We’ve all got them, little habits that you know are bad but just can’t seem to break. Some of these things might be minor, like occasionally skipping breakfast or indulging in a decadent dessert every so often. But other things can have a negative impact on your health if you continue to do them regularly.

Read on to find out just how bad some of those habits really are and ways to fix them:

1. Not wearing sunscreen.

Unless you are inside and away from windows 24/7 your skin is exposed to both UVA and UVB rays. Not protecting your skin from the sun can result in damage to your skin cells. This can cause your skin to become weak and discolored, which in turn, will make you appear to age faster.

Excessive exposure to UVA and UVB rays has been linked to skin cancer. You can help protect yourself from these risks by applying a sunscreen daily (in all weather conditions) of at least SPF 15 and with both UVA and UVB protection.

Opting for a sunscreen that also doesn’t harm the environment is a great two-for-one situation. We like Raw Elements.

2. Screens at bedtime.

If you have trouble falling asleep at night, you might want to rethink using your computer close to bedtime. According to U.C. Berkeley, the blue light emitted from your iPad or smartphone prevents your pineal gland from producing melatonin, an important hormone that helps you get to sleep.

Not getting enough sleep can lead to decreased alertness and weight gain. Set an electronic curfew an hour or two before bedtime to help you fall asleep faster.

3. Brushing your teeth wrong.

Many people are guilty of not flossing, but are you brushing correctly? Brushing your teeth less than twice a day has been associated with an increased risk of heart attack and cardiovascular disease. 

If you aren’t brushing for at least two minutes, chances are you are not being thorough. We recommend Quip for a gentle cleanse with a timing feature.

Pay close attention to your gum line and back molars, these are the places where disease tend to show up first and that are missed most often.

Another tip: try drinking through a straw and consuming light-colored liquids to avoid staining and discoloring your teeth.

4. Too much soda.

If soda is your kryptonite, you might want to consider slowly eliminating it from your diet. It’s easy to see why pop is a popular drink choice – its readily available, inexpensive, well marketed and full of caffeine to help you make it through the afternoon.

But not only is soda full of empty calories (read: no nutritional value), recent research has found a correlation between soda consumption and depression. More long-term detrimental effects of included links to osteoporosis, obesity, kidney and liver damage, tooth enamel erosion and increased blood pressure.

To break-up with your soda habit, try slowly eliminating it from your diet and replacing it with plain water, flavored water or a no-sugar added tea.

5. Skipping vegetables.

It’s easy to want to pass over vegetables and load up on carbs. But vegetables have a diverse range of vitamins and minerals we need to be healthy. Pick a few faves and make sure you’re eating them 2-3 times per day.

An easy way to do this is to have salad for lunch or have vegetables as the main part of your dinnertime meal.

Your habits might have started at an early age and seem impossible to change, but it’s never too late to make an effort to correct them. Remember: every healthy choice makes a difference!

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