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6 Little-Known Lifestyles Habits That Will Secretly Steal Your Health

There are little habits that each of us does every day that we don’t really pay much attention to. Some of those habits, however, could be causing serious harm to our bodies. If you do any of these things, stop. Your life may depend on it.

You Stand With Your Knees Locked
Standing with your knees locked can be detrimental to your knee health. For starters, we use the muscles surrounding our joints to protect those joints. If you lock your knees, you could be putting undue pressure on them – pushing the knee cap back into the cartilage and cutting of the blood flow.

Most people are, unfortunately, quad-dominant. That is, they have stronger quad muscles than hamstrings and glutes (butt muscles). But, it’s the gluteus that’s the largest muscle in the body, and the primary one that should be supporting us as we stand and walk around (with help from all of the leg muscles, of course).

Take this tip from biomechanist Katy Bowman – keep your knees straight, but not locked.

You Drink Too Much
There’s nothing wrong with drinking alcohol. But, when it happens every night, there might be a problem. We’re not talking about a glass of wine before bed, but if you drink 3 or 5 or 6 glasses of booze, you likely need alcohol dependency help. It’s not so much the amount though, but the intent behind the drinking.

Often times, frequency and quantity is positively correlated with negative physiological factors. In other words, if you drink 5 glasses of wine, or have 5 shots of liqueur every day, it’s probably because you’re dependent on the alcohol. But it’s not necessarily the fact that you’re drinking 5 glasses day – it’s the reason why you’re drinking 5 glasses a day.

Alcohol is particularly damaging to the liver when consumed in excess, and it’s also immunosuppressive. It’s a depressant, and can also cause neurological dysfunction. Finally, the acetaldehyde produced in the breakdown of alcohol in the body is more damaging than the alcohol itself.

You Wear Your Belt Too Tight
Wearing a belt reduces the number of wardrobe malfunctions in public. At the same time, wearing it too tight creates intra-abdominal pressures can negatively impact digestion. Take it easy on the belt holes and tighten it just enough to keep your pants from falling down. You should be able to breathe comfortably with your belt on.

You Slouch
Slouching does a number of things to your body that you may not be aware of. First, the hunched over posture collapses your chest and makes it more difficult to breathe. Even if you think you’re breathing fine now, you’re almost certainly chest-breathing instead of breathing from your diaphragm – it’s almost impossible to breath from your diaphragm when you’re slouching.

Slouching also forces your shoulders to roll forward. Check your hands and thumbs when you’re standing normally. Are your knuckles pointing forward? Then, you’re internally rotating your shoulders and setting yourself up for a rotator cuff injury.

Practice good posture by grabbing a tennis ball and finding a nice flat surface, like a wall, to stand up against.

Stand with your heels touching the wall. You should notice something immediately – your shoulders and head aren’t touching the wall. Realign them until they do without excessively arching your back. Put the tennis ball under your chin and hold it to your sternum. If your head creeps away from the wall, life it until the back of your head is back against the wall. Now, relax just a bit and let the tennis ball drop to the floor.

Ideally, your back should be straight with a slight curve in it, your butt and heels should be touching the wall, and so should your head. This is proper posture, and it’s going to “feel weird” if you’re used to slouching. Keep practicing this posture until it becomes second nature.

You Drive Hours On End With No Break
Driving for hours on end has similar potential problems as having improper posture. You can wreak havoc on your back and neck, and sitting for many hours with your hamstrings in a shortened position will make hip extension very difficult. If you know you will be in a vehicle for several hours, make it a point to get out and stretch for 20 minutes or so after an hour or two of driving.

You “Hold It” Instead Of Finding A Bathroom
It might seem like a trivial thing, but not using the bathroom right away when you have to go could put you at risk for developing a UTI – this is especially true for women (not as much for a man).

Bacteria in the urine can multiply very quickly and, if these bacteria are pathogenic in nature, then it could result in you going to the doctor’s office.

Kevin Martel’s medical career spans several years. Working with patients of all ages, he often writes about common questions and concerns faced along the way on a variety of health and wellness blogs.

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