8 Childhood Habits That Are Destroying Your Health
Hey, there beloved reader! Do you have any nasty habits? What are they? Actually, never mind. I don’t want all the dirty details. But if you do have habits, good or bad, many of them stem from your younger years. Let’s talk about childhood habits you need to break.
Do you still lug around a heavy backpack? How about biting your nails? Wait, you don’t drink milk by the gallon anymore, do you? We’re talking all that and more…
- Drinking lots of milk: It’s common knowledge these days that drinking lots of milk into your adult years is unnecessary. While a cool refreshing glass as a grown-up feels great, milk consumption is especially crucial during your developing years. After all, a single glass contains around 29% of your daily calcium intake. From birth, children are fed breast milk. They are recommended low-fat milk after the age of two. While milk does help us build strong bones and teeth, the need for it decreases as we age. In fact, experts claim that too much milk may actually be bad for you. A recent study conducted on 60,000 middle-aged women and 45,000 middle-aged men, suggested that three or more glasses a day was associated with bone fractures and mortality. If you’re a grown adult, this evidence is compelling enough to make you want to put that third glass of milk down. Your grandfather may still call you “kid”, but you aren’t a child anymore.
- Carrying a heavy backpack: Much like drinking milk, the effects of carrying a heavy backpack as we age are shown to be serious. Also like milk, this is something we begin doing as little ones. The backpack routine normally commences with toddlers, as they lug around tiny school bags appropriate for their size. Over time, not only do they grow larger, but so do their bags. Larger and heavier. This becomes a problem. Did you know that most parents don’t check the weight of their child’s backpack? Your kid could have bricks in there and you wouldn’t even know it. Fortunately, that’s not the case. But the average kid is carrying an estimated 18.4 pounds to and from school. It is recommended that they carry no more than 10 to 20 percent of body weight. If it’s more, the results can be devastating on their back.
- Have you ever heard of “rucksack palsy”? This condition describes the damage done to the back due to carrying heavy bags. The weight of your bags supported by the straps puts pressure onto your brachial plexus. While it’s mostly common with hikers and soldiers, regular backpackers can feel these effects over time. Rucksack palsy can be characterized by numbness, tingling, and overall pain throughout your upper body. It’s normally brought on by overloading our bags. If this routine starts as children, you better believe our backs we’ll be feeling the wrath of the rucksack. Despite ongoing warnings of this condition, more and more people are strapping heavy bags onto their backs. If carrying one is necessary, just try and lighten your load.
- Not wearing sunscreen: There was a reason our parents applied our sunscreen as kids. Without them, we probably wouldn’t have done it at all. Even if you are putting it on, you’re probably not doing it properly. It is estimated that one in four children wear sunscreen outside. Their sunscreen habits are normally shown to be influenced by their parents. This goes on to affect them later in life. Fewer than 15% of men and 30% of women apply sunscreen to the face on the regular. While natural sunlight is needed for our skin to survive, you need to put on the proper amount of sun protection. Trust me, you don’t want melanoma.
- Melanoma is a deadly type of skin cancer that can be brought on by overexposure to sunlight. Were you aware that five severe sunburns before the age of 20 can increase your risk of melanoma by over 80%? So do yourself a favor and grab that bottle of sunscreen. Your day of perusing the beach with a metal detector should be done without the worry of skin cancer.
- Biting your nails: This one should be a given, but apparently, some of you still need a reminder. While about 50% of kids from the ages of 10 to 18 bite their nails, little did we know it is actually a sign of emotional imbalance? If we continue this habit throughout our adult years, expect several unpleasant results. This gross habit can produce nasty health issues including inflammation, infection, and sickness. When you bite off significant pieces of fingernails, you leave the skin underneath exposed to harmful bacteria. This includes bacteria in your mouth. Both bacteria and pathogens can result in an infection known as paronychia.
- This can leave your fingertips with swelling, redness, and pus. To add to the problem, you can also contract a stomach virus by consuming the germs from your fingers. Not to mention bacteria can also create ingrown nails and facial warts. Do you often get nervous? Don’t bite your nails! Instead, check out our article on “How to Reduce Stress and Anxiety by Telling Your Brain Not to Worry” Worried about a stomach sickness? Click on our clip to learn about 11 Ways to Clean Your Gut Bacteria. Now let’s move on with our list of Childhood Habits You Need to Break!
- Eating too quickly: Eating slowly can reduce the risk of heart disease and obesity. If we begin teaching this to children, they will be much healthier. It is recommended that people take longer than 20 minutes to eat their meal. This way, your body has time to tell your brain that you are full. Children are eating way too quickly. In a study conducted on Japanese schoolgirls between 2008 to 2013, it was discovered that slower eating prevented obesity. Several more studies have been done stating that despite the evidence that quick eating is terrible for children, most are eating too quickly. Without the proper education, you can easily fall victim to this habit as an adult. The average meal lasts about 11 minutes. Some breakfasts and dinners are less than two minutes. It all depends on how hectic your schedule is. The next time you have a large meal in front of you, take your time to enjoy it.
- Not properly brushing: Whether you eat slowly or quickly, you still need to brush your teeth. And it kind of helps if you do it properly. While children past the age of 6 are normally capable of brushing on their own, parents often neglect to inspect the condition of their teeth. If you grow up without the proper model to follow, you may continue on with your bad brushing techniques. We’ve all been there… When you’re a child, being asked to brush your teeth is like being forced to do heavy labor. But think about the health benefits it has in the long run. Adults who brush their teeth typically brush for no longer than 45 seconds. This is not long enough to remove plaque. In Australia, half of the adults don’t brush their teeth more than twice a day. And if you’re a child, there is only a 1 in 3 chance that your brush the sufficient amount. This is already a major issue. Were you aware that 26% of adults between the ages of 20 to 64 have untreated tooth decay? It’s time to begin brushing longer and more often.
- Chewing on your pen: The acting of biting the end of your pencil is often therapeutic. We do it in times of severe stress or anxiety. Sometimes, we’re also just bored. We all remember those times in science class right before the big exam. It’s terrifying. Will I pass? Will I fail? Who knows? What better way to put your mind at ease than to nibble on the cap of your pen. Just pray the ink doesn’t burst. Even though it starts out as a juvenile past-time, the habit often carries on into our adult years. You’ve seen Terry at the office who sits in his cubicle chomping down on the end of a Bic. He’s nervous because his report on the Johnson file isn’t ready, and it’s due at noon! Don’t be like Terry, people. Believe it or not, there are health consequences to chewing on pens. Seriously! While you are busy gnawing away on your writing utensil, here’s something to consider… Chewing your pen is a major contributor to cracked or damaged teeth. I guess too much of any food is bad for you… If that’s not enough to convince you to quit, pens also carry strains of bacteria. If it’s been passed around from person to person, it’s built up spreading potential viruses once bitten into. So if one day Terry doesn’t show up to work, you already know why.
- Constantly using your phone: This one is extremely important. Over 45% of U.S. children between 10 and 12 own smartphones, and stick to the devices like glue. For any kids watching, if you hear your parents bickering in your ear about going outside and enjoying life, try your best to listen to them. You do not want to end up staring at your phone for the rest of your days. After all, cell phone addiction is real! People touch their phone screens an average of 2600 times per day. This includes everything from scrolling, swiping, and clicking. If that’s not enough to convince you to give it a rest, how about this? The average person spends an estimated 3 hours and 15 minutes per day on their phones. Turn the iPhone off and go for a walk. It will clear your mind of everything happening on Twitter!
Are you still falling victim to these habits? Have you kicked any? Let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!