13 "Healthy" Habits That Can Actually Cause Harm


View as:

shrugging woman in doubt doing shrug showing open palms
Photo credit: Ariwasabi/shutterstock


Having a healthy lifestyle seems like an easy goal to achieve -- but not necessarily. There are some seemingly healthy habits that can actually do more harm than good, so read about the not-so-great wellness tips you need to ditch, now.
tired man sitting on the bench at the gym
Photo credit: wavebreakmedia/shutterstock


Exercise is crucial for overall good health, but overdoing it can lead to strains, sprains, or other injuries. Warm up, workout, and cool down, but don't overextend to the point of injury in the name of good health.
medicine pills or capsules in hand, palm or fingers
Photo credit: funnyangel/shutterstock


When sick, there's often an urge to head to the doctor to demand medication. Unfortunately, over-prescribing antibiotics has led to antibiotic resistance, which means drugs are less effective than they used to be. Modern docs are aware of this disturbing development, so resist the urge to ask for an antibiotic if you don't need one.
female hands using hand sanitizer gel pump dispenser
Photo credit: Elena Elisseeva/shutterstock


While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that hand sanitizer is a viable choice when soap and water is unavailable, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating the health and safety of ingredients in these products. There is also concern that using sanitizer too often can result in resistance to the nasty germs we're trying to combat. If possible, scrub well with soap and water instead.
closeup of a refreshing glass of water which is being filled
Photo credit: nito/shutterstock


Water is life, but it really is possible to overdo it. Overhydration can have serious consequences. Folks who do a lot of athletic training (such as marathon runners) are more at risk of hyponatremia, which occurs when levels of sodium in the blood drop so low people suffer seizures, coma, or even death.
intermittent fasting concept with knife and fork showing cross symbol on white plate
Photo credit: designelements/shutterstock


Eschewing breakfast as a weight loss tactic may seem like a good idea, but it can lead to impaired glucose tolerance, often associated with type 2 diabetes, and may actually lead to more weight gain down the road.
african american woman sleeping in her bed at night
Photo credit: Stock-Asso/shutterstock


Getting enough sleep is vital to good physical and mental health. However, if sleeping in makes you think you're being even healthier, think again -- studies show increased BMI and other health problems (particularly psychiatric issues) in those who get more sleep than they should.
variety of vitamin capsules and of spilled container
Photo credit: monticello/shutterstock


Vitamins can help fill the gaps left behind with a not-so-perfect diet, but the jury is still out on whether or not they leads to improved overall health. Instead of investing in several individual vitamins, try an inexpensive multi instead.
toothbrush with toothpaste
Photo credit: Studio KIWI/shutterstock


While experts recommend frequent tooth brushing, it has been found that after consuming acidic drinks or foods, you may be damaging your tooth enamel if you brush too soon. If you know you're going to drink or eat something acidic, brush your teeth first.
vanilla and chocolate protein powder and scoops
Photo credit: BLACKDAY/shutterstock


For those who are hoping to amp up their non-meat protein intake, soy is often perceived to be a good substitute. Some soy is good for you, but it should be moderated -- studies of ats rsuggest that overdoing soy in your diet may have detrimental effects on the reproductive system.
gluten Free loaf of breads on display in a health food shop
Photo credit: ChameleonsEye/shutterstock


Those who have a medical need to avoid gluten (such as celiac disease) should avoid it -- but the number of people cutting out gluten now extends far beyond that group. While some people think avoiding gluten will make them healthier, it can have opposite effect when pre-packaged, high-calorie subs are used, like gluten-free cookies and snacks.
sweetener tablets and hand with box whit cup of tea
Photo credit: Monika Wisniewska/shutterstock


Reducing sugar intake is a healthy habit to start, but switching to diet soda or artificial sweeteners in other foods isn't the way to go. Studies have shown that sugar subs can lead to more weight gain instead of less.
hands holding knife and fork on a plate with a green pea
Photo credit: Alex Malikov/shutterstock


Making a healthy change in eating habits is a good thing, but going on a hardcore crash diet is not. Crash diets can deplete your body of nutrients and lead to severe health problems.
close-up pouring glass of water from a plastic bottle
Photo credit: Tarasyuk Igor/shutterstock


Tap water can contain contaminants that, although regulated, are still undesirable. Many turn to bottled water, but then have to contend with the environmental impact of plastic bottles. Instead, put a filter on your home faucet.

Cheapism.com participates in affiliate marketing programs, which means we may earn a commission if you choose to purchase a product through a link on our site. This helps support our work and does not influence editorial content.