April 14, 2015

8 Surprising Habits That Can Harm Your Health

We all know the basic principles of maintaining a healthy lifestyle: eat right, exercise, drink enough water, get enough sleep, and avoid alcohol and tobacco. But there are plenty of seemingly innocuous habits that can harm our health, too. From what you wear to how you spend your time, read on for some of the most surprising habits that could be harming your health. 

1. You Wear High Heels.
Those sky-high heels may make your legs look great, but they’re doing a number on your body. To put it simply, the way that you stand in high heels is not a natural — or healthy — position. They can cause a number of issues for your feet, like corns, calluses, and more, but they can also affect your back, spine and knees. If you wear heels regularly, it can cause spinal, muscular and tendon damage. Can’t give ‘em up? Opt for shorter heels and skip the pointy toes. And, of course, try not to wear them every day! 

2. You Bite Your Nails.
It’s a bad habit, to be sure, but it can also lead to a slew of health complications. Jaw and teeth problems, skin damage, and an elevated risk of catching colds and flus because of exposure to germs on your hands are all linked to nail biting. Kick this habit now! 

3. You Exercise Late at Night.
Though any exercise at any time is an important component of a healthy lifestyle, breaking a sweat too late in the day isn’t always ideal. Though it’s not true for everyone, for some people, getting that adrenaline pumping so close to bedtime can make it difficult to fall asleep. If you suspect that you’re among this group, try to change your schedule around to make exercising earlier in the day a priority. 
4. You’re Never Alone.
Does it feel like you never get the chance for some “me” time? Research has shown that being alone helps you be more productive and concentrated, enables deeper thinking and problem-solving, and even makes your relationships stronger. Carve out some alone time, even if it means waking up a little earlier or going to bed a little later. 
5. You Wash Your Hair Every Day.
Sure, it’s nice to feel clean, but over-washing hair can strip it of the natural oils it needs to look, feel and be healthy. Your best bet is to wash it every other day. 

6. You Can’t Say No.
Resist the urge to please everyone and let yourself say no sometimes. Societal pressures, politeness, and even gender can make it difficult for many people to say no. But being a people-pleaser can make it harder for you in the long run, especially if you’re committing to promises you probably can’t keep. This can take a toll on your well being. If it’s hard for you to flat-out reject something, you can try and easier approach, like, say, “I’m not the best person to ask here.” 
7. You Have Bad Posture.
There’s a good reason that your mom always told you to stand up straight — having bad posture can have serious consequences for our body. It can impact your ability to breathe properly, damage your heart and your gastrointestinal tract, it can cause headaches and neck, shoulder and back pain.
8. You Take Life Too Seriously. 
It’s not that you should just ignore all of the bad things in the world at large and in your life in particular — it’s that having a little fun, laughing, and experiencing joy are all great for your mental health. Laughing, for instance, is an excellent stress and anxiety reliever. 

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