Unhealthy Habits You Need to Break Now

Some of the things you do—or don’t do—every day might be getting in the way of your efforts to be healthier. As you read this list of daily habits, don’t beat yourself up if you find many of them resonate with you. We all have things we could change. And change can be hard—but there are some things that can help make it a little easier.

For example, a 2020 study in Frontiers in sempolanayamtingting Psychology suggests that practicing new habits consistently and in the same context helps them become more automatic so that you don’t have to think about them as much to do them. For example, let’s say you want to eat more vegetables. You could choose lunch to start with and decide that you’ll have at least one serving of vegetables at lunch each day. Lunch becomes your trigger to eat more vegetables—and once that habit is formed, you can build on it.

1. Not Drinking Enough Water

Water accounts for 60% of your body, so it’s not too surprising that drinking water benefits your total body health. Staying hydrated helps to keep your memory sharp, your mood stable and your motivation intact.

Keeping up with your fluids helps your skin stay supple, helps your body cool down when it’s hot, allows your muscles and joints to work better and helps clean toxins from your body via your kidneys.

2. Eating Late at Night

There are a couple of reasons to consider having dinner earlier. Researchers suspect that eating dinner later and close to bedtime changes how the food is digested, including how fat is processed. This could lead to weight gain, per a 2020 study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Another reason is that you may sleep better. A 2020 study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health suggests that eating close to bedtime can disrupt sleep quality.

3. Not Getting Enough Exercise

Physical activity has so many benefits to our health that we can’t name them all here (but we’ll try). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exercise helps manage weight; improves brain health; strengthens bones, muscles, heart and lungs; helps you sleep better; improves mental health and reduces the risk of depression and anxiety; improves focus and judgment; improves the ability to perform everyday activities; prevents falls; helps manage blood sugar; and reduces the risk of chronic disease.

4. Skimping on Sleep

You know that falling short of sleep is a major no-no, but why—what’s the big deal? According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), not getting enough shut-eye can impact a whole slew of things. For starters, it can compromise your immune system, as well as your judgment and ability to make decisions—which can result in making mistakes or being injured.

5. Eating Too Much Sodium

According to the CDC, 90% of Americans eat about 1,000 milligrams more sodium each day than we should. Restaurant foods and processed foods both tend to be very high in sodium. One of the easiest ways to reduce your sodium intake is to cook at home using fresh ingredients. To decrease your sodium intake even further, try boosting the flavor of food cooked at home with herbs and spices rather than salt.