We’ve all got bad habits. And if left unchecked, some of these can grow into more significant patterns, wreaking havoc on our health and ability to attain goals.
However, when carried out in moderation, some habits that are considered bad can actually benefit our physical and psychological well-being. So before you cut all bad habits out from your life completely, let’s take a look at some that are actually good for you.
1. Skipping exercise
Sure, exercise has a world of health benefits. In addition to boosting self-esteem, mood, sleep quality, and energy, regular physical activity lowers the risk of developing heart problems, depression, and dementia just to name a few.
But there is such a thing as too much, even when it comes to good things, like working out! There is no point in forcing yourself to exercise if you didn’t get enough sleep the night before, feel sore, or are overwhelmed by other commitments in your life.
Sometimes, skipping a session and just taking some time for rest and relaxation is the healthier choice.
2. Eating fatty foods
One outdated diet recommendation you shouldn’t feel obligated to follow is to avoid high-fat foods altogether. Fat has many vital functions in the body, and a moderate quantity is required for optimal health.
That said, you should aim to choose unsaturated fats over saturated fats, though it is possible to balance both in a healthy diet. Foods like nuts, olive oil, avocado, and salmon are rich in unsaturated fats, while dairy, eggs, and beef contain saturated fats. While certain foods may not be that good for you, getting enough fat from various sources is critical for long-term health.
3. Eating carbs
There’s quite a bit of misinformation about this, especially in mainstream media. Some would have you believe that carbs are the ultimate enemy, but they feature quite prominently on the ‘food plate.’
Whole grains like quinoa and farro are rich in carbohydrates, as are sweet potatoes and black beans. Carbs are your body’s primary energy source fueling your brain, kidneys, and central nervous system. The fibers present in carbs also help with digestion. As long as you get about 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calories from carbs, you can actually avoid many health issues in the long run.
4. Sleeping in
Many believe that those who sleep in are slackers and aren’t driven or disciplined enough to wake up when the sun rises. But the truth is, a lot of people sleep less than they should throughout the workweek.
However, not getting enough sleep can have long-term negative health consequences, impacting everything from immune system function to the risk of heart disease.
Obviously, you shouldn’t sleep in all the time as too much sleep can also be bad for you. But if you’re feeling like you need a few extra hours on a Saturday morning, after an especially tiring week, go ahead and catch up on that Zzzs.
It may sound weird, but complaining can sometimes be a good thing. Of course, you don’t want to be that person who complains all the time and ruins every outing, but sometimes you have to let it out.
Complaining is proven to relieve stress and even create stronger bonds with your friends and family since it shows that you trust them enough to confide in them.
Furthermore, studies suggest that those who complain have higher self-esteem than those who keep their feelings bottled up.
Swearing may be considered impolite, but it’s not all that bad. Obviously, if you’re constantly swearing, you might come across as a little too aggressive in your approach. But dropping the occasional f-bomb can actually make you come across as more authentic and genuine.
Swearing also helps to relieve stress and process negative emotions. And shouting swearwords could actually help increase pain tolerance! So, if you bang your knee against the table “Oh, Fuck!” just say it.
7. Giving in to cravings
You may believe that the best way to cope with food cravings is to ignore them for as long as possible. But this approach usually leads to overeating when you finally ‘give in‘ to your craving. Sure, some foods are more nutritious than others.
But avoiding foods you consider bad and only eating foods that are good is unlikely to make you healthier overall. Instead, just choose to eat what you are craving and enjoy it, in moderation, of course.
8. Wasting time
Spent the last few hours hitting the next episode on Netflix? Well, who hasn’t? But it doesn’t mean you should beat yourself up about it. You can’t be productive 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and in fact, you shouldn’t.
Sometimes, it’s good to put a few things off and make time for yourself to do anything you want. That downtime helps your brain rest and recover, and it helps prevent burnout. If you really can’t get over the feeling that you’re being unproductive, put on a podcast and take a walk. The ideas that could come to you might even give you a whole new perspective on life.
9. Going out to eat
You might frown upon your friends who prefer going out to eat over cooking meals at home. After all, restaurant food is usually calorie- and sodium-heavy and not as nutritious as home-cooked meals. But the nutrition content of your food is not the only thing you need to worry about.
Your social life plays a huge role in your well-being, and isolating yourself from friend groups and avoiding social events can negatively impact your mental health. Cut yourself off long enough, and you might sink into depression. So don’t feel bad about going out with your friends to enjoy a meal together every now and again.
10. Drinking wine to relax
Alcoholism is not healthy, nor is it attractive. So I’m not suggesting that you chug bottles of it at your niece’s birthday party. But sipping on a glass of wine at the end of a long day is fine in most cases. It provides antioxidants, promotes longevity, and it’s thought to help protect against heart disease and harmful inflammation.
11. Taking naps
You might think that naps during the day are a waste of time or that they disrupt your sleep schedule too much. But napping may be beneficial to your health.
Naps can reduce fatigue, increase alertness, and improve your mood. They’re also shown to lower blood pressure. A quick 10 to 20-minute power nap can go a long way for your mind and body.
Snacks between meals can help manage hunger, and they definitely don’t deserve the bad rep they get. Now, if you tend to opt for chips and chocolate over healthier options, you’re obviously going to feel the ill effects.
So it’s best to choose snacks that are both nutritious and satisfying such as cheese and crackers, fruit and nuts, or peanut butter with toast.
We all know that tanning beds are bad for the skin. You definitely want to steer clear of those. We also know that regularly skipping sunscreen isn’t good either. But moderate sun exposure offers some real health benefits. Mainly, sunshine helps your body produce vitamin D, a nutrient that’s essential for stronger bones, better sleep, improved mood, and a healthier immune system. Don’t be afraid to soak up some sun!
As you can see, even so-called ‘bad’ habits in moderation can be a good thing. You don’t need to completely cut these out of your life. Sometimes it’s precisely the thing that’s keeping you healthy, both mentally and physically! What do you think? Which of these surprised you the most? Share your thoughts and comments below.
Thanks for reading!
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