12 Bad Habits That are Actually Good For You

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Just because society says so doesn't mean all of your "bad" habits are actually bad. No need to break these -- they're actually good for you!

1. Fidgeting

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Believe it or not, the habit you’ve been scolded for since childhood is actually a mild calorie burner!

Not that it’s gonna drop you a few dress sizes or anything but research has classified fidgeting as a form of "non-exercise activity thermogenesis," which not only helps burns calories but even increases your metabolism.

2. Drinking Coffee

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When it comes to guilty pleasures, coffee’s one that’s actually full of health benefits. Not only is it choked full of antioxidants, it’s also been proven to contain chemicals that help fight Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, liver cancer, and memory loss.

To top it off, folks who drink 2-3 cups of coffee a day are 15% less likely to be depressed. So go ahead- indulge in that extra trip to the coffee pot.

3. Skipping a Shower Every Now and Then

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Though you may not want to select a gym day to employ this one, don’t worry about it too much if you’ve just been chilling all day and don’t make it into the shower.

As it turns out, washing your skin daily can strip it of natural oils that keep you looking young. The same is true for your hair, as washing it daily can result in a dry, itchy scalp.

4. Tanning

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Despite all those over-tanning horror stories, there are multiple studies that prove that, in moderation, the sun’s rays actually provide a healthy dose of Vitamin D. This can do everything from help prevent colds and flues to more serious conditions like rickets.

If you’re outside for more than 10 minutes though, you definitely wanna employ a little sun screen.

5. Sleeping In

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In a nation of under-sleepers, catching up on a little shut eye when you have the chance is actually a good thing. Studies show that people who under-sleep are also more likely to indulge in larger portions of less healthy food.

Additionally, letting your circadian rhythms rather than your alarm clock tell you when it's time to get up can also help keep your metabolism high.

6. Chewing Gum

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Surprisingly, research shows that a little gum chewing can go a long way where focus is concerned. A recent study at St. Louis University found that gum chewing students out preformed non-chewers on a variety of tests, to the extent that gum turned out to be an even better study aid than caffeine.

7. Being Messy

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In a study published in Psychological Science magazine, researchers found that subjects in a messy environment were able to come up with more creative solutions to problems than those who were in a tidy one.

Not only has messiness been connected to creativity, it can also have other ironic benefits. Studies show it’s actually harder for dust mites to survive in unmade beds, which can’t hurt where the allergies are concerned.

8. Chocolate

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That’s right, for all the flack it takes, a little chocolate isn’t always a bad thing. Dark chocolate (and to a lesser extent milk chocolate) is full of a nifty little chemical compound called flavonoids which can help prevent everything from cancer to strokes.

9. Video Games

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As addicting as they can be, video games can also have surprising pain-relief benefits.

Studies showed that cancer patients who played them after chemotherapy treatments needed less pain meds and that they were a great way to help pain and burn victims get their minds off of their discomfort.

10. Nail Biting

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While it does your manicure no favors, some doctors believe that biting your nails also introduces your body to small amounts of dirt and germs. Though this exactly doesn’t sound like a positive thing, it actually helps build up your immune system in much the same way as vaccines.

11. Swearing

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Dr. Richard Stephens at Keele University recently led a study that proved that a few choice words can help when it comes to pain relief.

People in the study, which involved ducking their hands into freezing ice water, were able to withstand the chill 50% longer when allowed to voice their feelings via a few cuss words as opposed to suffering in silence.

12. Complaining

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This is not to say that a positive outlook isn’t a good thing, just that keeping your emotions bottled up isn’t doing you any long term favors.

Research finds that people who suppress their negative feelings tend to suffer from worse all around health than those who are able to constructively vent their frustrations.


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