20 Unhealthy Mistakes Even Healthy People Make + What to Do Instead

8 minute read

Every choice you make impacts your health. The foods you eat, your daily activities, your bad habits, the friends you keep, and even where you live all impacts your mental and physical wellbeing. Staying conscious of the right things to do for your health is only half the battle. It turns out there is plenty you need to avoid as well.

People commonly make little mistakes each day, which are negatively impacting their health. When it comes to promoting your health and striving to increase longevity, these are the things you want to avoid.

1. Sedentary Behavior

Staying seated for extended periods of time has been shown to be bad for posture, digestion, and increases your risk for cardiovascular disease. Be sure to walk around a bit and look into buying a stand-up desk at work.

2. A Jam-Packed Schedule

Keeping a long to-do list means you don’t have enough time to relax, so cut the list down and watch the stress get cut too.

3. Too Much TV

Binge-watching your favorite shows is addicting, but staring at a screen long into the night disrupts sleeping patterns, which will impact productivity and heath.

4. Brushing Right After Meals

Brushing after you eat was what the dentist used to tell you, but that is not a good idea. It can damage the protective layer of your teeth, so you should always wait about 40 minutes or so after eating to get the toothbrush out.

5. Keeping the Jams Pumped Up

Listening to your favorite tunes can drown out the stress of the day, but headphones playing sounds at maximum levels can cause permanent hearing damage. Be sure to keep the volume low so you can keep your hearing for longer.

6. Burning the Midnight Oil

A lack of sleep increases your risk for depression and interferes with cognitive function. You are also at increased risk for heart disease and cancer, so be sure to get between 7 and 9 hours a night.

7. Phone for a Bedfellow

Keeping your phone nearby at bedtime or using it as an alarm is a bad move. The blue light disrupts sleep patterns. Buy an alarm clock and keep your phone on silent at night to get the uninterrupted sleep you need.

8. Letting Yourself Dry Out

Your body is made of 60 percent water and yet many people forget to drink enough. Dehydration increases you risk for illness and also contribute to fatigue, headaches and digestive troubles. Eight glasses a day is all you need, maybe a little more when it is hot outside.

9. Leaving in Your Contacts

Whether it’s laziness or forgetfulness, you should never sleep with contact lenses in. They can trap bacteria close to the lens of your eye, causing frequent eye infections and can scratch the eye surface if you happen to move during your sleep.

10. Snacks for Stress

Everybody has a go-to food when stress levels get high, and it typically is full of sugars and fat. Stress eating leads to obesity and heart disease, so you are better off trying meditation or yoga to deal with everyday stress.

11. Skipping Strength Day

Cardio workouts boost heart health and help you lose weight, but there is more to health than that. You need to incorporate strength training as well so your muscles, bones, and metabolism can benefit too.

12. Letting the Bad Air In

Driving with the windows down may seem like a good idea to get fresh air. Sadly, this is only true if you are driving through a back country road surrounded by trees.

It is more likely that your surroundings are other cars, diesel trucks, and smog, which will only increase your risk for cancer the more you inhale. It’s why you may even want to change the air filters in your home.

13. Not Getting Your Protein

The importance of protein is commonly forgotten. One in three adults is not getting enough protein in their diet and without this your energy, strength, and muscle health will falter. Don’t forget to eat meats or nuts.

14. Getting Brain Fog

Probiotics and prebiotics are all the rage these days because of their proven benefits for digestive as well as overall health. Excessive use, however, can cause bloating and brain fog, so take care not to overdo it and be mindful of how you feel when taking them.

15. Not Stretching

You should always stretch before a workout. You need to warm your muscles up to avoid any serious injury, so make sure you allow for the time to warm up and cool down with every exercise.

16. Skipping Breakfast

Many of us understand the rush to get ready in the morning and get to work. This usually means skipping breakfast or grabbing something processed and convenient.

| Related: Spicy Baked Avocado Eggs Are an Easy, Quick Breakfast |

Studies have found that not starting your day with a proper breakfast deprives your body of the energy it needs and often leaves you in a poor mood while craving unhealthy food all day long. High protein content in the morning keeps you full and provides all the energy you need while setting your metabolism to a healthy rate for the day.

17. Settling for Convenience

Society today pressures us to look for the easy way out and to focus on convenience. From fast food and access to the world on your handheld device to finding the closest parking space, we breed laziness.

Unless you have a serious time crunch, park far away and walk. The exercise will do you good, plus you will probably be done before that elusive spot even opens up.

18. Relying on Pipe Dreams

We dream big, so we plan big. The trouble with setting big goals is that they may not always be realistic. When you do not reach them, you are disheartened, discouraged, and depressed.

| Related: Stephen Hawking’s Advice for Depression Sufferers |

Set goals in small, achievable steps and reward yourself with each win. Eventually you get to the big goal but with your sanity still intact.

19. Staying Too Sweet

Most people have a bit of a sweet tooth, but we often overdo it and eat too much sugar. Excessive sugar increases your risk for diabetes and obesity, both of which can lead to premature death if not carefully managed.

20. Overdoing Painkillers

Our reliance on pain medications has increased since they were invented, but taking too many can cause liver damage. Looking for more natural pain relievers or limiting the prescriptions ones will be the best bet overall.

The Bottom Line

Staying healthy and promoting longevity should be a goal for everyone. Despite our best efforts, we may be doing things we think are good for us when in reality they are doing more harm than good.

Avoiding the common mistakes discussed, you can be sure to stay on the right track for good health and a long and abundant life.

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