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9 harmful things you probably do to your body every day

We all have different routines and ways of doing things in our lives. And sometimes we do things without even thinking about the consequences for our bodies.

Below are nine things that many of us do that can actually be harmful:

1. Breathing wrong

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It may sound strange, but there are actually different ways of breathing. Most people breathe into their upper chest, but the fact is, it’s better to breathe down into your stomach or diaphragm. Breathing deeper can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and improve stamina.

2. Exercising too often

Flickr / yangui yasiungu

Everyone knows that exercise and movement are important for health, but some studies show that too much exercise isn’t good, either.

If you exercise as often as six days a week, there’s a risk that you’ll overtax your body. Training four times a week is better if you want to be healthy without wearing out your body.

This doesn’t mean that you have to lie around and laze the other days away, though. Everyday exercise like walking to work and taking the stairs instead of the elevator are fine any day of the week.

3. Wearing the wrong shoes

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You might have heard the expression “there is no beauty without pain.” But going around in killer heels affects you more than you think.

It’s not just your feet that feel uncomfortable—your neck, back, and hips can be damaged by wearing the wrong shoes.

So choose comfortable shoes—especially when you are going to be doing a lot of walking.

4. Washing too often

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Many people shower and wash their hair too often. But it can actually be bad for your skin—and make your hair become dirty quickly.

If you wash your hair too often, your scalp increases its oil production, which causes your hair to feel greasy quickly. It becomes a vicious circle where you wash your hair to get rid of the grease and your body response by secreting more sebum, or oil.

The solution is to endure that greasy feeling for a while until your body stops overcompensating.

Even skin feels bad when you wash it too much. It’s easy to dry your skin out. And remember: some shower creams contain substances that contribute to eczema.

5. Using the wrong soap

Flickr / trontnort

Do you frantically wash your hands with antibacterial soap immediately after touching anything that might contain bacteria? Try to break the habit. So says Agnes Wold, a consultant and professor of clinical bacteriology at the Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden:

“Number one, hand disinfectant is only effective against bacteria. So it may well be relevant in countries like India and Egypt, where there are bacterial infections, such as salmonella and shigellosis, that get on your hands and enter your mouth, often through food. But in developed countries, diarrheal diseases are much less common.”

6. Washing clothes in a dirty machine

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You probably think that washing your clothes in a washing machine will leave them clean. And since you care about the environment, you wash your clothes in cold water…

If so, your washing machine is probably full of bacteria.

According to studies, bacteria starts to die at 140F (60C). Washing underwear and socks at 105F (40C) doesn’t remove the bacteria, but just rinses out the dirt. Therefore, wash underwear, socks, towels, and sheets at 140F (60C) or hotter. And to make sure your clothes are completely clean, your dryer is the best bacteria killer.

7. Sleeping too little or too much

Flickr / Neeta Lind

Anyone who’s ever stayed up late knows how tired you feel the following day. And everyone who’s slept all day knows that doing this will destroy you, as well.

Adults should sleep between 7-9 hours each night. Missing a few hours now and then is okay, but poor sleeping habits catch up to you in the long run.

Getting the right amount of sleep is always the best!

8. Sitting for too long

Flickr / Mr Seb

Most people know that it’s not good to sit with poor posture. And this is, of course, true. But even sitting with good posture is bad for the body after a while. If you work in an office, try not to sit in the same position for more than 30 minutes. And make sure to get up several times a day and move around.

The body is good for business!

9. Cutting out important food groups

Flickr / The Three

When I was little, I had a poster with the food pyramid on it. It showed all the different types of food grous: fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, and root vegetables.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen that poster, but I’ve always remembered that we need to eat a balance of all different kinds of food.

So remember to eat healthy, and your body will thank you in the future!

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