We all have habits that we are guilty of doing over and over again.
Some bite their nails. Some eat junk food all day long. And some are chronic procrastinators who always fail to be on time!
But there are some habits that are the product of our daily lives. Habits that are so common that we don't even think of them as bad habits until they are pointed out to us.
Well, buckle up! Because that's exactly what you are going to learn today - 10 bad habits that are failing you because you don't even know you commit them.
#1 Sitting for long periods of time.
The urban life is a very sedentary one (unless you are an athlete or a gym trainer). We are confined to our desks for more than 8 hours a day, and only get out of them when it's time for lunch or a coffee break.
But did you know that this unfortunate necessity is actually killing you?
Sitting at your desk for too long is dangerous because it leads to obesity, increased risk of stroke (because of clot formation), high blood pressure, cholesterol, you name it!
This condition is also known as metabolic syndrome and studies have shown that those who remain stationary at their desks for more than 4 hours a day have a 50% increased risk of dying from it and a 125% increased risk of dying from a heart attack.
What should you do instead? Here are some ideas:-
- Take a walk around your workstation every 30 minutes (even if it is a trek to the bathroom door and back again).
- Walk and talk on your phone when you get calls.
- Walk and talk with your colleagues during coffee breaks.
- Stand up and work for a while.
Your mom doesn't remind you to sit and stand straight because she has OCD. She does it because she knows bad posture is bad for your health.
Not only does bad posture (like slouching, keeping your head ahead of your shoulders, and hunching) lead to back, shoulder, and neck pain in the short run, but in the long run it can give rise to serious issues like spondylitis, vertebral anomalies, and development of a hump on your back.
So if you want to get rid of this habit, be conscious of it and catch and correct yourself every time you slouch. Because if you do this diligently for a few days to weeks, you will automatically maintain your posture without even having to think about it.
#3 You don’t stretch during the day.
The muscles in your body are like rubber bands. When you perform activities, they contract and relax to allow you to move. But when you are at rest, they remain contracted to help you maintain your posture and balance until you move again.
Unfortunately, when you are static for long periods of time this very mechanism becomes the bane of your existence because your muscles build up lactic acid over time, which ultimately leads to muscle soreness once you do eventually get up.
In fact, the hip muscles are the most tightly contracted when you sit down, which is why a lot of people end up with back pain when they are confined to their desk all day long.
#4 Overthinking about weight loss.
If you are like most of us, you definitely are guilty of doing this. Unfortunately, thinking about losing weight and obsessing over your weight loss goals is not going to do you much good in the long run.
This is because when you start identifying with just one aspect of your life, you train yourself to gain confidence from only that. And when things go downhill, which they often do since weight loss routines take a while to show results and are negatively impacted by plateaus, you end up feeling like a loser.
The same applies to all areas of your life. Whether it is being a workaholic at the cost of everything else, being a relationship addict, or a social media influencer.
So stop overthinking about losing weight. Take it slow and be realistic.
Also read - How to Start Working Out for the First Time
#5 Taking the elevator when you can take the stairs.
We complain about obesity and obsess over staying healthy, and then promptly jump onto an elevator and ride to the second floor. In fact, some of us are so used to the comfort of elevators that we end up taking it downstairs as well.
And wait! I am not saying that you should take the stairs if your apartment is on the 22nd floor or your office on the 35th floor. After all, it's not the gym's stairmaster. But if you only need to climb a few flights of stairs to reach your destination, then it's always a better idea to do just that.
#6 Waiting for an occasion to start working out.
New year's just round the corner and I am sure half the world has already decided to start working out on 1st of January. In fact, statistically speaking gyms and workout centers see a spike in memberships during the first week of the new year and then observe a steady drop back to the average by the end of week 3.
Don't be that statistic! Instead, if you are planning to start working out, start that very day. Even if it is a Friday.
Don't wait for Monday and then drop the plan because you are too tired from work.
The key is to cash in on your resolve the day it strikes youand prevent the procrastinating part of you from pushing it to another day.
#7 Sucking in your stomach.
You may think it is a good way to appear slim, but in reality, you are just harming yourself that way.
That's because when the muscles of your gut are contracted for long periods of time, they end up accumulating a lot of lactic acid(which is a metabolic byproduct), which ultimately leads to back pain.
And who are you kidding anyway? The world? Believe me, if you are obese, sucking in your stomach makes it more obvious.
And if you are not, then you probably might be suffering from poor body image issues or anorexia nervosa, both of which require medical help and therapy.
#8 Sleeping at odd hours of the day and night.
You may be a busybody and have a packed schedule. But chronic instability in sleeping hours can lead to insomnia, poor bowel movements, and stress over time.
This is because our bodies love to follow routines (because that reduces our energy expenditure and allows us to conserve more energy for dire times) and hate it when they are unable to find a specific pattern.
So stop sleeping at 1AM one day and 10PM the next. Find a time that works for you and go to bed during that time every day!
#9 Using your smartphone or tablet right before bed.
Melatonin is the hormone that regulates your sleep cycle. And it needs the darkness to function properly. Maybe that's why people are finding it harder and harder to fall asleep these days. Why else do you think "how to fall asleep fast" is one of the most-searched keywords on Google?
So if you are guilty of this habit (like I was), please drop it. Instead, try reading a book or writing in a journal, and then go to sleep once you feel drowsy.
#10 You take sleeping pills.
Sleeping pills are bad. Period.
They artificially supply your body with melatonin and serotonin, the hormones needed to fall asleep, and therefore, train your body to stop producing these hormones naturally. And so when you try to get off them, you find yourself unable to fall asleep because your body is now completely dependent on them for sleep hormones.
So take my advice and chuck those pills. You may feel sleepless for a few nights, but you can retrain your body to produce these hormones naturally by having certain food items that induce their production.
Want to know what they are?
Read this - 9 Simple Ways to Sleep Better At Night
Liked it? Share it.
We are all guilty of at least a few habits on this list. And I will be the first one to admit that I have committed all except for #10.
So if this list resonated with you, share it! You will be doing the world a whole lot of good by putting it out there so more people can read it. #badhabits
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