As a species, we humans have advanced in pretty much everything in the last few decades. It’s just our natural innate tendency to get better and better. Technology, real estate, education, astronomy, healthcare – the list is long. The point is, we have sailed north in many areas and will continue to do so.
Arguably, these desirable advancements are a result of our freedom. Freedom gives birth to creativity, and creativity to innovations. However, there are also some consequences of being able to do whatever we want. After all, it is also because of this same freedom that we have criminals among us. But we’re not going to talk about criminology here, we’ll talk about something that suffers a lot because of our contemporary lifestyle – our health.
Yes, despite the unprecedented growth the world has seen in healthcare, we are becoming increasingly unhealthy as a species. While healthcare has sailed north, our health has been sailing southbound. It’s almost ironic because we choose to be unhealthy. Our freedom is leading us to lifestyle decisions that prove detrimental to our health. Scary.
Just think about it for a second. Take a step back and look at the bigger picture: Our grandparents’ generation was much healthier than our parents’. And our parents were much healthier than us at the same point in their life. This may not be true for everyone, but it is mostly the case. Statistically speaking, newer generations are dying earlier compared to older ones.
Now, there are many things we regularly do which may be to blame for our unhealthiness. Some of us may do these things intentionally, while others may not even realize the negative impact of their decisions on their health. If you’re health conscious, you may already be avoiding these things. Anyway, we’ve compiled a list of 19 common unhealthy habits that most of us are guilty of thanks to our 21st-century modern lifestyle. Read on to find out how many of these you’re guilty of!
1. Watching TV
Ideally, we should not spend any time at all in front of the TV. Watching TV makes us inactive and lazy, which is the opposite of being active. And the human body is not meant to stay still, it always needs to be moving to be at its healthiest.
Some people think watching TV is better than staying in front of the computer. Nope, it’s actually equally bad for you. Watching too much TV can also make your brain sedentary and dull since your brain isn’t actively working. So get your bum off the sofa and get moving!
2. Munching on chips
It really is surprising how casually and easily people just munch on chips or any other junk food during their snack breaks, movie sessions, road trips, and picnics. Hopefully, they do this not knowing how bad chips are for health.
We don’t even know why the government still allows companies to sell junk food even if it’s extremely unhealthy. What makes chips really bad is the high proportion of sodium or salt, which makes you obese, increases your cholesterol, and makes you super unhealthy. Seriously, stay away from chips and you will do your body a good favor.
3. That fries & drinks Upgrade
It wasn’t enough that the actual fast food alone was already so unhealthy, that they had to come up with the famous Fries & Drinks upgrade to your burger.
The sad part is, almost everyone falls for it. It’s so cheap and tempting that people think it’s a good deal, not realizing that they’re feeding garbage to their bodies.
Think about it this way. You’re not paying an extra dollar for more food, but an extra dollar to harm your health. Why would you shed out money to harm yourself?! Think about it.
4. Waking up late
Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. Most of us have heard this saying but choose not to live by it. This is another perfect example of how we voluntarily choose to be unhealthy.
Sleeping late confuses the hell out of your body. First, if you sleep late and wake up late, you’re making your body sleep through the part of the morning during which your brain expects to wake up. Ideally, humans are not supposed to sleep during daylight at all. That’s why we sleep at night in the first place. Second, there are those people who sleep late and wake up early. While waking up early is good, these people still lack sleep. And lack of sleep has a long trail of problems associated with it such as lowered cognitive function, physical energy, and even life expectancy.
Most successful people are early sleepers and early risers. It’s just the right way to go about sleep.
5. Eating when bored
Putting in unnecessary calories into your body during your idle time is not exactly the best way to spend time. Especially if you have the habit of eating junk food or sweets. For many people, this is already a habit and they do it involuntarily – almost passively eating whatever is accessible to them.
Don’t fall prey to this habit. One way to counter this is to reach out for water instead. Drinking water can do you no harm, and you’d rather be gulping on water when you’re bored rather than eating random foods that come your way.
6. Sitting for long periods
As mentioned earlier, the human body is really not meant to be inactive. We are physical creatures who need to move around. Sitting for long periods not only creates an unnatural damaging position for our spines, it may also increase our blood pressure due to the long period of inactivity.
If your job requires you to sit for long periods, try taking short breaks to move around from time to time. Also, make sure you exercise enough to counter the inactivity caused by excessive sitting.
7. Skipping breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and skipping it would be serious injustice to your body. It’s the most important meal because the body needs food most during the morning. Since you don’t get to eat anything when you’re asleep, it is essential to fuel your body with energy in the morning to “break the fast.”
Also, skipping breakfast will leave you tired and sleepy for the rest of the day. If you want to be at your best, you need to start your day with a complete breakfast.
8. Sleeping with gadgets
Many people have the habit of using gadgets to fall asleep. For example, listening to music to help you fall asleep or scrolling your news feed until you fall asleep. By doing this, you are relying on gadgets to make you fall asleep.
Sleep should come naturally. Meaning, you should close your eyes with the intent of sleeping and then fall asleep after a while. Falling asleep using your gadgets is unnatural and will only bring you insomnia and fatigue. This doesn’t only apply to gadgets, but also other activities such as studying yourself to sleep or watching TV until you fall asleep.
9. Pizza at office parties
Whenever there is food at the office, everyone is happy. Why? Because it’s usually pizza and everyone loves pizza. It’s amazing how pizza is the most popular office party food over the world.
For those who are employed, you spend most of your time in the office. And you probably regularly consume pizza as a result. Unfortunately, the bad news is that pizza is extremely unhealthy as it is basically junk food. So, try to minimize your consumption of pizza or suggest healthier alternatives to it.
10.Taking sleep for granted
Sleep is precious. However, many of us are comfortable sacrificing it for other things such as work or partying.
Sleep is usually taken for granted, but it is very important for us to get complete sleep to be functional as human beings. It’s actually more efficient to sleep sufficiently since getting enough sleep will enable you to do your work faster when you’re awake, so you won’t have to sacrifice your sleep in the first place.
Don’t deprive yourself of sleep, because you’ll have to face the consequences eventually.
11. Stress eating
Stress kills. That’s a fact. Stress eating makes it even worse. The thing about stress eating is that people usually reach out for unhealthy food when they’re stressed. Common examples include chocolates, wafers or chips. This creates a vicious cycle of unhealthiness. First, you harm your body through stress, then further harm it with unhealthy foods. You may feel temporarily relieved by doing so, but all it does is harm you.
The Cure? Don’t allow yourself to get stressed in the first place. Learn how to take breaks and manage your time.
12. Not drinking enough water
Our body is mostly water. And we need to drink plenty of it too. The recommended intake for most adults would be around 2-3 Liters of water a day. However, most of us barely reach the 1-liter mark.
Drinking lots of water helps you stay away from sickness, keeps your body clean and detoxified, energizes and glows your skin, and most importantly, keeps you hydrated and focused.
13. Biting your nails
This one’s pretty specific and cliche. For obvious reasons, biting nails is unhealthy for you since you’re basically eating germs.
Nail biters usually bite their nails out of habit or as a response to nervousness. So they usually don’t realize it. It’s a minor bad habit but it can have serious consequences. You never know what kind of bacteria you’re putting in your body. The simple solution is to always cut your nails so you have nothing to bite.
Smoking and drinking alcohol have been proven to have adverse effects on health. Still, people smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol. And they do it even if they know it’s bad for them. Most smokers and drinkers are addicted and can’t get out of the habit. Honestly, these people have no self-control.
We wouldn’t have this problem if no one had access to cigarettes and alcohol. It’s honestly very hard to understand why the world still allows the sale of cigarettes and alcohol. If drugs are banned, then these should be too. But since they’re not banned, it is up to us to exercise our self-control, you know, the trait that separates us from animals.
15. Lack of exercise
Our busy schedules have it made it much harder to find time to exercise. However, there is no excuse as we can always find time to exercise. If we can find time for social media, then we can find time to exercise too. Many of us just choose not to.
Exercise should not be seen as something that is done to avoid being unhealthy, but rather something that’s mandatory and part of your routine.
Exercise makes you better at everything you do. It makes you smarter and more likely to succeed in life. That should be enough motivation to get moving!
16. Salt/Sugar to taste
Salt and sugar are two of the most popular ingredients in the kitchen and present in almost every food. Both of these ingredients are completely useless to your body. They do more harm than good and your body doesn’t need them at all. Sugar just makes you fat and more prone to Type II Diabetes, while Salt keeps excess fat around your waist and even increases your blood pressure!
It may be hard at first, but try to run your kitchen at home without these two. Just don’t include them on your grocery list to start with. You may think it’s impossible to make tasty food without salt, think again. Instead of salt, you can use other spices such as pepper to spice up your food and make it tasty.
17. Social media
Studies have shown that those people who post more on social media are less happier than those who post less. This makes sense since people usually post to show off to others or get the approval of others. On the other hand, those who post less don’t feel the need to prove anything to the world because they’re satisfied and happy with their life.
Studies have also shown that scrolling your newsfeed is bad for your mental health. Seeing other people do various pretentious exciting things on social media can trigger depression-causing brain activity.
That said, you should definitely use social media for its good uses, such as getting updated with world news and sharing useful information with others.
18. Birthday cake culture
Cake is really yummy, but unhealthy. And the more birthdays, the more cakes. Whoever created the culture of having cakes on birthdays certainly did not think through the health aspect of it.
We don’t expect you to stop cutting cakes on birthdays. That would probably be a long shot. Perhaps, try to share the cake with more people so each person only gets to eat a little. 🙂
19. Work, work, and work
This is probably the biggest health culprit in our modern lifestyle. We work way more than what is optimal for our us. As a result, our health suffers. Working too much can dull our minds, killing our creative thinking abilities. We are better off working less (about half as much as the average employee), giving us more time to think “freely” so that we can concentrate our brains on other aspects of life and make better life decisions.
While we’re at the subject of work, here’s a quote to give you something to think about:
If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will have to work until you die. – Warren Buffet
After reading that long strict list, you may be asking yourself: Why does life have to be so hard?!
We understand that there are too many ways of screwing up our health. It’s much easier to be unhealthy than it is to be healthy. But remember, hard things yield better outcomes. Each healthy choice you make will prove beneficial for you in the future. Conversely, your unhealthy habits will prove to be very costly later on in life. The choice is yours. 🙂
What’s the fun in living stronger alone? If you found this article useful in helping you live stronger, go ahead and share it with the people you care about! Let’s live stronger together!