How do bad habits affect our health?

“Bad habits are like chains that are too light to feel until they are too heavy to carry” – Warren Buffet

‘Crack’ Your Knuckles

It doesn’t just annoy others — it may not be very good for you, either. A substance called synovial fluid keeps your joints moving easily. The sound your knuckles make when they “crack” comes when you pop tiny bubbles in that fluid. Even if knuckle cracking doesn’t cause arthritis, there’s still good reason to let go of the habit. Chronic knuckle cracking may lead to reduced grip strength. 

Bite Your Nails

Nail-biting typically begins in childhood and may accelerate during adolescence. It’s not always clear why someone develops this particular habit, but once it starts, it can be difficult to manage. You may get more colds and other illnesses when you put your fingers, which often carry germs, into your mouth. If stress could be the reason for your habit, you might try things like exercise to manage it. 

Cheat Yourself on Sleep

If you don’t get enough sleep, you’re not just turning yourself into a daytime zombie — you also could be more likely to have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and depression. And it might be harder for you to learn and remember things. Set a regular sleep routine and stick with it. And do your best to get 7-8 hours a night.

Blast Your Headphones

Sound is measured in decibels — normal conversation is about 60 decibels. It’s best to keep the volume in your headphones below 75 (about as loud as a vacuum cleaner) to be safe. And don’t listen for more than a couple of hours at a time. You’re more likely to lose hearing as you age if you’re around loud noise a lot. That happens with more than half of us by age 75.

Surf Before Bed

Not waves — the Internet. The “blue light” given off by electronic gadgets like phones, computers, and TVs can mess up your sleep. And some studies show that too much of any kind of nighttime light might be linked to cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Calm yourself before bed. If you want to read something, open up a book. Keep your bedroom dark and quiet for better sleep.

Sit for Long Periods

Part of the problem is the modern workplace, where you may hunker over your computer for hours on end. This slows down your metabolism, which means you could gain weight. It’s also linked to other health problems, including heart disease. There’s an easy fix, though: Just get up now and then and move around. Even a 10-minute walk each day can help.

Eat Too Much

If you make a habit of it — even if it’s healthy food — you’re likely to gain weight. Check portion sizes before meals and measure out snacks you have in front of the TV, so you know exactly how much you’re eating.

Eat Too Quickly

It can leave you less satisfied — and make you more likely to overeat over the course of the day. If you slow down, you could feel fuller with less, because your body has a chance to realize you’ve eaten enough. It can help to focus when you eat: Take small bites and chew them well; this is what we call mindful eating.

Mindful eating is a game-changer. When we’re mindful, we’re in the present. We’re grounded and much more capable of making a purposeful choice instead of reacting without paying attention or reflexively choosing an old habit or behavior. How do you start growing a mindful eating habit? It begins with a pause. Taking a deep breath. Growing aware of what is happening in this moment. The way your body feels, the thoughts you are having, the taste of your food, the experience of hunger or fullness.

Eat Fast Food

Swinging through the drive-thru or hopping into your favorite fast-food restaurant tends to happen more often than some would like to admit. Many fast-food meals have added sugar. Not only does that mean extra calories, but also little nutrition.

Smoke Cigarettes

This bad habit affects nearly every organ in your body. It can lead to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, bronchitis, emphysema, and other health problems. It also raises your risk of tuberculosis, eye problems, and immune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis. And if you spend a lot of time around someone who smokes, you’re more likely to have asthma, heart disease, lung cancer, or a stroke.

Linda is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
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Author: Linda

Reading with a cup of coffee; especially on rainy days at @notadankopi