Everyone has a vice – or two. A bad habit you can’t quite kick. Before driving yourself crazy or giving up on leading a healthier life, check out the following “bad” habits that shouldn’t leave you feeling defeated.
“Wine-drinking” countries tend to have a lower rate of coronary heart disease. Studies show red wine offers more benefits than beer and other spirits, but in real-world practice, little to no difference has been noted. So, is alcohol good for you? It can be, but all in moderation. Moderate drinkers are 30 to 35 percent less likely than non-drinkers to have a heart attack.
A Little Bit of Stress
Have you ever heard of stress doing the body good – sounds more like an oxymoron? Ongoing, or chronic stress is devastating to the body’s immune and digestive systems. It can cause depression and anxiety, impair cognitive abilities and more. But those experiencing small amounts of stress can actually benefit from the overwhelming feeling. This is especially true with positive stresses. Take for example the maid of honor at her best friend’s wedding. She’s drowning in responsibility, but in combination with the stresses caused by the excitement and joy surrounding the occasion, the good feelings often override the negative.
Most people can’t start their day without a cup or two of their favorite morning pick-me-up. From heartburn to stomach ulcers to increased stress, too much coffee seems to do the body more harm than good. Recent studies, however, show that coffee offers moderate drinkers an array of great benefits. The caffeine in coffee increases the release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. This leads to mood improvement, better memory and an increase in cognitive functioning. Moderate consumption can also decrease your risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Researchers have even noted that several cups a day can lower your chance of developing Type II Diabetes.
For some, keeping tidy is the toughest feat of the day. But being messy might not be as troubling as it’s made out to be. According to David Freeman, author of The Perfect Mess, being messy can be good for many reasons. “First of all, you save a lot of time. Another, is there is efficiency in mess. People who are really messy know where their stuff is,” he said in an interview with CBS. There is such thing as a “useful mess.” A little clutter here and there can encourage creative juices.
Skipping A Shower
Even if you don’t shower everyday, chances are you tell people you do. Culturally, in the U.S. especially, it’s common practice to shower at least once – sometimes twice – each day. But is this really necessary? Depending on your activity level, skipping a shower now and then can help protect the body. When showering, you wash away the natural oils produced by the body. These oils are meant to protect us. Washing them away too often can cause your body to overproduce these oils increasing the need to shower. Too much showering can also stop your body from synthesizing vitamin D! Stop the vicious cycle and give your body time to self nourish.
Nothing could stop me from biting my nails, not even the no-bite formula my mom used to give me as a child. Nail biting gets a bad rap because, essentially, it’s a dirty habit. Your fingernails gather dirt from wherever you’ve touched. That dirt then finds its way into your mouth – gross, right? But these germs actually give your immune system a workout. When you expose your body to new germs, the body begins developing antibodies, which in turn, boosts your immune system. And while nail biting is often brought upon by nervousness, it eases this sensation; making nail bitters great under pressure!
Anyone who has ever told me to stop cracking my knuckles, tells me I’m going to have arthritis one day. Now, we know this is not the case, says Dr. Pedro K. Beredjiklian, chief of hand surgery at The Rothman Institute. In cracking your knuckles, you are stretching the joint and releasing pressure, which is why it feels so good!
There’s been much talk lately about the terrible effects of sitting all day. So, it should come to no surprise that being fidgety keeps your fitness levels up and your heart healthy. Reducing sitting time can decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke. Being fidgety also burns calories. Take a look at some of your more fidgety friends. Chances are, these habitual pacers are on the thinner end of the weight spectrum.
Watching Funny Videos…At Work
Some workdays seem like an eternity. When you’re stuck in the office, zoned into your overflowing workload, the last thing you want is a distraction. But this is exactly what you need. Some of people’s best ideas come at random times, when work is a million miles from their mind. Distractions can boost creativity and even make you a better problem solver. Try walking away from your work for a short time and let your mind wander. When you return to your task, your mind should feel more relaxed and open with a new perspective.
Candy is good for you. I bet you never thought you’d hear that statement. With all its sugar and lack of nutrients, candy is good for your health once in a while. Many are aware of the heart-healthy properties of dark chocolate, packed with antioxidant flavonoids. According to a study in the British Medical Journal, eating chocolate regularly decreases the risk of heart attack and stroke by 39 percent and can also combat depression. Aside from chocolate, peppermint candy can ease digestion and improve concentration, a compound in cocoa can slow the growth of certain cancers, and chewing gum can reduce stress. Research even shows people who eat candy daily live longer than those who have never given into their sweet tooth!
Do you have any bad habits that might actually be good for you?