this habit, for several reasons. For starters, lunch is a time of your day where you can stand and get moving – something that you shouldn’t take lightly, since the amount of time that we spend sitting each day is becoming a serious health hazard. Plus, working while eating can quickly turn into the equivalent of eating while watching TV – meaning that you’re more likely to mindlessly overeat and make bad dieting decisions. Add in the fact that eating at your desk takes away a great opportunity to de-stress at work by relaxing or socializing with coworkers, and you’ve got a bad habit that just doesn’t deserve your time. Our advice? Find another spot at work – or outside – to enjoy your meal.
Avoid binge-watching TV shows and movies. There’s no way around it: binge-watching television shows or movies (and Internet videos, too) raises your risk of gaining weight, of developing diabetes or heart disease, and of overeating and indulging in high-fat, high-calorie, and high-sugar snacks and drinks. With more research indicating that adults who spend three or more hours a day in front of the television may double their risk of a premature death, this is one habit that is definitely worth ditching. Simply spacing out your TV time, or turning TV time into exercise time, will allow you to continue to enjoy your favorite shows in a healthier way.
Skip the late night computer and tablet use. If you like to unwind before going to sleep by watching videos online or reading on your tablet, we have bad news for you. Exposing your eyes and body to the light from computer and tablet screens suppresses melatonin levels, which makes it much more difficult for your body to naturally drift off to sleep. The result is a poor night’s sleep – and since a good night’s rest is tied to better memory, higher energy levels, maintenance of a healthy weight and more, this lack of sleep can contribute to a number of health problems over time. We definitely recommend putting the tablet and computer away at least one hour, if not two, before you plan on going to sleep. You can then fill in the time before bed with a number of activities, including reading, mediating, or listening to music – as long as no screens are on while you listen, of course.
Refrain from overeating on weekends. How many of us have stuck to a healthy living plan all week long, only to overeat or fail to exercise when the weekend arrives? While enjoying a small indulgence during the weekend is generally ok, when people regularly go overboard in their enjoyment, they can actually undo any progress they made during the week. This isn’t just bad for anyone who’s trying to lose weight, either: this overindulgence is a contributing factor to whether or not we put on weight over time. Unfortunately, the more we weigh, the more likely we are to develop weight-related health problems. Ditching this habit – and committing to a healthy living plan on weekends – will help you reduce the risk of developing these types of health problems, and will help you stick to your healthy living goals.
Stop skipping out on flossing. Let’s be honest: a lot of us are guilty of not sticking to this healthy habit as much as we should. But skipping out on flossing will actually do more than increase the chances of you developing a cavity. It can also increase the risk of you developing gum disease – and gum disease has been linked problems such as heart disease. The connection between the two is still being explored by experts, but for now one thing is for sure: regularly flossing isn’t just good for your gums – it’s also probably good for your overall health.
While these five points are just a few examples of how our daily habits can impact our overall health, they are excellent starting points for anyone looking to begin making new and small changes that will have a major impact on their health. We invite you to try and see if you can begin making an adjustment in your own routine that will allow you to live a healthier life.
*Image courtesy of commons.wikipedia.org