This is a collaborative post.
If you think long and hard enough (or perhaps you don’t have to think so long and hard at all), you’re sure to be able to think of a bad habit you have. It might be drinking a little too much, it might be smoking, it might be not exercising or eating too much junk food or chocolate. Most people in the world – perhaps even everyone – will have some vice they know isn’t good for them and that, in an ideal world, they would give up. In this post, we’re going to look at some of the habits you may not realise are quite so bad for you.
There are also lots of habits that people have that don’t feel so bad. These are habits that are easy to fall into, and that, because they don’t seem that harmful, or harmful at all, the person doing them has no motivation to stop. They enjoy it, or at least, it’s not hurting them, and they’re not worried at all.
The truth is, however, that even seemingly harmless habits can be detrimental to your health and well-being. If you recognise any of yours in the following list, perhaps it’s time to think again about whether or not to quit.
Not brushing your teeth
The best thing to do when it comes to brushing your teeth is to do it twice a day; when you get washed and dressed in the morning, and just before bed at night. You might want to do it after lunch too, but twice is the minimum. Of course, some people fall into the habit of never brushing their teeth, or doing it very rarely.
If this sounds like you, and teeth brushing is not a priority, then you could be harming yourself; bad oral hygiene can lead to heart disease. It’s due to the plaque that builds up on your teeth. This plaque is teeming with bacteria, and if it’s not removed, it can get into the bloodstream and reach the heart where it can do damage.
Clearly, it’s important to brush your teeth more often for health reasons and to keep your teeth healthy (and your breath fresh). If you’re not sure how to do it well, make an appointment with a good dentist like Life Dental & Wellbeing for advice.
Too much TV
Settling down to watch a couple of hours of TV after a long day of work won’t usually be seen as a bad thing. In fact, in many cases it’s an idea that is recommended; it’s a great way to relax when you’re feeling stressed and tired, and it’s a nice, comfortable way to wind down at the end of the day. Sometimes it can even be educational. So why is it on this list?
It’s on this list because too much TV can be very bad indeed, causing all kinds of health issues such as obesity, high blood pressure (and stroke), heart disease, and more. This is mainly related to your blood sugar; if you sit for too long without moving, your blood sugar levels can change, and that can cause a lot of health problems.
If you do want to watch some TV from time to time, that’s not a bad thing in itself. Just try not to do it every single day, and if you do sit still for a while, make sure you get up and move around every now and then. This will help.
On the topic of getting up for a move around now and then, it’s important to consider the amount of time you spend sitting down. We lead incredibly sedentary lifestyles nowadays. Of course, the situation with the pandemic over the last year really hasn’t helped that.
But if you can, consider the amount of prolonged sitting you’re doing. Sitting for meals is one thing, but constant sitting at our desks and again in front of the TV really isn’t good for us.
Try and incorporate at least half an hour of movement into your day when you can. Break your sitting time into smaller chunks, or perhaps try and do some of your work standing up. Sitting for long periods can lead to a range of health issues in the long term. Increased blood pressure, obesity and abnormal cholesterol levels have all been attributed to a more sedentary lifestyle.
Another thing to really keep an eye on is the amount of caffeine you’re taking in. Although it can be an effective way to boost energy levels, it can really cause some issues with your health. Side effects of having too much caffeine can include dizziness, heart palpitations and difficulty sleeping, to name a few.
Caffeine can also dehydrate you, leaving your body in need of more water to get itself back to normal. Anything more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day is considered too much, so keep an eye on that coffee habit. It may be causing you more problems than you realise.
What habits would you like to improve on this year?
I’d love to hear from you if you have any other suggestions to add to this list. Let me know if you can think of any other habits that are worth keeping an eye on as we all try to take control of our health a bit more this year.
Leave a comment in the box below. If you’ve enjoyed this post, check out this one on Micro-Habits To Boost Productivity.