12 Things That Are Terrible for Your Body but You Just Keep Doing Them

Is there something you know is bad for the body but continue to do it anyway? I think we all do. Here are several things we continue to do to or put into our bodies despite knowing they do harm and no good.

1. Worrying

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Moreover, worrying about things that are outside of your control. Anxiety and stress are terrible for your body and are literal killers. Stress that builds up without proper management can lead to health conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, obesity, and diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic.

2. Partaking in Legal Substances

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Smoking and drinking are two widely accepted indulgences and addictions that society embraces collectively. According to the CDC, an estimated 28.3 million adults in the U.S. currently smoke, and around 63% of Americans drink alcohol. We all know that both of these substances are bad for the body. Still, statistics clearly indicate a large portion of the population doesn’t care enough not to use them.

3. Living a Sedentary Lifestyle

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A sedentary lifestyle is defined as someone who spends six or more hours per day sitting or lying down without engaging in any significant physical movement in their daily life. Did you know that “Sedentary behavior can also increase your risk of dying, either from heart disease or other medical problems? Even if you’re doing 30 minutes per day of physical activity, it matters what you do the other 23 hours of the day,” according to Johns Hopkins cardiologist Erin Michos, M.D., M.H.S.

4. Holding in Your Poop

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Are you guilty of waiting to move your bowels until you are in the comfort of your own home? While holding in your poo occasionally isn’t harmful, doing it habitually can lead to constipation, impaction, inflammation, and more severe complications. Medical News Today reports, “People who hold in their poop too often may start to lose the urge to poop, which may result in fecal incontinence.”

5. Eating Processed Foods

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Eating processed foods increases your risk of developing cancer and overeating sugar, fats, and salt, which leads to conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Cancer-causing chemicals, including preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and food dyes, are often present in processed foods.

6. Not Sleeping Enough

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports, “Sleep deficiency is linked to many chronic health problems, including heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, obesity, and depression. Sleep deficiency is also linked to a higher chance of injury in adults, teens, and children.” One in three adults do not get enough sleep.

7. Tanning

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Did you know you have an increased risk of developing life-threatening melanoma from just one indoor tanning session before age 35? Still, 30 million people tan indoors in the United States annually. The Skin Cancer Foundation explains that tanning damages your skin cells, visibly speeding up signs of aging. Furthermore, they note, “Tanning increases your risk of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.”

8. Eating Sugar

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Overindulging in refined sugar is terrible for the body. What’s worse? The American Food Drug and Administration (FDA) allows it to be processed in everything. So avoiding it altogether is nearly impossible. In a concerning revelation, Healthline states, “Research shows that getting sugar in liquid form is much worse than getting it from solid food. This is why high-sugar beverages like soda are among the worst things you can put into your body.”

9. Overtraining at the Gym

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Overtraining at the gym is terrible for the body and can lead to health issues and injuries. Caitlin Lewis, MD, at the Cleveland Clinic, explains, “Without treatment, overtraining can weaken your immune system and may cause osteoporosis and bone loss in women. In extreme cases, heart damage and rhythm disorders can occur. Those with genetic risk factors are especially vulnerable to cardiac problems from overtraining.”

10. Dieting

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The National Eating Disorders Association confirms, “Dieting forces your body into starvation mode. It responds by slowing down many of its normal functions to conserve energy. This means your natural metabolism slows down.” Furthermore, people who participate in “Yo-yo” dieting have experienced negative health impacts such as an “Increased risk of heart disease and long-lasting negative impacts on metabolism.”

11. Being on Social Media

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Despite knowing it negatively impacts health, 90% of Americans actively use social media. Do you know it significantly increases your risk for stress, delayed sleep, depression, social anxiety, loneliness, and self-harm? That’s a frightening thought. We all know it is terrible for us, but we continue to consume it anyway.

12. Drinking Caffeine

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Did you know that 93% of Americans drink caffeinated beverages, with 80% consuming caffeine daily? We have collectively embraced an entire coffee culture as normal, disregarding the reality that caffeine is a stimulant drug and we are indulging in an addiction. In fact, when you quit drinking caffeine, your body will experience withdrawal symptoms.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports these symptoms include “Headache, fatigue, decreased energy/activeness, decreased alertness, drowsiness, decreased contentedness, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and feeling foggy/not clearheaded.”


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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and Jesus.