7 surprising habits that can cause serious damage to your body

Many of us already have our daily routines set in stone. In these routines there are certain habits that we follow religiously, some of them are good, some not so good. We here at Eat this, not that! did some digging and spoke to an expert who lists some of the most surprising habits that can seriously damage your body.

To lead a healthy lifestyle and avoid injury or long-term damage, it’s important to kick these bad habits to the curb. Keep reading to find out all about them, and when you’re done, be sure to check out People Swear By The 30/30/30 Weight Loss Plan: “I Totally Changed My Body.”

Overemphasis on isolation exercises


Some of the surprising habits that can damage your body and hinder long-term fitness or weight loss progress happen in the gym. Tyler Read, BSc, CPTfounder of PTPioneer.com and a personal trainer who has been involved in the health and fitness world for the past 15 years, explains, “Focusing too much on isolation exercises (like bicep curls or leg extensions) and neglecting compound movements (like squats or deadlifts lifting) can lead to muscle imbalances and a lack of functional strength. Over time, these imbalances can cause postural problems and increase the risk of injury during daily activities.”

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Chronic mild dehydration

water glass

Let’s face it: remembering to take a break from a busy day to fill up a glass of water can be a challenge. However, it is very important to drink enough water throughout the day.

“It’s well known that you need to stay hydrated, but chronic mild dehydration, which may not be immediately noticeable, can affect your muscles’ ability to repair themselves and lead to a gradual decrease in strength and endurance,” Reid explains. “Over time, this can contribute to kidney stones and even kidney damage due to the increased concentration of urine.”

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Stretching too much before lifting weights

mature man stretching

While many fitness professionals advocate static stretching to increase your flexibility, too much of anything is never a good thing. Excessive stretching before strength training can temporarily reduce muscle strength, along with joint stability, which can lead to injury, Read says. “Dynamic stretching is generally recommended to prepare for activity,” he adds.

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It doesn’t give specific muscle groups TLC

woman doing chest press exercise with dumbbells for upper body strength on exercise bench

Just as you can over train a muscle group, you can also under train it. “Everyone knows the risks of overtraining, but undertraining can be just as harmful,” Reid explains. “Neglecting adequate back and core training, for example, while focusing on more visible muscle groups such as the chest and arms, can lead to a weak core, poor posture and chronic back pain.”

Ignoring grip strength

grip strength

When it comes to exercise goals, grip strength probably isn’t at the top of your mind, but ignoring it completely can lead to a few pitfalls. “Grip strength is often an afterthought in exercise, but over time, a weak grip can limit your ability to perform key exercises, leading to reduced results and an increased risk of accidents or weight loss,” Read tells us.

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Abuse of weight belts

weight belts in the gym

If you usually use a weight belt in your exercises, beware of misuse. “Weight belts are commonly used to support the lower back during heavy lifts, but relying on them too much can lead to weakened core muscles,” says Read. “This may paradoxically increase the risk of lower back injuries over time, as the body becomes accustomed to the artificial support.”

You don’t wash the sheets for a week.

plush bedding and pillows in the bright bedroom

Many of us are guilty of letting our sheets sit out for more than a week before throwing them in the wash. However, if you don’t wash them for a week and beyond, it can seriously harm your body and overall health.

According to research conducted by Amerisleep, one-week pillowcases contained 3M Colony Forming Units (CFU) per square inch 17,442 times the amount of bacteria you would find on a toilet seat! Pillowcases that had gone two weeks without washing jumped to 5.98 million CFU. When it came to bed sheets, those that hadn’t been washed for a week contained 5M CFU 24,631 times the amount of bacteria you’d find on a bathroom door handle.

Not washing your sheets for a week, week after week, can lead to a vicious cycle of harm to your health and well-being. The research also pointed out that one of the types of bacteria you may find on your bed is called “gram-negative rods”, which can lead to antibiotic resistance.

Alexa Melardo

Alexa is the Deputy Mind + Body Editor at Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and providing readers with compelling topics on fitness, wellness and self-care. Read more about Alexa

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