There are so many healthy hobbies out there to choose from – from biking and swimming to painting and reading – that it may actually seem difficult to think of an unhealthy one. However, some individuals, despite the abundance of wellness-promoting options, get in the habit of pursuing detrimental hobbies.
The following are five such hobbies, and why you’d be better off cutting them out of your day.
Those hours you spend sitting on the couch and catching up on your favorite shows really take a toll on your health. A sedentary lifestyle is one of the primary factors driving the epidemics of obesity and heart disease in this nation. Too much sitting is also implicated in other chronic ailments, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.
If you’ve gotta catch that episode, try to watch standing, or better yet, doing some lunges, crunches or stretches. If you do sit and watch, get up at least every half an hour and walk around.
Zoning out online
This hobby carries the same too-much-sitting risks as watching TV. However, as many people sit hunched over a keyboard in awkward positions, all that time online can hurt your posture and lead to back, neck and joint pain. The solution? Keep your online time to a minimum – set yourself an alarm for when its time to log off if you find yourself losing track.
Frequenting the local ice cream or candy shop
Those ice cream cones and sweet confections sure are tasty, but they’re harming your health. Sugar is considered by many health experts to be one of the most dangerous poisons in our modern diet. Along with being a major player in obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease, sugar is linked to a weakened immune system, depression, mood swings, tooth decay and certain cancers.
When it’s time for a hard-earned treat, stick to homemade desserts sweetened with honey, coconut crystals or raw stevia leaves instead – and remember to enjoy in moderation.
Certain home improvement projects
Some people have a thirst for doing renovations and performing home repairs, and while this makes your home look great and can provide some exercise, some chemical solutions used in these endeavors can be very dangerous. These include certain paints, wood treatments, finishes and sealants. We’re not saying you shouldn’t re-do your rec room or den, but instead of using conventional chemical products, look into organic replacements.
If the project you are doing is impossible to complete without these chemical agents, wear safety equipment. Or, consider having the job done professionally, by individuals with the proper training and equipment to avoid exposure to the potentially harmful chemicals.
In moderation, running is a wonderful form of exercise which can boost your heart rate, keep your body trim and fit and your mind clear and energized. However, some people overdo it. Running too much, or harder than your body is ready for, can cause injury, worsen existing injuries and even lead to hypertension.
The amount of running that is safe and healthy varies depending on your individual condition, so talk to a health professional if you think you may be doing too much. Pain or excessive soreness is a huge red flag. Plus, you don’t have to run like crazy to get health benefits: as we reported, recent research has found that running a little may be even healthier than running a lot.
Your free time is precious, we know. Have the most fun you can, but make it healthy!
-The Alternative Daily