We all engage in a few bad habits, but some of them may not be as bad as you think. There are many things we are taught not to do, and, on the surface, this advice seems sound. But, there are some surprising health benefits to a few bad habits that you might not know. We’ll take a look at some of them below.
- Biting Your Fingernails
Your parents may have tried to get you to step biting your fingernails as a child to no avail. It runs out, though, that biting your fingernails can actually have positive effects. There are some trace amounts of bacteria hidden in your fingernails. In great quantities, these bacteria might cause illness, but at small concentrations, they can actually help your body build immunities. Of course, you shouldn’t bite your nails if they are exceedingly dirty, but if you have a nervous habit of biting your nails, you shouldn’t worry about incurring negative health outcomes.
If you have trouble sitting still when you’re waiting or just generally doing nothing, then you may actually be improving the body’s metabolism. Tapping your foot, doodling, or just messing around with your hands has been shown to help you burn 54% more calories than just sitting stagnant. Although fidgeting might make you look nervous, it can provide surprising benefits for your body.
- Going without Breakfast before Exercise
One of the oldest adages in the book is that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But, some studies have shown that it doesn’t do you any favors if you work out in the morning and are trying to lose weight. Indeed, one study discovered that individuals who eat high-calorie and high-fat breakfasts after working out didn’t put on any pounds. In fact, fat is burnt 33% more efficiently because the bad must expend fat rather than food to produce energy.
- Getting Rid of Saliva
Expelling your mouth of saliva (otherwise known as spitting) is often considered gross and impolite. But, during exercise, it could be an important step to opening up your air passageways. Exercising forces the body to produce more saliva, which can block the passage of air to your lungs. Spitting out that extra saliva can help you continue breathing clearly.
- Avoiding Sit-Ups
Sit-ups or crunches are some of the most taxing and undesirable exercises known to man. But, are they really helpful? Some research suggests that crunches are actually counterintuitive. The real health goal of strengthening your abs is providing more support for your core and your spine. But, sit-ups force you to bend your spine, which may cause more pain than anything else. Of course, just because your avoidance of sit-ups has kept you from the negative effects of back pain doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work toward strengthening your abs. Exercises like planking are beneficial for strengthening your abs and much easier on your back.