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By on April 21, 2015

Read on to see if you’re causing harm to your body without even realizing it.

Sure, you exercise regularly, eat right, and haven’t touched a cigarette in years. But you could still be trashing your health. Some seemingly healthy, or atleast un-harmful, things can actually be pretty bad for you. Read on to learn 20 ways you’re unwittingly harming your health.

1. Using Anti-Bacterial Soap on Your Junk
You know that “good bacteria” that’s in your gastrointestinal tract and is apparently the key to better health? Well, it’s also all over your man parts, so using antibacterial soap on them decreases their number of good bacteria, making you susceptible to infections, even of the sexually transmitted variety, says Darius A. Paduch, M.D., Ph.D., director of sexual health at Weill Cornell Medical College.
He recommends using Dove non-antibacterial soap. If you’re circumcised, wash up with it once per day. And if you’re sporting a turtleneck—which acts as a mucosal barrier to bad bacteria—opt for every other day. On your days off, just use water.

2. Texting So Damn Much
The human head weighs 10 to 12 pounds. Tilt your head down to look at your phone, though, and you can put up to 60 pounds of weight on your spine, according to a new study published in Surgical Technology International.
“It can also lead to tightness of the muscles in front of the shoulder like the pectoralis minor, contributing to rotator cuff tendinitis and other potential problems,” says Guillem Gonzalez-Lomas, M.D., assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center. Meanwhile, high-volume texting has been associated with thumb tendon inflammation, which is indicative of early tendinitis. “If you’re texting and playing games, you’re compounding that risk, as well as risking possible arthritis at the base of the thumb (carpometacarpal joint) later in life,” he says.

3. Following Your Workout with Happy Hour
“Alcohol is a kind of kryptonite for muscle building. One, it suppresses the anabolic response in skeletal muscle to resistance exercise. Two, it probably delays recovery,” says Gonzalez-Lomas. And, all muscle-building aside, alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it will add to any exercise-induced dehydration you’ve already got going on. Not exactly what you want from your post-workout sip. Refuel with water or a sports drink, wait 30 minutes to an hour, and then drink responsibly.

4. Playing On Your Devices to Chill Out Before Bed
Your circadian clock needs darkness in order to produce sleep-inducing melatonin that will tell your body it’s time to go to bed. So, when you play with a light-emitting phone, tablet, or computer at night, you throw off your circadian clock and your body gets the message that it’s actually time to be awake, says Steven Lamm, M.D., medical director of the Tisch Center for Men’s Health at NYU Langone Medical Center.
A screwed up internal clock messes with more than your sleep schedule. It can also spur weight gain, sap your smarts, and mess with your libido. Lamm recommends turning off your devices at least 45 minutes before bed.

5. Eating Low Fat
The low-fat craze is over. “Nearly one-third of your calories need to come from high performance fats,” says dietician Susan M. Kleiner, Ph.D., R.D., a scientific consultant with USANA Health Sciences. “Diets composed of less than 25 to 30 percent fat can decrease stress-coping skills in stress-prone individuals.
Important omega-3 fats from fish oils are critical to maintaining brain health, repairing oxidative damage and fighting inflammation. And diets too low in fat lower testosterone production.” Choose healthy fats from fish, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, olives, nuts, seeds, canola, and coconut oils.

6. Skipping Breakfast
You know “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” but most men are still skipping it—or eating it a few hours after they wake up, says cardiologist Kevin Campbell, M.D., F.A.C.C. Problem is, if you have your egg sandwich when you get to work, your brain and metabolism have already missed out on hours of fuel, he says. If you don’t eat within the first hour of waking, expect brain fog and a stomach pooch.

7. Working Out Too Much
“Maybe its machoism but many men tend to overtrain,” Lamm says. “Exercise is important but the body needs rest.” One 2014 study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings even shows that exercising too much (more than the equivalent of running 30 miles or walking 46 miles per week) may increase your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. Experts believe that if you exercise past this point, your body may accumulate free radicals that harm your heart.

8. Eating Egg-White Omelets
OK, so egg whites aren’t bad for you, but yolks are better. They’re packed with choline. “Choline is half the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is active every time you think or move,” Kleiner says. “It also acts to keep your brain cells healthy.”
Meanwhile, increasingly more studies are refuting the long-held belief that egg yolks raise cholesterol levels. For instance, one study published in the British Journal of Medicine suggests you can eat an egg a day without increasing your risk of coronary heart disease or stroke.

9. Only Going to the Doctor When You’re Sick
More than half of guys forgo their annual exams, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. “Most men refuse to go to doctor unless something hurts,” says cardiologist James M. Rippe, M.D., founder of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute and professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Central Florida. But something doesn’t have to hurt for your blood pressure to be through the roof, for you to be deficient in vitamin D, or (if we are really trying to freak you out) for you to have cancer, he says. This year, schedule a physical and show up.

10. Cutting Carbs
Carbo-loading is a thing for a reason. “If you train hard, skipping carbs means you will have no fuel for your muscles. Only carbohydrates can fuel high intensity training. If you are a competitive athlete, you can’t pass your opponent or sprint to the finish without carbs,” Kleiner says. Meanwhile, if you are cutting carbs, your mental health could suffer right along with your exercise performance.

11. Working in an Office Chair
You know sitting is the 21st century’s number-one health threat, that’s why you work out. But a 2015 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that even exercise won’t save you from sitting disease. In the study, people who sat for eight or more hours a day increased their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 90 percent, while also upping their risk of heart disease and cancer.

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