We all have our guilty pleasures that feel harmless in the long run. A pint of ice cream here, a day spent lazing on the couch instead of exercising there. And in most cases, there’s no harm in taking things easy and treating yourself once in a while.
However, a few minor habits can have not-so-minor wellness consequences if left unaddressed. Here are eight practices you might not know are hurting your health and a few behavior adjustments you can make to achieve your best self.
Sleeping on a toxin-filled mattress
People say not to let the bed bugs bite, but creepy critters may be the least of your worries. Many modern mattresses are made with polyurethane foam and thus are filled with toxins, such as methylene chloride, hydrogen cyanide, volatile organic compounds (VOC), and Toluene diisocyanate (TDI).
These toxins can leave you and your lungs tossing and turning all night long. TDI specifically may lead to respiratory health problems, for example.
That’s why it may be best to stay away from toxins in your mattresses and trust a brand that makes mattresses entirely free of them. If you’re ready to make the switch to a chemical-free bed, products like the Essentia organic mattress are here to help you get the rest your body deserves.
Not getting enough sleep
The number of hours of sleep you need depends on several factors like your age and your genetics. However, once you know how much sleep you need (typically around 8 hours for adults), achieving that number as consistently as possible is crucial.
Not sleeping enough can cause fatigue, spark hormonal issues, increase your appetite, induce sugar cravings, and wreck your overall mood.
With side effects like that, it’s no surprise that some people seem to wake up on the wrong side of the bed.
Not drinking enough water
Many people recognize that significant dehydration can impact their mood, digestion, and overall well-being. After significant hydration, the body also sends cues such as thirst, headaches, and even dry skin.
But even being slightly dehydrated can have an impact on your health, causing all the ailments mentioned above as well as constipation, fatigue, and even muscle pain. To make matters worse, it’s harder to tell when you’re slightly dehydrated because you may not feel particularly thirsty.
That’s why it is essential to drink the expert-recommended amount of water, which is six to eight glasses per day. Eventually, you’ll feel lighter, more regular, and more energized overall. Check to learn more about purified water from Waterdrop.
You don’t need to force yourself to eat when you’re not hungry, but developing a habit of skipping meals may negatively impact you in the long run.
Breakfast is an everyday meal people skip. However, eating breakfast can increase your energy, alertness, and focus in the morning. Additionally, it sets you up to make more healthy food choices throughout the day.
Eating regularly can also help maintain a healthy metabolism, stable blood sugar levels, and regular hormone function.
Lastly, if you’re trying to lose weight, eating healthier meals is more effective and sustainable than skipping meals and setting yourself up to overeat later in the day.
Not maintaining proper posture
Good posture can not only support your bone health and prevent future ailments like degenerative disc disease, but it can also support your mental well-being.
Fostering a habit of sitting up and standing straight without slouching can prevent neck problems, back pain, and muscle strain.
Plus, you’ll look more confident and sure of yourself, which can lead to an overall improvement in self-esteem.
Sitting for too long
If you work from a desk, it’s easy to end up sitting all day without thinking much about it.
But sitting for too long without moving your body can shorten your life. This effect is because our bodies need to move regularly, and they don’t function properly with a completely sedentary lifestyle.
If you do indeed have a desk job, you’re not out of luck. Just make sure to get up every thirty minutes to walk around, stretch, and start the blood flowing again.
Not breathing properly
Another habit many people don’t realize is to take deeper, longer breaths.
Taking shallow breaths prevents your body from responding to stress more effectively and makes us feel more on edge.
On the other hand, taking longer, deeper breaths — from the belly to the chest — can lower your heart rate and decrease stress levels.
Biting your nails
Your hands touch many bacteria-coated objects throughout the day, so they are not particularly clean most of the time.
That’s why putting your hands to your face is not a great idea, and biting your nails can be especially bad for your overall health as it increases the risk of falling ill.
If you anxiously bite your nails, try squeezing a stress ball instead.
The habits mentioned above are so common that many people don’t realize how they can harm overall health. However, changing these small habits can ultimately lead to a healthier, happier, more balanced, and less risky life.