Knowing what habits contribute to good health isn’t rocket science. Good hydration, eating foods low in simple carbohydrates but high in protein and fiber, and consistent, moderate exercise are among the ever-repeated pointers for good health.
But it can be hard to know what not to do. Sometimes, we overlook small habits and think them innocuous. But there are many things we do without thinking twice that actually affect our mental and physical health negatively. Here are some steps to take to curb bad habits that affect us negatively, often without us realizing:
Quit Biting Your Nails
Yes, we’ve all heard this so many times from our mothers, friends and dentists. Why is it a bad habit? The bottom line is this: our hands host the most diverse and dangerous bacteria on our body. Throughout a day of readying ourselves, twisting door knobs, going to the bathroom, and everything else, we touch countless forms of bacteria with our hands. Nails, which we use for scratching, peeling, and a handful of tasks that require sharper, more exact manipulation gather bacteria and particles of dust and dirt. Biting them exposes your body to all the foreign substances that were picked up by your hands. The simple solution: hand sanitizers. The better solution: stop biting your nails.
Stop Wearing High Heels
Looking nice and presenting ourselves in a social atmosphere is important for a number of cultural and societal reasons. One thing we could really do without is wearing high heels. While any veteran to heels will admit the blisters and callouses are not worth it, more than the feet suffer after long-term use. High heels can deteriorate your tendons and put strain on muscles and the spine which can cause musculoskeletal problems over time. Wear more comfortable shoes on regular occasions, and bring out the heels for just the big events.
Spend More Time Alone
Catering to others feels good but it is important to keep slots of time allocated just for you and your personal interests. Developing hobbies, taking classes, or thinking up a new project can help remind you of the values of being alone. Those who spend more time alone report higher levels of introspection and profound thinking, and greater abilities to concentrate. Help your neighbor, help your friend, but never forget to help yourself.
Sit Up Straight
Relaxing is necessary to a balanced lifestyle and mental clarity, but relaxing too much can be bad for you. When we slouch and take muscular pressure of our back we damage other parts of our bodies. Long-term slouching and bad posture can result in labored breathing, and muscle and joint pain (especially in the neck and back). Taking the pressure off your back and abdominal muscles hurts more than it relieves in the long term.