7 "Healthy" Habits That Are Actually Bad For You, According to Doctors (2023)

If you want to live a long, happy life, then taking the best possible care of your health is a no-brainer. The problem is, sometimes it's hard to know what's good for you and what isn't. Study findings often conflict (is an occasional glass of wine good for you, or not so much?) and different doctors often give different advice—just one reason many people choose to get a second opinion when making major medical decisions. Are some of the things you're incorporating into your routine not as good for you as you thought? Read on for seven so-called "healthy" habits that may, in fact, not be so healthy after all.

READ THIS NEXT: Doctor Who Hasn't Showered in Years Thinks Others Should Join Him.


Exercising every day.

7 "Healthy" Habits That Are Actually Bad For You, According to Doctors (1)

Let's get one thing straight: No one is questioning the importance of regular exercise. Moving your body can boost your heart health, help keep you at a healthy weight, improve your mood, and give you more energy, according to the Mayo Clinic—and those are just a few of the benefits exercise offers. But if you're going hard and working up a sweat every day, experts say it's important to cut yourself a break.

"Exercise is absolutely great and healthy for your body—but there is absolutely such thing as too much of a good thing," board-certified family physician Laura Purdy, MD, tells Best Life. "Overuse and overtraining injuries are very common. Things like tendinitis, muscle strains, stress fractures, and even just fatigue and exhaustion can happen when we push our bodies too far, or farther than they want to go. So it is very important that we exercise in moderation, and only when we have been cleared by our doctor and know that activities are safe for us to engage in."

(Video) 5 GROSS HABITS That Are Shockingly GOOD FOR YOU!

7 "Healthy" Habits That Are Actually Bad For You, According to Doctors (2)

The Sleep Foundation says most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night for optimal health. But if you fall short of that amount, you may not be able to make up for it by sleeping more on your days off. In fact, a 2017 study found that women who slept two or more extra hours on weekends in order to "catch up" on sleep were more likely to have poor heart health than those who didn't catch more zzz's on the weekend.

"It is actually better and healthier for our bodies to have a consistent schedule," Purdy explains. "It is important that we strive as much as possible to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Our brains, our bodies, our systems, and our hormones function best when we give them a very predictable cycle of the right amount of wake and sleep time. If you have a particularly exhausting week, are ill, or are traveling, it may be necessary to sleep in from time to time. But making a habit of having an irregular sleep schedule can actually lead to more harm than good when it comes to sleep hygiene and getting the rest you need at night."

READ THIS NEXT: Doing This for 10 Minutes Twice a Week Spikes Your Metabolism, Doctors Say.


(Video) 5 Healthy Habits Your Doctor Wants You To Develop in 2021

Having a cup of herbal tea before bed.

7 "Healthy" Habits That Are Actually Bad For You, According to Doctors (3)

Sipping a warm mug of herbal tea may seem like just the ticket to prepare your mind and body for sleep each night, but that calming brew may not have exactly the effect you're hoping. For one thing, you need to make sure you're really drinking caffeine-free tea. Ashley Haywood, founder and CEO of artisan tea company Embrew, points out that just because a tea is marketed as "herbal," that doesn't mean it won't keep you awake.

"There is a misnomer that all herbal teas are caffeine-free," she tells Best Life. "But if a tea is marketed as herbal, that simply means it's not from the camellia sinensis plant," she says, noting that herbs like ginseng, ginko, and guarana are actually energizing. "It's best to avoid those if you're trying to settle in for the night."

7 "Healthy" Habits That Are Actually Bad For You, According to Doctors (4)

Another popular way to relax—drinking a glass of red wine—might not be the heart-healthy sip you hope it is (and that previous studies have touted it to be). A Nov. 2022 study published in JAMA Network Open found that drinking any amount of alcohol is detrimental to your health.

"Alcohol is harmful to the health starting at very low levels," Tim Naimi, MD, MPH, told The New York Times. "Risk starts to go up well below levels where people would think, 'Oh, that person has an alcohol problem.'"

(Video) 11 Bad Habits That Damage Your Brain

Marissa Esser, PhD, lead author of the study, told the outlet that even if you're following federal guidelines for safe alcohol consumption, "there are risks even within these levels, especially for certain types of cancer and some forms of cardiovascular disease."


Getting a tan.

7 "Healthy" Habits That Are Actually Bad For You, According to Doctors (5)

While we're probably all well aware of the link between sun exposure and skin cancer, some of us still harbor a lingering belief that getting a little bit of color from time spent in the sun is healthy, and may associate pale skin with being sickly. Purdy, however, emphatically disputes that notion.

"Definitely do not get a tan! Always, always, always wear sunscreen on any exposed skin, and if you need to have a tan, please use sunless tanning products," Purdy says. "Sun rays, while yes, they do boost vitamin D, also age your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer. I don't know that there's necessarily any healthy or good or desirable amount of UVA and UVB exposure that I can recommend. You can also get vitamin D from foods or dietary supplement if that is something that you feel like you need more of in your life and diet. But I would never recommend using sun exposure or tanning bed exposure as a means to tan your skin."

For more health news sent directly to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.


Cutting out all sugar.

(Video) 7 Healthy Habits Everyone Should Consider
7 "Healthy" Habits That Are Actually Bad For You, According to Doctors (6)

A pile of evidence shows how bad sugar is for us—especially the refined sugars you'll find in many processed foods, baked goods, and other treats. "Refined sugar intake is linked to conditions like obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease," says Healthline.

But moderation is the key to all things, including sugar consumption. A study published in the May 2014 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that added sugar consumption was not linked to an increased risk for death, after following more than 350,000 adults for more than 10 years. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends "limiting added sugars to no more than 6 percent of calories each day," adding that, for the majority of women in the U.S., "that's no more than 100 calories per day, or about 6 teaspoons of sugar. For men, it's 150 calories per day, or about 9 teaspoons."

An interesting note: The AHA doesn't distinguish between types of sugar, so while you may think that so-called "natural" sugars are better, that may not matter so much."Your body has no idea if [the sugar in your diet] came from table sugar, honey, or agave nectar. It simply sees monosaccharide sugar molecules," Amy Goodson, MS, RD, told Healthline.


Drinking kombucha.

(Video) 5 Scientific Rules for Making & Breaking Habits in 2023! | E208

7 "Healthy" Habits That Are Actually Bad For You, According to Doctors (7)

While it's not necessary to cut out all sugar, it's still a good idea to keep your consumption in check—but sometimes it's harder than you think. Plenty of people are guzzling kombucha these days in an attempt to improve their gut health. But the fizzy brew may be adding unnecessary—and empty—calories to your daily diet.

"Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) or sugary drinks are leading sources of added sugars in the American diet," the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warns—and that includes store-bought kombucha, which contains an average of 20-24 grams of sugar per bottle. "Frequently drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with weight gain, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney diseases, non-alcoholic liver disease, tooth decay and cavities, and gout, a type of arthritis."


What are 5 good habits that might be bad for you? ›

7 'Good' Habits That Are Bad For Your Health
  • Drinking water. ...
  • Talking over your problems. ...
  • Sipping on mocktails. ...
  • Early morning workouts. ...
  • Taking nutritional supplements. ...
  • Slathering on sunscreen. ...
  • Switching to low fat foods.

What are the disease caused by unhealthy habits? ›

Lifestyle diseases share risk factors similar to prolonged exposure to three modifiable lifestyle behaviours -- smoking, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity -- and result in the development of chronic diseases, specifically heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, chronic obstructive pulmonary ...

What are the 5 good habits? ›

Here are five healthy habits that are easy to start at home, as well as tips for helping you stay on track.
  • Move more and sit less. ...
  • Set yourself up for sleep success. ...
  • Stay hydrated. ...
  • Pack in the fruits and veggies. ...
  • Reward yourself the right way.
Jun 3, 2020

What health habits destroy? ›

Such habits cause considerable damage to human existence – loss of potential and motivation, premature aging of the human body and the acquisition of diseases of various kinds. Such habits include the consumption of the following killing substances: tobacco, alcohol, drugs, toxic and psychotropic substances.

What are the 7 toxic habits? ›

There are seven toxic habits that you should quit today. Stop comparing yourself to others, letting your past impact your present and future, not taking your own advice, expecting the worst, not taking chances, not sharpening your saw, and being too hard on yourself.

What is the deadliest habit? ›

Smoking kills. No other habit has been so strongly tied to death. In addition to cancer, smoking causes heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What is the biggest bad habit? ›

Here are some of the most common bad habits we humans engage in.
  • Smoking. Research shows that even in small quantities, smoking is bad for you (Jha, 2020). ...
  • Not exercising. ...
  • Not getting enough sleep. ...
  • Too much screen time before bed. ...
  • Slouching. ...
  • Overspending. ...
  • Procrastination. ...
  • Negative Self Talk.

What is the best habit in the world? ›

Here are the habits they have in common:
  • They read, a lot. ...
  • They spend 15 to 30 minutes each day on focused thinking. ...
  • They make exercise a priority. ...
  • They spend time with people who inspire them. ...
  • They pursue their own goals. ...
  • They get enough sleep. ...
  • They have multiple incomes. ...
  • They avoid time-wasters.
Mar 28, 2017

What 3 habits will improve your life? ›

Well, here are the top 5 daily habits that will improve your life the most and/or make all the other habits on this list easier.
  1. DAILY EXERCISE. When you exercise, you have more energy to take on your day. ...
  2. ENOUGH SLEEP. ...
  4. MEDITATE. ...
Dec 31, 2022

What are 2 unhealthy behaviors that could lead to a chronic disease? ›

Many chronic diseases are caused by a short list of risk behaviors: Tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke. Poor nutrition, including diets low in fruits and vegetables and high in sodium and saturated fats. Physical inactivity.

What are the four fatal diseases of an unhealthy lifestyle? ›

NCDs such as cardiovascular diseases (CVD), stroke, diabetes and certain forms of cancer are heavily linked to lifestyle choices, and hence, are often known as lifestyle diseases.

What are the three 3 common lifestyle diseases? ›

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) include cardiovascular conditions (hypertension, stroke), diabetes mellitus, lung/chronic respiratory diseases and a range of cancers which are the top causes of deaths globally and locally.

What is the most unhealthy thing to do? ›

Here are six common, unhealthy lifestyle choices people often make when stressed that could impact their overall health and well-being:
  • Not Exercising Enough. ...
  • Eating Too Much Junk Food. ...
  • Not Getting Enough Sleep. ...
  • Smoking. ...
  • Drinking Too Much Alcohol.
Apr 21, 2022

What unhealthy habits I should I stop doing? ›

The habit of biting your nails or restlessly playing with your hair may sound harmless at first, but these habits become hard to break in the long run. Along with these, certain bad habits are dreadful for your health, like smoking and drinking. These two habits can lead to cancer and lung disease.

What things weaken your heart? ›

According to hard data, five harmful habits herald the coming of heart disease. These five are smoking, being inactive, carrying too many pounds, eating poorly, and drinking too much alcohol. Alone and together, they set the stage for artery-damaging atherosclerosis and spur it onward.

Which two habits can seriously damage your bodies and minds? ›

How Your Bad Habits Affect Your Health
  • 'Crack' Your Knuckles. 1/14. It doesn't just annoy your friends and co-workers -- it may not be very good for you, either. ...
  • Bite Your Nails. 2/14. ...
  • Cheat Yourself on Sleep. 3/14. ...
  • Blast Your Headphones. 4/14. ...
  • Surf Before Bed. 5/14. ...
  • Sit for Long Periods. 6/14. ...
  • Drink Too Much. 7/14. ...
  • Eat Too Much. 8/14.
Nov 4, 2021

How can you destroy your physical health? ›

Besides practicing physical activities regularly and removing junk food, we need to pay attention to some bad habits that can ruin our health.
  1. Poor posture. ...
  2. Excessive snacking on junk. ...
  3. Drinking too much alcohol. ...
  4. Overusing pain killers and sedatives. ...
  5. Poor quality of sleep.
Mar 26, 2018

What are the 7 unhealthy habits you should quit? ›

7 Unhelpful Habits Everyone Should Quit
  • Old habit: Comparing yourself with people around you.
  • New plan: Think about what makes you special.
  • Old habit: Tracking who disappoints you.
  • New plan: Notice who comes through.
  • Old habit: Shopping for happiness.
  • Old habit: Overthinking.
  • New plan: Focus on what you can control.
Apr 28, 2022

What toxic habits destroy success? ›

10 Insanely Toxic Habits You Need to Destroy to Be Successful
  • Idolizing those who have already done it.
  • Comparing yourself to peers.
  • Rationalizing not trying.
  • Feeding a low opinion of yourself.
  • Pointing fingers.
  • Judging others.
  • Needing to have all the answers.
  • Seeking perfection.
Aug 28, 2017

What are the most common toxic traits? ›

Here are five red flags you're in a toxic situation you may need to address.
  • They gaslight or lie to you. ...
  • They don't apologize properly. ...
  • They don't understand how their behavior makes others feel. ...
  • They think they are superior to others. ...
  • They see themselves as a victim of their own behavior.
Jan 12, 2022

What habits shorten your life? ›

7 bad habits that shorten your lifespan
  • Not managing your sleep. ...
  • Not exercising well. ...
  • Using too much technology. ...
  • Not eating a healthy diet. ...
  • Sitting too much. ...
  • Not socialising. ...
  • Failing to get check-ups. ...
  • Get more and varied exercise.

What habit can damage your brain? ›

Many habits contribute to poor brain health, but four areas can have the most influence. They are too much sitting, lack of socializing, inadequate sleep, and chronic stress.

What does the Bible say about bad habits? ›

A bad habit is a besetting Sin. It is a particular sin that keep harassing or that continues to trouble a man. Paul said in Romans 7:14-25, anytime he desired to do something good, he discovered he couldn't do it, but see himself doing the evil or the things he did not desire.

What are the worst eating habits? ›

Common eating habits that can lead to weight gain are:
  • Eating too fast.
  • Always cleaning your plate.
  • Eating when not hungry.
  • Eating while standing up (may lead to eating mindlessly or too quickly)
  • Always eating dessert.
  • Skipping meals (or maybe just breakfast)

What are the 20 bad habits? ›

20 bad habits you need to quit now
  • #1: Nose picking. ...
  • #2: Binge drinking. ...
  • #3: You do not sleep for even 7 hours. ...
  • #4: Being negative. ...
  • #5: Wearing earphones for many hours. ...
  • #6: Being a couch potato. ...
  • #7: Wearing heels. ...
  • #8: Carrying a heavy bag every time.
Nov 17, 2017

What is the golden rule of habit? ›

The Golden Rule is that “bad” habits are very difficult to eradicate. Instead, seek to change them/ reprogramme them/ overwrite them with a new routine. Cue stays the same, reward stays the same, craving stays the same, but the routine linking the cue to the reward is changed.

What is the hardest thing to break habit? ›

  • Snacking. One simple reason for this: Our brains tell us to because they make us feel good. ...
  • Nail Biting. Biting your nails isn't as unhealthy a habit as snacking, but it's still a bad one. ...
  • Procrastinating. ...
  • Gum Snapping. ...
  • Gossiping.
Mar 11, 2022

What is an ideal morning routine? ›

The list explains: "Created by Hal Elrod and the focus of his popular book, The Miracle Morning, this is a combo of six rituals that make up a morning routine: silence (meditation, prayer, etc.), affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, and scribing (writing, journaling, etc.)."

What is the best early morning habits for success? ›

10 morning routines highly successful people swear by
  • Commit to a ritual. ...
  • Clear your head. ...
  • Sweat. ...
  • Practice gratitude. ...
  • Rise with the sun (or even before it) ...
  • Read a book. ...
  • Journal. ...
  • Drink water.
Dec 15, 2021

What is one habit that will change your life? ›

Take time to cut back on social media to reduce stress and mental clutter. Switch off your phone and laptop for a few hours every day to improve your mood and reconnect with the world around you. Invest in self-care. Taking some time off to unwind can do wonders for your mood, mental health, and self-esteem.

What habits are good for your brain? ›

Here are six things I recommend to my patients in order of importance:
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise has many known benefits, and regular physical activity also benefits the brain. ...
  • Get plenty of sleep. ...
  • Eat a Mediterranean diet. ...
  • Stay mentally active. ...
  • Remain socially involved. ...
  • Keep your blood vessels healthy.
Dec 29, 2022

What is the one thing you can't survive without? ›

Water is essential to our lives – 50 – 65 percent of our bodies are composed of it. We not only consume water, we need it for so many important functions in our life.

What you should be eating everyday? ›

Experts suggest that there are certain foods that people should eat every day. These include lean protein and a variety of vegetables. Additionally, including foods such as olive oil, nuts, and berries can help people lower their risk of certain chronic conditions.

What makes you live longer? ›

Their work has revealed exciting new clues about the biology of aging. But solid evidence still shows that the best way to boost the chance of living a long and active life is to follow the advice you likely heard from your parents: eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and stay away from bad habits.

What is the most common bad habit? ›

Here are some of the most common bad habits we humans engage in.
  • Smoking. Research shows that even in small quantities, smoking is bad for you (Jha, 2020). ...
  • Not exercising. ...
  • Not getting enough sleep. ...
  • Too much screen time before bed. ...
  • Slouching. ...
  • Overspending. ...
  • Procrastination. ...
  • Negative Self Talk.

What is the bad habits in daily life? ›

We all have a lot of bad habits, such as gorging on pizzas and cupcakes for late night cravings, sleeping less than six hours a day, not exercising and so on and so forth. These habits can impact your health in a very bad way not just in a short term but from a long term perspective as well!

What habits are hard to quit? ›

Habits like nail biting, procrastinating, smoking, or spending too much time online often impede on our daily productivity. They make us frustrated with ourselves and in the end, they do us more harm than good. Don't keep wondering why you simply cannot stop your bad habit.

What's your baddest habit? ›

The study found comfort eating is the most common bad habit, followed by swearing too much, nail-biting, a lack of exercise and procrastinating.

What are bad habits in psychology? ›

What are Bad Habits? A bad habit is a frequent behavior pattern that you deem to have a negative impact on a part of your life. A bad habit tends to be performed time and again, and is distinguished from an addiction or mental illness by its relationship to willpower.


1. 7 Healthy Habits That Will Change Your Life For Good
(Natural Ways)
2. 7 Healthy Habits You NEED to Lose Weight
(Love Sweat Fitness)
3. HEALTHY HABITS: 10 daily habits that changed my life (science-backed)
(Little List Project)
4. 7 Healthy Habits to Become Addicted To | Cabral Concept 2551
(Dr. Stephen Cabral)
5. UK doctor switches to 80% ULTRA-processed food diet for 30 days 🍔🍕🍟 BBC
6. "These Habits DESTROY Your Health & Decrease Lifespan!" | Dr. David Sinclair
(Lewis Howes)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Trent Wehner

Last Updated: 03/08/2023

Views: 5855

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (56 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Trent Wehner

Birthday: 1993-03-14

Address: 872 Kevin Squares, New Codyville, AK 01785-0416

Phone: +18698800304764

Job: Senior Farming Developer

Hobby: Paintball, Calligraphy, Hunting, Flying disc, Lapidary, Rafting, Inline skating

Introduction: My name is Trent Wehner, I am a talented, brainy, zealous, light, funny, gleaming, attractive person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.