The Surprising Risks of Common Healthy Habits

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The Surprising Risks of Common Healthy Habits

To live a long and fulfilling life, it's essential to prioritize your health. However, it can be challenging to know what practices are truly beneficial, as study results often conflict, and different medical professionals provide differing advice.

As a result, many people choose to seek a second opinion before making significant health decisions. Here are seven so-called “healthy” habits that may not be as healthy as they appear:

Daily exercise

There is no doubt that regular exercise is crucial for good health.

Physical activity can enhance heart health, help maintain a healthy weight, boost mood, and provide more energy. However, it's equally important to rest and avoid overtraining, as doing so can lead to injuries such as tendinitis, muscle strains, stress fractures, fatigue, and exhaustion.

It's best to engage in exercise in moderation, only after getting clearance from a doctor, and when activities are deemed safe for you. "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."

Weekend “sleep catch-ups”

Most adults require seven to nine hours of sleep every night for optimal health.

Unfortunately, sleeping more on weekends to make up for lost sleep during the week will not be sufficient. A consistent sleep schedule is best for your body and brain, as it provides a predictable cycle of sleep and wakefulness.

Irregular sleep patterns can harm sleep hygiene and prevent you from getting the rest you need.

Herbal tea before bed

Drinking a warm cup of herbal tea before bed may seem relaxing, but it may not be as effective as you think.

Ensure that the tea is decaffeinated, as many herbal teas contain caffeine, which can keep you awake. Herbs like ginseng, ginkgo, and guarana are energizing, so it's best to avoid them when trying to sleep. "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."

A glass of red wine

Sipping on a glass of red wine is a popular way to unwind, but it may not be as healthy as previously thought. A study published in JAMA Network Open found that consuming any amount of alcohol is harmful to health, and even small amounts can increase the risk of certain types of cancer and cardiovascular disease.


While the connection between sun exposure and skin cancer is well-known, many people still believe that a tan is healthy. However, this is not true. Sun rays can age your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer. It's essential to always wear sunscreen and avoid sun exposure, or use sunless tanning products instead.

These habits may seem healthy, but they can be harmful in the long run. It's crucial to seek the advice of a medical professional and consider all the risks before making any significant health decisions.

Eating low-fat products

It is often thought that consuming low-fat foods is a healthier choice, but this may not always be the case.

Some low-fat foods contain added sugars to compensate for the flavor that is lost with the reduction of fat. According to the American Heart Association, added sugars can increase the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

It is better to choose whole, nutrient-dense foods that are naturally low in fat and sugar. Additionally, it is important to limit processed foods, as they are often high in unhealthy additives and preservatives. Taking care of your health is important for a long and happy life.

However, it can be difficult to know what is good for you and what is not. While some habits may seem healthy, they can actually have negative effects on your health. It is important to speak with a healthcare professional and make informed decisions about your health.