Saint Peter’s Better Health

Sponsored by Saint Peter’s Healthcare System

Your health is a priority, so you try to take good care of yourself. But some habits that you think are healthy may actually be harmful. Here’s how to avoid five common mistakes.

1. Reusing Unwashed Grocery Bags

The problem: Reusable grocery bags reduce waste. But they may also harbor germs that could contaminate your food and make you sick.

The fix: Wash reusable bags frequently. Put cloth ones in the washing machine, and scrub plastic ones with hot, soapy water. Store in a cool, dry place. 

2. Eating Large Amounts of Nuts

The problem: Nuts are packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and heart-healthy fats. But they also contain about 160 to 180 calories per ounce.

The fix: Keep servings small—1.5 ounces (a small handful) of whole nuts or 2 tablespoons of nut butter. 

3. Counting Sheep for Hours

The problem: A consistent bedtime helps promote better sleep. But if you don’t doze off within 20 minutes, forcing yourself to stay in bed is counterproductive.

The fix: Get up and do something relaxing, such as reading a book or listening to soft music, until you feel drowsy.

4. Doing the Same Workout Every Day

The problem:Staying active is crucial for your health. But always doing the same thing can get boring and zap your motivation.

The fix: Mix things up. Walk one day; then ride your bike, go for a swim, or use an elliptical machine the next. Include strength and flexibility activities as well.

5. Leaping Before You Look

The problem: It’s fun to try out a new cardio routine, strength move, or yoga pose. But improper form could lead to injury.

The fix: To see how to do an exercise correctly, take a class, follow a video, or look up how to do it online.

Online Medical Reviewer: Cunningham, Louise, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Godsey, Cynthia, MSN, APRN, MSHE, FNP-BC
Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2019
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