9 habits that do more harm than good

there are some habits that sound good but might be causing you harm. here are 9 from Women’s Health:

1. Compulsively using hand sanitizer

Unless you’re in an especially germ-prone place like a hospital, soap and water will work just fine. When you’re not near a sink, hand sanitizing gels can help, but be sure to read the label first as those containing triclosan may promote bacteria and virus resistance to antibiotic medications (this goes for antibacterial hand soaps that contain triclosan, too). Instead, choose brands like Purell, that contain at least 60% alcohol, which will kill 99% of bacteria on contact.

2. Experimenting with skincare products

Create a daily regimen and stick with it, even if you don’t see results right away. It can take between six and eight weeks to see changes; if you’re using a product to increase collagen, expect to wait six months to see results. Constantly changing products may cause adult rosacea. A consistent regime should keep your skin clear, clean and smooth.

3. Wearing flip-flops

Flip-flops and other unsupportive sandals, which have no arch support and give no structural support to the foot, can lead to stress fractures since your uncushioned feet become strained when they try to support too much weight. Extensor or flexor tendinitis is also a common problem that happens as a result of trying to keep your flip-flips on – the muscles on top or underneath your feet overexert themselves while trying to grip your shoes.Try comfortable sandals that also provide plenty of support, like styles from Fit Flops, OrthoHeel and Mephisto.

4. Brushing your teeth after every meal

Food can leave acid on your teeth, which can weaken the enamel. Brushing while the enamel is in a weakened state can actually scrub the enamel away. To dislodge any food particles that may remain after eating, simply rinsing your mouth out with water and saving the brushing for morning and night. Then when you do brush, be sure to do so in a circular motion because brushing up and down or back and forth can leave behind harmful bacteria, causing gum disease; while applying too much pressure can lead to receding gums.

5. Doing only cardio when you work out

Going through repeated motions on the treadmill or elliptical machine can create tight muscles and lead to injury. Trade in a few of your cardio workouts for circuit training, which involves doing a number of different strength training exercises with little rest between moves in order to keep your heart rate up while also working out your entire body, ensuring that you’ll burn the most calories – without burning out. Integrating resistance training into your routine will create muscle mass, which will help you burn more calories throughout the day, even when you’re at rest. Mix in interval training once a week. Try doing 30 seconds of high intensity motion, followed by 90 seconds of recovery at a moderate pace, working your way up to 10 repetitions. The bursts of intensity followed by recovery will effectively and efficiently blast calories and fat.

6. Skipping meals to “save up” for later

When you don’t eat breakfast or lunch you can develop cravings and irritability, which can lead to overeating later on in the day. A smarter approach to eating: Fill up on protein-packed meals and nutrient-rich snacks that’ll keep your satisfied all day, so when dinnertime or cocktail hour rolls around you won’t be tempted to fill your plate with calorie-rich and high-fat foods.

7. Drinking only bottled water

Bottled water contains no fluoride and more and more adults suffer from a fluoride deficiency, which can lead to tooth decay. Fill your glass with water purified by a Brita or PUR water filtration system which will keep your water free from impurities commonly found in tap water, but still allow you to reap the benefits of fluoride.

8. Cleaning with disinfecting products

Cleansers that boast antibacterial or disinfecting properties haven’t been proven to be any more effective than regular cleaning products, and there is significant evidence that the chemicals in these disinfecting cleansers – called quaternary ammonium compounds – can lead to asthma. Other cleaning product chemicals to avoid include 2-butoxyethanol, which the Environmental Protection Agency considers a human carcinogen and has been linked to cancer; alkylphenol ethoxylates, which can disrupt hormones; and ethanolamines, which can cause asthma. But because cleaning product companies aren’t required to list most ingredients on their product labels, it can be tough to know what to buy. Seventh Generation clearly lists their ingredients on their labels or make your own mixture (a) one part water and one part vinegar, or (b) scrubbing surfaces with baking soda, both of which have natural antibacterial properties. When it comes to ousting germs, the key is cleaning often and thoroughly.

9. Loading up on nutritional supplements

People often take nutritional supplements without really understanding what they’re consuming, or if they really need them. Because so many foods are fortified these days, she notes that chances are many of us don’t have any major nutritional deficiencies. But there are more serious side effects of carelessly popping pills: Vitamin A in large amounts can be toxic to a developing fetus, vitamin C in large doses can cause gastrointestinal distress as well as interfere with glucose readings in people on diabetes medications and too much vitamin B6 can cause nerve damage. Eating food instead of taking supplements should be the primary way to fulfill nutritional requirements and deliver health benefits. If you do learn that supplements are the best choice to remedy a deficiency, look for “USP” printed on the label, which signifies that the pill meets the standards of the testing organization U.S. Pharmacopeia.

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read article on Yahoo! Shine by Amanda Greene from Woman’s Day: 9 Habits That Can Do More Harm Than Good

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