You probably feel like your daily routines are just fine, so it might surprise you to find out how much you’re actually doing wrong.
Just because we’ve been doing something one way for as long as we can remember doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best way.
For just about every run-of-the-mill activity we do, there’s a life-hack out there proclaiming you can somehow do it better. And if you had the chance to be the best of your friends at breathing or even sitting, why not at least give it a try? Go for the gold in washing your hands or taking out the garbage and you’ll be well on your way to a better you.
Know these 10 things you’re doing wrong and then maybe you can finally start doing things RIGHT.
You breathe about 17,000 times a day, but your technique might be flawed. Slower, deeper breathing that comes from the lower diaphragm (or even better the surrounding area of the diaphragm) can help you relieve stress, lower your blood pressure and improve athletic performance by increasing stamina and reducing fatigue. Most of us are chest breathers, but developing a more focused approach can help you feel better day to day, especially if you’re also exercising.
If you’re shampooing more than a few times a week, you may be stripping away important oils in your hair – called sebum – and actually making your hair greasier: As sebum is stripped away, it causes oil glands on your scalp to compensate by overproducing more sebum, giving your hair an oily consistency. You also may be taking way too long in the shower. Long hot showers dry out your skin, use quite a bit of water (around 17 gallons each time), and can remove too much”good bacteria.”
3. Working Out
Stretching before exercising can actually be counterintuitive as it temporarily weakens muscles and might not even reduce soreness in the days following exercise.
As for your actual workouts, spending time lifting lighter weights with more repetitions actually doesn’t have greater slimming benefits than lifting heavier weights, and a lot of exercise doesn’t have any slimming benefits at all. You also might want to rethink scheduling workouts every day.
Making sure to eat breakfast probably doesn’t help you lose weight. You also might be eating too much meat (especially if it’s red), and you probably don’t need to be told this, but fast food is bad for you.
Also, no matter what you eat, eating it too fast may disrupt your body’s natural chemical signals, causing you to consume more than you should, which could lead to a greater risk of obesity.
5. The Opposite of Eating
You should really be squatting instead of sitting in the toilet. If the idea of simply hovering doesn’t sound all too appealing, there are quite a few different ways to help you get in that squat position. Just make sure you’re not straining.
Oh, and you’ve also probably been placing toilet seat covers on backwards. On top of all this, after you’re done, you really need to be closing that lid, as molecules from whatever is in the bowl will fly into the air, making your toothbrush disgusting.
6. Washing Your Hands
Only a few people wash their hands correctly, so there’s a very good chance you’re doing this one wrong. Although the base definition of washing the right way means “rubbing vigorously with soap and water for at least 20 seconds,” there are even more things you’re probably doing wrong. Antibacterial soaps have been criticized over their use of the chemical “triclosan,” which may cause antibiotic resistance and potentially even hormone alteration. On top of this, there may actually be no advantage to using antibacterial soaps when it comes to reducing your chances of getting sick.
A lot of people are not sleeping correctly and are at risk of significantly altering their “memory, learning, creativity, productivity and emotional stability.” On top of this, there really is a sweet spot for how much sleep you should get. Anything outside of these regular sleep hours could have long-term health risks that have been associated with shortened lifespans. But it isn’t just sleep behavior that can help you get this right. Tips for improving your sleep include exercising, turning off your phone, or simply tricking your brain into thinking you’re dead tired.
8. Being Productive
It’s actually impossible to multitask and those who come close are simply switching between tasks very quickly, which usually decreases focus. If you’re someone who likes to power through tasks, you should know that your willpower is actually a finite resource and that taking breaks could significantly boost your mental capacities to do work. Here’s another reminder to make sure you’re making time for sleep, because on top of helping ideas solidify in your head, it can also – surprise – make you more productive.
First off, shaving doesn’t cause hair to come back thicker – that is a myth. On a shave-to-shave basis, you should really be making sure to prepare your skin with the right creams and heating techniques to make sure you aren’t totally wrecking your face, legs, armpits, etc. Also make sure to shave at night if you can, as the process leaves your skin ultra sensitive.
10. Brushing Your Teeth
First off, you should never brush your teeth directly after having an acidic meal or drink, because that can push the acid deeper into your enamel. Instead, wait 30 minutes or simply rinse your mouth with water. Some basic tips: Brush for two minutes each time, using a soft brush and not rubbing your teeth and gums too hard.