You know some of those habits you have? The ones you try to avoid because you know they’re bad for you? Good news — some of them aren’t actually bad at all. In fact, some of these habits are downright healthy. Of course, there will always be habits that you definitely need to avoid — smoking and skipping exercise, to name a few. But where does skipping breakfast stand on the bad habit rankings? Is it OK to sometimes chow down on chocolate? Read on to find out some good news about your bad habits.
1. It’s OK to give in to your chocolate cravings
With chocolate, the darker you go the better. The benefits are great — it may help prevent blood clots and decrease your risk of developing cancer. As per The Daily Beast, researchers at the University of California, San Diego discovered people who frequently eat chocolate have lower body mass indexes than people who avoid it.
Eating more than 45 grams of chocolate per week (about two bars worth) led to a 20% decrease in stroke risk among women. It may help lengthen your life as well.
2. Skipping breakfast can be beneficial
Skipping breakfast for your workout session can help you see better results, Fitness writes. In fact, Belgian researchers found when study subjects consumed a high-fat, high-calorie diet for six weeks, those who exercised before eating didn’t gain weight, according to the article.
However, if you’re training for a competition, such as a marathon or triathlon, you’ll want to eat breakfast — it’ll give you a much-needed energy kick during your workout.
3. Go ahead and chug that coffee
Don’t feel bad about having your morning cup of coffee. WebMD notes research has shown coffee drinkers are less likely to have Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia than non-coffee drinkers. In addition, coffee drinkers have fewer cases of strokes, heart rhythm problems, and certain cancers.
4. While you’re drinking, enjoy a beer
Yes, beer is another bad habit that’s not bad at all. In fact, beer can protect your heart, boost your immunity, and keep your bones in tip-top shape. Men’s Health explains research found moderate beer drinkers, when compared to non-drinkers, had a 42% lower risk of heart disease.
Furthermore, Men’s Health states people who indulge in a post-workout beer may be more hydrated than those who rely on water.
5. Avoiding the shower is good for your hair
Don’t take this too literally — you should still shower. But you don’t need to wash your hair all the time. Hair is a fiber, dermatologist Paradi Mirmirani tells Fitness. That means if you wash it every day, you can cause your hair to lose some of its shape and strength.
If you have a dry scalp, wash your hair a couple of times a week. However, if you’re noticing it’s oily, wash every other day.
6. Enjoy a full-fat dressing
They definitely taste better, but more importantly, if you eat the right kind it’ll help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. According to Health, you should aim for at least 10% of your daily fat intake to come from monounsaturated fats.
While the term “full-fat”doesn’t sound like it’s something you should be eating, you really should opt for it over a lower calorie dressing. Some good fats can help make you feel fuller, preventing you from overeating.
7. Don’t beat yourself up over skipping a workout
It’s OK to even skip two. Aim for three to four workouts a week — that’s still enough to keep you in good shape. Taking a day or two off will give your muscles and mind some time to repair. On the days you take off, still try and be active though, whether it’s taking a walk or doing a little yoga. Men’s Fitness suggests stretching and using a foam roller on your recovery days.
8. Go ahead — sleep in
Many studies preach about the benefits of getting up before 7 a.m. But, LearnVest writes sleeping late can actually improve your long-term memory, capacity to learn, and your memory organization.
People sleep in cycles, and each cycle has more REM sleep (that’s what helps strengthen your memory). When you wake up bright and early, you’re actually cutting off that last REM cycle. Don’t sleep all day, but don’t feel bad when you stay in bed a little bit longer.
9. Chewing gum isn’t as terrible as you thought
Gum chewing — especially if it’s the minty kind — isn’t the best habit to keep, but you could also do a lot worse. Livestrong.com says storing a pack of gum in your pocket or handbag could suppress your appetite, improve your mental health, and give you a healthy confidence boost. Thankfully, a stick of sugar-free gum per day (probably) won’t expose you to harmful amounts of artificial sweeteners. Go for it.
10. Can’t stop biting your nails? You’re fine!
Your hands are covered in germs, so you definitely don’t want to go overboard with this one. However, biting your nails could actually help you relieve stress and anxiety. It’s a much better coping mechanism than smoking or enjoying beer a little too much, anyway. If you’re a nail-biter, and prone to anxiety, just make sure to wash your hands more often than you think you need to.