Chances Are You’re Making These Stupid Health Mistakes Every Day

You exercise, eat right, and get your flu shots within the perfect window of time. But there is a strong chance that you are still opening yourself up to major health risks every day. It’s true! You may want to sit down to read this — you’ll be shocked at these daily health mistakes.

Not hurrying to the bathroom when you have to go

A gold bathroom faucet tuned on.

Don’t wait till it’s too late. | Pkazmercyk/iStock/Getty Images

You can thank those horrible elementary school teachers for making you wait to use the hall pass, and letting you think that “holding it” is OK. But this practice actually opens you up to a plethora of problems. Holding in your urine stretches out your bladder, making room for bacteria and raising the risk of a bladder infection or a UTI. Plus, holding it for too long it weakens your bladder muscles, making it difficult to both hold your urine and dispose of it after a period of time.

Next: Get that out of your mouth this instant!

Brushing your teeth right after eating

Paste on top of a toothbrush.

As a rule of thumb, always wait 30 minutes before brushing after eating. | iStock.com

Wait, what? What’s wrong with brushing your teeth right after you eat?! As it turns out, you should wait at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth after eating. According to Mayo Clinic, eating or drinking anything acidic — certain fruits and juices, for example — weakens your tooth enamel. Brushing too soon can make the enamel even weaker.

Next: Having a plate of chemicals for lunch?

Microwaving your leftovers in containers

A person opening a microwave door.

For your safety, put those leftovers on a plate. | SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images

We’ve all done it — decided to skip dirtying a plate in favor of nuking our leftovers in the Tupperware we put it in the day before. But beware — this habit is bad for your health. Most plastic containers aren’t meant to go in the microwave and can warp, melt, and release chemicals into your food. You’re much better off doing more dishes than shoveling chemicals into your body.

Next: The internet doesn’t make the best house calls.

Consulting the internet instead of a doctor

Cheerful mother and daughter are using tablet and smiling.

Whatever you do, don’t Google those symptoms. | YakobchukOlena/iStock/Getty Images

We know it’s tempting. Why pay to go to the doctor when you can diagnose yourself online for free? As it turns out, this practice can be incredibly risky. It has been found that most online forums either give you incomplete information or no information at all. This can lead to a misdiagnosis and the possibility of making yourself worse for wear.

Next: The ultimate sleep-ruiner

Checking your electronics right before bed

Young woman texting on smartphone in bed.

Don’t take your devices to bed. | Dolgachov/iStock/Getty Images

You’ve probably heard this one a couple of times, but it needs to be repeated. Your electronic devices give off artificial light that messes with the signals in your brain and alters your circadian rhythms. So regularly checking your emails one more time before bed basically guarantees that you won’t get restful sleep. And while we’re on the subject …

Next: Night owls, beware.

Going to bed late

A woman laying in bed listening to music.

Rid yourself of all distractions and get some rest. | iStock.com

Studies have shown that going to bed after midnight on a regular basis, and not keeping a regular sleep schedule period, has health consequences. While you may think you’re a night owl and meant to be up late, you are actually throwing your biological clock out of whack. This can evolve into insomnia and weaken your immune system, leaving you more open to sickness and disease.

Next: Sitting up straight is no joking matter.

Slumping in your chair

A woman holds her back while sitting at a desk.

Watch that posture! | Andrey Popov/iStock/Getty Images

Standing for too long isn’t good for you — and sitting for too long isn’t much better. Slumping over your computer or slouching in your recliner can damage your organs if you stay in the same odd position for too long. It also puts pressure on your spine and your legs, leading to back problems and poor circulation. It’s imperative to maintain good posture while you are sitting, and to make sure you get up and stretch every now and then. While we’re on the subject of sitting …

Next: This may make you rethink your next binge-a-thon.

Vegging on the couch for too long

A guy sleeping on the couch with his mouth open.

This guilty pleasure puts you on the path toward laziness. | Txking/iStock/Getty Images

Darn you, Netflix and your epic TV show marathons! In addition to being a major time suck, all that time sitting on your caboose is ruining your health. Prolonged sitting has even been connected to raising your mortality rate because of all the health problems that are linked to staying in a seated position for too long. The solution? It would behoove you to get up and walk around every so often.

Next: Reconsider pumping up the jam.

Listening to music too loud

A man listens to music while leaning on a white wall.

Lower the volume to prevent future hearing issues. | iStock.com

Here we have a problem that has plagued our species since the birth of music. When we like a song, we crank it up as loud as we want. And thanks to the swanky new headphones these days, volume has reached all new levels. This is, unfortunately, very bad news for your ears, since listening to anything over a certain decibel range for a long period of time can cause long-term ear damage. For example, a person talking at a “normal” volume clocks in at about 40 decibels, while many headphones register 105 decibels. You’re better off turning those headphones down several notches.

Next: Some serious breathing exercises are needed here.

Allowing yourself to become overwhelmed by stress

Stressed business woman in the office.

A stressful job doesn’t mean you have to be stressed 24/7. | Kieferpix/iStock/Getty Images

It can be hard to keep from getting stressed out sometimes. But not coming down from that overwhelmed state is seriously bad for you. Periods of stress that last for a couple weeks or longer weaken your immune system and leave you unable to fight infections or get the right amount of sleep to recharge your batteries.

Next: Be careful of how you cook.

Standing over the stove while you cook

A wooden spoon mixing ingredients on a skillet.

Don’t stand directly by the stove. | iStock.com

It doesn’t even have to be the stove — you could be standing over the barbecue. Whatever your method, it doesn’t change the fact that you are inhaling cooking fumes. Even short-term exposure to cooking fumes is bad for your health, as it can have a negative effect on the respiratory system.

Next: When part of the pyramid goes missing

Skipping whole food groups in your diet

Slices of bread on a tablecloth and basket.

Whole ingredients are essential to your diet. | iStock.com

The biggest problem with most diets is that they eliminate whole food groups from your daily menu. While you may find that this helps you reach some short-term weight loss goals — and we do only mean “short-term” — they also cause long-term health problems. Cutting out whole food groups, whether it’s carbohydrates or whatever, means that you are robbing your body of vital nutrients that it needs. It is essential to keep this in mind whenever you adopt a new way of eating so you don’t put your body in jeopardy.

Next: So many germs, so many places they can live

Touching outside materials, and then touching your face

A woman inspects her face in a mirror.

If you touch your face with dirty hands, you’re risking breakouts and illnesses. | Lenanet/iStock/Getty Images

There’s a reason hand sanitizer is sold in such small, user-friendly bottles. The outside world — doorknobs, restaurant menus, disposable coffee cups — is teeming with germs from God-knows-where. Trust us, washing your hands a few more times a day won’t make you crazy. It will help you stay healthy.

Next: Because practicing safe sun should always be in style

Skipping sunscreen

Young woman applying sunblock cream on legs.

Protect yourself against harmful UV rays with sunscreen. | Fizkes/iStock/Getty Images

It’s terrifying — we know the life-threatening effects of not wearing sunscreen. Yet, studies have shown that most Americans still don’t protect themselves. Long story short: Stop exposing yourself to skin cancer and free radicals. Have SPF on hand all the time, no matter what your skin tone is.

Next: A not-so-happy ending

Driving after happy hour

Bartender pouring strong alcoholic drink into glasses.

Drinking and driving is never a good idea. | Bogdanhoda/Getty images

Just because it’s earlier in the evening and your drinks only cost $2 a piece, that doesn’t mean you’re not too buzzed to drive. According to DrinkingAndDriving.org, you should be waiting 45 minutes to drive after your first drink, with additional time added to that if you drink more.

Follow The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!