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9 Stupid things you’ve done to your body

If I were to tally my daily routine, I’d say for every good habit I’ve established I’ve still got four crappy ones to break up with. It’s just… OK, I have to say it: Bad habits are so wonderfully terrible, am I right, ladies?

Woman waking up early

Photo credit: Buena Vista Images/Photodisc/Getty Images

There are days where it’s like my body craves feeling like crap! (Please say I’m not the only one. Please? Is this thing on?)

I know, I know: It’s time to suck it up, put our big-girl pants on and let go of the stupid things we continue to doing to our bodies. Like these, for instance:


Staying up late/Getting up early

Barf, why do we do this? “This is a habit that can really catch up with you,” says Jackie Dragone, co-director of Barre at FLEX Studios. “Your body needs its rest to not only function properly, but to help maintain a healthy weight.” Either go out earlier or at the very least monitor your alcohol intake and drink water throughout the night to stay hydrated. Speaking of which…


Dehydrating your body

Seriously, shame on us. Dehydration causes sluggishness, headaches, muscle cramps and dizziness, not to mention irritability. Most of us only drink water when we’re thirsty, but when you feel thirsty you’re already 2 percent dehydrated (which doesn’t sound that bad, but it is). Carry around a water bottle to get into the habit of drinking water more often.


Skipping breakfast

One in eight adults skips breakfast (I wish I were joking). Many of us look at it like an all or nothing thing: “If I don’t have time to cook a ginormous meal, then I’m not going to bother at all.” It’s a common misconception… and it’s wrong. A healthy breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism and doesn’t need to be anything fancy: Things like fresh fruit, healthy cereal bars, whole wheat toast and oatmeal all do the trick.


“Forgetting” to floss

Admit it: You don’t really forget to floss. You glance at the dental floss (which is now dusty), snarl and shut your medicine cabinet. Meanwhile, it doesn’t even take five minutes a day! Unless you’re the president of the gum disease fan club, this makes no sense (don’t worry, I’m slapping myself too).


Snacking late at night

“When you’re tired after a long day, you’re much more likely to make the not-so-healthy choice and overeat,” says Dragone. “I recommend drinking a tall glass of water and getting the rest your body needs.” When you feel hungry really late at night and you did eat dinner, it’s most likely your body saying, “Hey! I’m effing thirsty and exhausted! Leave me alone.”


Exercising on autopilot

Your exercise routine would give Bill Murray PTSD. (Because he starred in Groundhog Day, get it? Sigh.) When you do the same workout every day, your body eventually plateaus and gets used to the routine. Switch things up! Increase your pace, increase your intensity or ditch your workout and try something new (gasp!).


Skimping on the SPF

Melanoma is the most common form of skin cancer among women (it’s estimated 32,000 will be diagnosed this year alone). Most of us either don’t bother putting on sunscreen or when we do, we put it on carelessly. Focus on one area of your body at a time and make sure not to miss spots. Squeeze it onto the area and not on your hands; the majority will just stick to your hands and won’t distribute evenly.


Carrying a ginormous handbag

One, we carry around too much crap. Two, we haul around our purses on one shoulder, which causes an imbalance and triggers neck, shoulder and back problems. Either invest in a cross-body bag or buy a smaller bag and carry only the essentials. (Hey, be grateful! I just gave you an excuse to go shopping.)


Jumping into fad diet after fad diet

“Any kind of starvation diet, fad diet or diet pills are a big no-no that can impact you more negatively as you age,” says Dragone. “The key to feeling your best is figuring out what healthy, wholesome foods work for you.” And until then, the best way to get started is to cut as many processed foods and sugars as you can. Say no-no to yo-yo… ing.

More on how to take better care of yourself

7 Lifesaving health tests every woman should have
Top 6 habits for heart health
Why women don’t take care of their health

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