Health and Wellness

18 Unhealthy Habits You Should Break to Stay Healthy

18 Unhealthy Habits You Should Break to Stay Healthy

The constant lookout for trying our best to maintain a healthy lifestyle in this era can be quite tiring. Every other day we find out that a common habit we had been doing all this time turns out to be unhealthy. This sets a confusion about whether we should try to change or just ignore it since changing a habit is not as easy as it sounds.

Mostly we do things that harm us either without knowing that they do or we just don’t really care much since we were fine this whole time while doing them. We want to enjoy our lives without hindering ourselves from what (may) harm us. We tell ourselves that it’s okay seeing that nothing is happening to us.

However, we need to look after ourselves and avoid any unhealthy traits that can harm us in any way. Some unhealthy habits may not have an immediate effect on you, but in the long run, it can be the sole disadvantage of your affliction.

Remember, there is a limit to everything. You have to wake up and learn how to live your life as healthy as possible. Nowadays, nutrients are not as organic as they were decades ago. This has a higher risk on our health to begin with, but that doesn’t mean we should stop eating. Instead, we should look out for unhealthy habits that can decrease our healthiness and try to change them into healthy traits.

We need to figure out some healthy habits that can help us improve our lifestyle and implement them. I had some unhealthy habits too. I overcame some and still working my way through others. Here are 18 common unhealthy habits that you should get rid of and how you can change them into healthy habits.

Not Drinking Enough Water

We all know the fact that water makes up 60% of our body yet most of us don’t really drink a lot of water. I was one of those people too until I started using an app to track my water intake. I hardly finished 1 liter per day if I am thirsty. Sometimes even less.

Water is the world’s most natural resource that helps with improving your memory, weight loss, toxin flushing, young-looking skin, and many more benefits.

At most times, we are either too busy to remember to drink water or we postpone drinking water later until we finish what is in our hands. But this is wrong. We need to stay hydrated to keep ourselves healthy and our bodies functioning well. We can use an app to track our water intake per day or other ways to stay hydrated.

WHAT I SHOULD DO:
Drink 2 liters (that’s like 8-9 cups) of water per day to stay hydrated. Don’t drink more than that cause it may play with your body’s sodium level which is not good.

Skipping meals

How many of you just skip breakfast and have brunch instead because you are late for work/school, or postpone your lunch until dinner arrives (calling it linner) because you were busy with work? You believe it is okay to have two meals per day.

I did the same. Having to deal with my classes and overload of corrections, I postponed my lunch and spent quieting my hunger by having snacks with my colleagues. Then I realized that I was just harming myself because not having a proper meal for lunch made me ingest more food during dinner.

We hear a lot about not to skip breakfast because it is the most important meal of the day. While that is true, but we also shouldn’t skip lunch and dinner. Each meal has its effect on your body function. There is no way you will not feel hungry if you skipped a meal. It will only make you increase your food intake in the next meal.

WHAT I SHOULD DO:
Don’t skip any meal. If you can’t have time for a proper meal, at least try to pack lunch to work or have some heavy snacks that can replace a meal and help you stay full.

Eating late night

This is very common for people who stay up late at night and crave to eat something. It can be because you came back home late and didn’t have your dinner yet or you’re tired. At night, our body is automatically tired which helps in increasing the release of hunger hormones hence making us feel hungry.

Here are some effects late-night eaters agree with me in. If you eat late, you feel heavy, have trouble sleeping, gain weight easily, and many more problems. This is why you need to create a routine where you don’t stay up late.

WHAT I SHOULD DO:
Stop eating around 5 hours before bedtime. If you feel hungry in between, drink water or have a small bowl of salad or something healthy.

Eating a lot of junk food

Our favorite kind of food, especially with our daily busy schedule. We grab a burger or a greasy french fries to fill ourselves and quiet our hunger. But there is always a limit to what we can have of junk food.

I am not saying you should stop eating junk food because I know that is impossible (at least for me it is). You just have to decrease your intake of junk food. It is harmful to your body in many ways.

WHAT I SHOULD DO:
Have junk food once in a while to enjoy its taste, but don’t make it a regular meal.

High caffeine intake

Caffeine has a different effect on different people. Some people are caffeine tolerant and can have as many cups of coffee as they could and it won’t affect them. The problem is that having a lot of caffeine has its side effects on your body. With time it can increase your death rate.

While most people have caffeine to keep them awake or boost their energy, to some it can help them sleep. So it differs how caffeine can affect a human’s body.

WHAT I SHOULD DO:
According to Healthline, you should not drink more than 4 cups of coffee per day. It is better to have 1-2 cups per day, but if you are a caffeine addict, then try not to go higher than 4 cups per day.

Not eating vegetables; fruits too

Salad, Fruits, Vegetables, Healthy Habit

Most digestive problems like constipation, hemorrhoids, etc. are because you don’t eat vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are considered to be the most important and beneficial nutrients than any other food components. It is true that, nowadays, we can replace them with supplements, but no supplement can give you the full benefits like these foods will.

WHAT I SHOULD DO:
Have at least 1-2 servings of salad per day. Also, try to convert your snacks from junk food into fruits like apple and orange.

Not exercising much or at all

We hear doctors talk about the benefits of exercising daily, and if too busy, then at least 3 days a week. I know that our busy schedule may be hindering us to take action. But no matter how busy we are, we need to find at least 30 mins per day for ourselves to exercise.

Not only does exercising help in losing weight, but it also boosts your energy and improves the blood flow in your system. There are lots of health benefits when it comes to physical exercise.

WHAT I SHOULD DO:
Aim for walking at least 30 mins daily or practice other moderate-intensity physical activities to stay healthy.

Sitting/Standing whole day

I am one of those people who need to change this unhealthy habit. I am the kind of person who spends most of my day sitting with very less physical activities. Whenever I am at home, I am either sitting on my couch, on my bed, or on the floor alongside my laptop most of the time. I started getting lower-back pain, which caused stiffness in my movements. I later started giving myself breaks intervals and moved around the house looking for something to do from time to time.

This is why I love having a job. There is more physical activity at work than there is at home. At work, I am standing while teaching my students, move from my class to the teacher’s room during every break. I also walk with my colleague in the playground if there is nothing to do.

WHAT I SHOULD DO:
Don’t sit or stand for a long period of time. Keep switching between these two. If you were sitting for quite some time (like for over 20-30 mins), get up and move around. You can either go for a walk or just look around the house and do some chores. Even better, you can dance!

Not getting enough sleep

Sleep is the number one factor that plays with our mood and headache occurrence. Apart from that, it can have a negative impact on your immune system, the ability to make decisions, etc. Some people think that sleeping for fewer hours will help them lose weight. This is bullsh*t.

Sleeping has nothing to do with weight loss. Oversleeping can cause obesity but there are also other factors that play a role in gaining weight like diet, exercise, etc.

There is nothing you can gain from sleeping for 4-5 hours a day. It will just interfere in your body’s need to function properly.

WHAT I SHOULD DO:
Sleep for around 7-8 hours daily. Don’t sleep for more than 9 hours. That will just make you lazy.

Sleeping on your stomach

Sleeping on stomach

Another unhealthy habit of mine. I am a stomach sleeper and I need to work on changing it.

Sleeping on your stomach is the worse thing you can do to your neck, back, and spine. They are not in a neutral resting position so you will feel uncomfortable when you wake up. Sleeping in this position can also cause pressure on your nerves and cause numbness.

WHAT I SHOULD DO:
Although it is not a position most people sleep in, try sleeping on your back because it is the best position for your body. If you are unable to sleep on your back, then sleep on the second-best position…your left side.

Snoozing your alarm

The first thing most of us do the minute we hear the alarm ring is hitting the snooze button. We take some time on our bed until we convince ourselves to fully wake up. However, it is the worst thing to do especially if you are tired.

If you are tired and you hit the snooze button, you will just go back to sleep. This starts a new sleep cycle that will be interrupted by the next ring. This will not only cause unhealthy sleep patterns but will also leave you drowsy the whole day affecting your productivity and your mood.

WHAT I SHOULD DO:
Create a mindset that helps you stop hitting the snooze button. Here are some ways that can help.

Sleeping with the lights on

When we are getting ready to go to sleep, our body starts the secretion of the melatonin hormone that helps us sleep. If the lights are on, they disrupt the secretion of melatonin which makes us take longer to sleep.

It is even worse for children because they are more sensitive to light than adults. Their eyes absorb more light than adults do. So you need to be careful with letting the lights on before bed.

WHAT I SHOULD DO:
Sleep with the lights of. If you are scared of the dark, use very dim light.

Going through your phone before going to bed

The blue light from your phone has a huge effect on your mood. Some researches prove that it can also cause depression.

Like I mentioned in my previous point, light disrupts the secretion of melatonin hormone to help regulate our sleep cycle. This will cause fatigue as you will be going through sleepless nights.

WHAT I SHOULD DO:
Stop going through your phone before going to bed. The minute you go to bed, keep your phone aside and don’t use it.

Staring at the screen for too long

When we stare at our mobile phones, watch TV or go through something interesting on our laptops, we tend to stare at the screen for quite a long time. We sometimes even forget to blink. This causes eye strain, dryness, itchiness, blurry vision, and sometimes headaches.

It is true that the Dark Mode created in most apps and the Night Light on our laptop screens can help our eyes feel better than normal bright light. Yet we need to refrain ourselves from straining our eyes by looking at the screen for too long.

WHAT I SHOULD DO:
Take breaks when staring at a screen. Use the 20-20-20 rule. That is, after every 20 minutes of staring at the screen, look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Not wearing sunscreen before going out

This can be one of the causes of getting cancer. Yes! If you don’t wear sunscreen whenever you expose your skin to sunlight, there is a high risk that you may get skin cancer.

It doesn’t matter what skin color you have or what your skin type is, sunscreen should be part of your daily routine before going out.

WHAT I SHOULD DO:
Wear sunscreen that matches your skin type before going out and exposing yourself to sunlight.

Biting your nails

This is something most parents should be careful with as their child may start this habit at a young age. Biting nails can damage the tissues that are responsible for the growth of your nails.

More importantly, you can get sick by putting your dirty fingers in your mouth. We touch different things that are not clean or sanitized. It can be the door, window, even our phone which is not clean. By putting our dirty hands in our mouths we are letting different microbes in which can lead to any kind of illness depending on the microbe on our fingers.

WHAT I SHOULD DO:
For having healthy nails and body function, stop biting your nails. Try a different nervous trick that is more hygienic like playing with your hair or something.

Wearing contact lenses for too long

This unhealthy habit can cause you blindness. By wearing contact lenses for a long time, you are slowly stripping oxygen from your eyes. So wearing them for a long time will make your cornea (the layer that protects your eyes) create a new blood vessel to deal with the oxygen deprivation. This will in turn initiate inflammation and later blindness.

WHAT I SHOULD DO:
I would personally recommend you use glasses and put on contact lenses when you choose not to wear glasses. I do that in person.

Sleeping excessively during the weekends

Most of us sleep less during the weekdays due to our busy schedule and decide that we will be sleeping excessively during the weekends. Sleeping for a long time during the weekend will not make up for the lack of sleep you went through during the weekdays. In fact, it harms our body.

Oversleeping truly affects your weight but that is not the only thing it affects. Sleeping for too long makes our body lazy and affects our body functions too. It harms the blood sugar regulation and blood pressure. It also causes headaches, back pain, heart disease, etc. Oversleeping is not good for our health but sleeping for the right amount of time is what our body needs.

WHAT I SHOULD DO:
Wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day.

Final Words

Changing a habit is not something you can do within a day. As you read these unhealthy habits and how to change them, you may feel intimidated and decide to just ignore them, or become too hard on your self and try to change all these at once. That won’t be possible.

What I need you to do is to take one step at a time, that is, to work on changing one habit at a time. If you found yourself flexible to change, then keep working on the other habits to create the best version of a healthy lifestyle.

I am not sure if you heard about the 21/90 rule. It states that it takes 21 days to make a habit and 90 days to make a lifestyle. So if you commit yourself to change for 21 days, you will change to the new habit. And if you do it for 90 days consecutively, it will become your lifestyle.



Thank you for reading till the end 🙂

If you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to like it and share it with whoever might find it advantageous.

Feel free to share some of your unhealthy habits in the comments below and what you did to overcome them.

18 Unhealthy Habits You Should Break to Stay Healthy

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