What Are the Top 6 Bad Habits? Unhealthy Habits

bad habits for your health
Whether it’s smoking, not getting enough exercise, sleep and water or eating late at night, bad habits can sabotage your health

We all have one (or maybe more) bad habit that is hard to shake. And sometimes we may not even be aware of how bad it is until it starts to affect us in negative ways. But recognizing a bad habit is the first step to breaking it.

Here are the top 6 bad habits you can try to break to get healthier.

6 unhealthy habits to break right now

1. Smoking

This may be the most obvious one, and you are likely well aware of the side effects of cigarette smoking. Smoking, even in small quantities, can be dangerous to your health. 

If quitting cold turkey isn’t possible, try setting small goals and cut back on smoking gradually. You can even try professional help and do it in a structured, guided way. 

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it takes years to reap the benefits of quitting cigarette smoking. In fact, the benefits to your health start as soon as 20 minutes after your last puff.

2. Not getting enough exercise

These days, most of us are stuck to a desk all day. But you can’t get away with not exercising too long before the consequences catch up with you. Studies have shown that lack of exercise can cause multiple health issues. So it’s crucial to include some form of physical activity in your daily routine. 

The American Health Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate physical activity to protect your heart health. If you are too busy to go to the gym, you can exercise in small chunks. Try exercising 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes at lunch and 15 minutes after work. This has the same benefits as a continuous 45-minute workout.

3. Not getting enough sleep

Don’t feed into the idea that somehow sleeping less than 6 hours is a recipe for productivity and success.

The fact is, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to serious health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack and stroke

Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Try to go to bed early and get enough sleep so that your body can function at its best. If you have trouble falling asleep, try asking your doctor about what you can do to promote better sleep.

4. Drinking mindlessly

Having a glass of wine or a cold beer after a long day can be relaxing. But drinking too much and too frequently can put you at a risk of developing diabetes, gout, heart diseases, high blood pressure, certain cancers and obesity.

Beer, wine, alcohol and soft drinks can also pile up the calories. Save your liquid calories for when you really want them. 

5. Not drinking enough water

More than half of our bodies are made up of water, making it crucial for our existence. Staying adequately hydrated has both visible and invisible benefits. But how much water should you drink a day? 

Doctors say that on average, men should drink 15.5 cups (3.7 L) of fluids a day, and women should drink about 11.5 cups (2.7 L) of fluids a day. This may vary depending upon your age, physical activity, overall health and weather conditions.

6. Eating late at night

Researchers suspect that moving your dinner hour earlier may give you enough time to allow your body to process food more efficiently. This can help especially if you are trying to lose weight. Because let’s face it; most of us aren’t reaching for healthy foods late at night. Chances are we are reaching for snacks that aren’t the healthiest.