10 Daily Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Health

If you see yourself in any of these scenarios, perhaps the time has come for a reset.

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daily habits that sabotage your health

1. Skipping your workout

If you can’t commit to an hour-long sweat session, don’t fret. New research has found that little movements in your daily life, such as cleaning and walking, matter almost as much as the big ones when it comes to your overall health. In one study, kinesiologists at McMaster University and UBC Okanagan found that doing sprints of climbing stairs throughout the day improved cardiorespiratory fitness and strength in their subjects. But if you're more of a gym-goer, here are five different ways to add a medicine ball to your workout routine.

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daily habits that sabotage your health

2. Skimping on sleep

Set a bedtime alarm for 30 minutes before you want to hit the sack. That way, you’ll have time to prep for bed before it’s lights out!

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daily habits that sabotage your health

3. Not eating enough veggies

Hate kale? That doesn’t mean you can’t hit your quota of antioxidant-rich vegetables. Try carrots with ranch dip, cauliflower with cheese sauce, or mac and cheese with broccoli mixed in. Or sneak veggies like zucchini and sweet potatoes into your hash browns.

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daily habits that sabotage your health

4. Always being on a diet

“Everyone is born with the innate ability to feed themselves,” says Tara Miller, a holistic nutritionist and an intuitive eating coach in Toronto. “We feel like when we’re not on a diet, everything is going to go wrong.” Many people are so used to following a diet that they no longer know how to manage their hunger cues. “It just takes practice,” she says. Tune into your hunger cues and try eating when you’re hungry and until you’re comfortably full. Worried that you’ll go overboard? Trust yourself. “By giving yourself the freedom to eat as you please and really listening to your body, there is a lack of rebellion,” she explains. Here are some more ways to give up dieting for good.

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daily habits that sabotage your health

5. Ignoring finances

Canadians ranked money as their greatest stress, according to a recent survey. “When you don’t feel like your money is under control, you feel constant anxiety and stress about the future,” says Shannon Lee Simmons, founder of the New School of Finance. To regain control, make one small goal, like paying down a percentage of your credit card debt, recommends Simmons. For more tips on money, check out these strategies for making investing less stressful.

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daily habits that sabotage your health

6. Overeating at night

Late-night snacking is associated with obesity, diabetes and even heart disease. “Clients will say ‘I had a smoothie for lunch and I don’t know why I ate a bag of chips for dinner,’” says Miller. Often, a late-night snack attack can happen because you’re not eating enough satisfying food throughout the day or allowing yourself the flexibility to eat foods you enjoy (like carbs), so you end up rebelling when your self-control reserves are all used up, explains Miller. Nosh on nutritious yet filling foods, such as avocado toast, earlier in the day to help curb cravings at night.

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daily habits that sabotage your health

7. Wasting time on your phone

The allure of social media can be a black hole. Download an app that monitors or restricts your screen time. Apple users can use the built-in Screen Time feature, and android users can try a host of apps, such as Forest and Flipd. Another solution? Turn off the notifications on your apps or delete distracting social media apps from your phone altogether. Then, if you really want to check out the latest Twitter war, it will take a lot more effort to log in from your desktop computer.

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daily habits that sabotage your health

8. Buying into consumption culture

Having too much stuff can weigh on you – literally. Get inspired by watching Japanese organizing pro Marie Kondo’s Netflix series, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. Plus, here's how to clean based on your zodiac sign.

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daily habits that sabotage your health

9. Not using enough sunscreen

You need to apply sunscreen liberally to prevent sun damage, according to the Canadian Dermatology Association. Apply one palmful for each arm and one for each leg, and reapply it after you swim or work out. Check out our editor-approved collection of SPF products.

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daily habits that sabotage your health

10. Being negative

Simmons and Miller both say that negative self-talk is one of the biggest barriers to maintaining healthy food and financial habits. “People get really stuck when they are constantly in a critical mindset,” says Miller. Simmons agrees: “Clients say things like ‘I suck at money’ or ‘I’m just not a numbers person,’” she says. “But by doing that, you’re letting yourself off the hook so you don’t have to be accountable. Positive change never comes from punishment and negativity,” says Miller. She recommends self-compassion tactics, such as finding three positive thoughts for each negative thought that comes into your head.

Now that you've learned about the daily habits that sabotage your health, next read up on the surprising way positive thinking can transform your life.

Originally Published in Best Health Canada