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7 “Healthy” Habits Our Children Need to Give Up in Order to Not Harm Themselves



Our everyday actions and habits mostly come from our childhood. Our parents teach us things and we want to pass them to our children because we think that they are good for their health and development. But as it turns out, some of these things may be not as good as we thought.

We at Bright Side have identified the “healthy” habits that only seem to be good, but, in fact, they could do a lot of harm.

1. Sitting with a straight back

Many mothers tell their kids, “Keep your back straight!” while they’re sitting down. But as it turns out, sitting straight in a chair is not the best idea. Studies show that that most comfortable position that we instinctively take when we lean back in the chair and slide down a bit, is the healthiest position. When we sit at this 135° angle, the spine, the muscles, and the tendons don’t take on a lot of tension.

And when a person sits with a straight back for a long time, they can experience intervertebral disc displacement. This is why experts recommend that children sit in a relaxed position with some kind of a support under their lower back.

2. Using a backpack instead of a bag

You have probably heard that when you carry a backpack on your back, it is better than a bag hanging on just one of your shoulders. But as it turns out, it’s not that simple. In order to really make sure that a backpack does no harm to your back, it should have an orthopedic back and be at least 2 inches higher than your waist. Otherwise, carrying a backpack is actually harmful.

Carrying a backpack in the wrong way can be a reason for backaches and the development of scoliosis and kyphosis in school students. So experts don’t recommend putting a lot of extra weight inside the backpack and that we need to be sure that it stays in the right position on the back.

3. Using hand sanitizer often

Using antibacterial gels and wipes actually makes the defensive mechanisms of our body and skin weaker and may be a reason for a weakened immune system.

Triclosan, that is contained in hand sanitizers, increases the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics and may be a factor in the development of so-called super-bacteria. Besides, these gels not only kill the bad bacteria — they kill all the flora on the hands, so again, the body’s protection becomes weaker. There have been cases where these products had an instant bad effect on children: they caused skin irritation and poisoning. So, if you can use water and soap, choose to wash your hands instead.

4. Brushing their teeth after every meal and using mouthwash

Brushing your teeth after every meal is not a good idea because if you use toothpaste too often, it disrupts the right acid balance in the mouth and destroys the tooth enamel. Saliva is supposed to play a natural role in cleaning the mouth and supporting the balance. The same goes for mouthwashes which have a negative effect on the mucous membranes in the mouth, especially in children.

What you should do, however, is teach children to use floss that truly helps to keep the mouth clean and doesn’t just freshen the breath.

5. Drinking milk

Milk is very much associated with childhood and it is considered to be a product that restores the lack of calcium in the body. However, studies show the exact opposite of that. Casein, the protein contained in milk, increases the acidity in the stomach and in order to decrease it, the body needs to search for minerals, including calcium. And if you have a lack of calcium, you have a risk of developing osteoporosis. Some studies even point out that casein can be carcinogenic.

By the age of 10-11, children stop developing the ferment that dissolves casein, so teenagers and adults don’t benefit from drinking milk. Nutritionists actually recommend to avoid drinking milk.

6. Being busy with the “right” activities and not procrastinating

Children should be busy. Keeping them busy helps them develop and makes them stronger. But if their schedule is too tight and they have a lot of additional activities aside from school, this could lead to chronic stress. And stress causes hormonal changes that can lead to a weak immune system, digestion problems, and other health issues.

And there is nothing bad about procrastinating, boredom is the state that is necessary for the right development of a child’s psyche, it allows the brain to “reload.”

7. Cutting nails very short

It is believed that keeping nails short means keeping hands clean. However, skin experts say that there is a huge chance to infect the area under the nail if it is cut too short. Besides, if a nail is too short, the fingertips will grow bigger and the nails may grow inside the skin.

So, when cutting nails for your children, leave a small white edge, keep the lines straight when cutting, and watch to make sure they don’t get ingrown.

We were especially surprised by the experts’ approach to the right spine position when sitting. Have you noticed that some seemingly good habits that actually have a bad influence on you?

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11 Exercises to Fix Rounded Shoulders and Sculpt Beautiful Posture




Modern life takes its toll on our posture when we spend hours sitting and neglect the position of our spine. Poor posture leads to an imbalance in our muscles which means that they can’t support the body properly. Luckily, this can be fixed by doing a set of effective exercises. Moreover, they can help you to reduce back pain, stop headaches, increase energy, and improve circulation and digestion.

Bright Side is ready to help our readers achieve a beautiful and healthy body, and found 11 simple exercises that can be done at home by anyone. At the end we included a small tip, as a bonus for those who enjoy massage.

1. Upper trapezius stretch

It’s better to start from your shoulders first to relax your upper muscles. An upper trapezius stretch is just perfect for this.

Initial position: For this exercise, you can stand or sit on your yoga mat, whatever you like. Keep your head straight.

What to do:

  • Slowly move your right ear toward your right shoulder. When you do this, it’s normal that your left shoulder might lift as well. If it does, bring your head back to the initial position and try to relax your left shoulder.
  • Put your right hand over your head and place it on your left cheekbone. Don’t push your head down with it, it should just lie there. This will stretch your upper trapezius muscles very gently.
  • Calmly breathe and sit in this position for 30 seconds.
  • Slowly remove your hand, come back to the initial position and repeat the same on the other side.

2. Superman

The Superman exercise engages your upper and lower back. It helps you fight lower back pain and prevents a curved spine.

Initial position: Lie face down on your stomach, on your yoga mat.

What to do:

  • Extend your arms and legs. Keep your neck neutral.
  • Keep your torso stationary and lift your arms and legs up toward the ceiling. Try forming a “U” shape with your body.
  • Hold the position for 5 seconds, lower your arms and legs, and go back to the initial position.
  • Repeat 10 times.

3. Bridge

The bridge works out glutes and strengthens the lower back, which is important for good posture.

Initial position: Lie on your yoga mat, bend your knees, and place your feet hip-width apart. Place your arms by your sides.

What to do:

  • Engage your buttocks and raise them up, creating a straight line with your body. Your shoulders should be on the floor.
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds and slowly lower your body back to the initial position.
  • Repeat 15-20 times. Give yourself a rest for 30 seconds after every 5 reps.

4. Reverse shoulder stretch

This is an effective exercise to stretch your back and shoulder muscles and remove tension and pain in them.

Initial position: Stand on a yoga mat, with your feet wider than your shoulders, place your straightened hands behind you, and lock your palms together.

What to do:

  • Bring your shoulder blades together and start putting your arms up. Try to feel the tension in your spine and shoulder muscles.
  • For more spine stretch bend forward and bring your locked hands up. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds.
  • Slowly return back to the initial position.
  • Repeat 20 times.

5. Foam roller exercise for upper back

A foam roller will help you to relieve pain in your back muscles, fix rounded shoulders, and improve your overall posture.

Initial position: Get a yoga mat and lie on it with your hips apart and your feet on the floor. Place your foam roller right under your upper middle back, in your shoulder blade area.

What to do:

  • Bring your hands behind your head, this will support it. Bring your hips into a bridge pose, and hold your balance, supporting your body with your legs.
  • Inhale, push your body from your heels, and roll on your spine. Stop when the roller reaches the top of your shoulder blades.
  • Exhale and roll back until the roller reaches the bottom if your rib cage.
  • Repeat this for 30-45 seconds.

6. Cat-cow exercise

The cat-cow exercise is perfect for stretching your back, lower spine, and core muscles.

Initial position: Stand on all fours on the yoga mat, place your hands right under your shoulders, and knees and feet hip-width apart. Keep your toes pointing toward your body. Your spine should be natural and straight, no bending or arching.

What to do:

  • Cat position: exhale and engage your abdominal muscles. Arch your spine up toward the ceiling, bringing your head to your chest, aligned with your spine. Hold this for 10 seconds.
  • Cow position: slowly start bringing your stomach toward the floor and try to feel the tension in your lower back. Bring your shoulder blades together. Hold this for 10 seconds and go back to the initial position.
  • Repeat 15 times.

7. Kneeling hip-flexor stretch

The kneeling hip flexor stretch will help to remove tension from your pelvic and lower back muscles.

Initial position: Kneel on a yoga mat, bring your right leg in front of you, and bend it at a 90 degree angle. Your foot is flat on the ground. Support yourself by standing on your left knee that is also bent at 90 degrees.

What to do:

  • Slowly start bringing your right knee forward and brace your core. Engage your glutes and keep bringing your hips forward.
  • Your left knee is already bent at more than 90 degrees. Keep your spine straight, don’t bend it forward or backward.
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds to feel the stretch in the muscles then slowly return to the initial position.
  • Repeat 10 times for both sides.

8. Bird dog exercise

Bird dog helps to remove back pain, strengthens the core, and promotes proper posture.

Initial position: Stand on all fours on the yoga mat, your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Your spine should be straight and neutral.

What to do:

  • Raise your right hand and your left leg at the same time, bringing them parallel to the floor.
  • As you do this, lengthen your neck and bring your chin to your chest. Look down at the floor and remain like this for 10 seconds.
  • Return to the starting position and then repeat the same exercise with your left hand and right leg.
  • Repeat 10-15 times.

9. Forearm plank

Plank is not only effective at burning fat, but it also helps to strengthen the spine muscles, it prevents back pain, and it helps to improve your posture.

Initial position: Place your forearms on the yoga mat and align your elbows below your shoulders. Your arms should be parallel to your body at about shoulder-width distance.

What to do:

  • You can clasp your hands together for more comfort. Correct your neck and spine by looking at one spot on the floor somewhere about 30 centimeters in front of your hands.
  • Pay attention, so that your head is in line with your back.
  • Hold this position for 20 seconds.

10. T-Spine windmill stretch

The t-spine windmill stretch can help you fight pain and tension in your lower back and trunk. Moreover, it works out your shoulder muscles.

Initial position: Lie on your side on a yoga mat and bend your knees and hips at 90 degrees. Extend and stack your arms together on your right side.

What to do:

  • Raise your left arm up and then place it out to the left, opening your body up. Right now, your shoulder blades should be on the floor and your legs should remain in the same position.
  • Hold it for a couple of seconds and return to your initial position.
  • Do 30 repetitions on each side.

11. Tight shoulder massage

A simple tennis ball can help you to remove pain in your shoulders in different areas and relax them. All you need here is a tennis ball and a wall.

Initial position: Stand next to the wall and face it. Place a tennis ball on the wall and lean on it. Your chest should push the ball inside your shoulder.

What to do:

  • Start making a circular movement around this muscle and try to find a trigger point.
  • Hold a ball on this point until you feel that the tension and pain are gone.
  • Keep doing this until you relax all of your trigger points.
  • Repeat on the other shoulder.

Bonus: Thai massage is amazing for your back and shoulders.

Thai massage is an ancient form of massage that uses stretching and gentle pressure on the body to relieve muscle and joint pain, and balance your body. This massage helps to make muscles more flexible and removes chronic stiffness. For better results in achieving a healthy back and good posture, you can try this type of massage, focusing on your spine muscles.

Exercises can be effective, but it’s also important to pay attention to your posture throughout the day and strive to keep your spine straight. Do you have good posture? Maybe, you have a couple of exercises that help you relieve back and shoulder pain? Let’s share in the comments!

Illustrated by Alena Tsarkova and Marat Nugumanov for

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8 Top Technology Trends To Watch In China




This is a preview of 2019 Technology Trends Report in China from Business Insider Intelligence and EqualOcean. Chinese high tech firms have been leading the way in innovation for many technologies, such as 5G. These technologies are either currently undergoing or about to undergo major phases of change.

View at DailyMotion

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Why Iran is attacking oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz




The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow waterway that lies between Iran and Oman. Dozens of tankers carry oil through the 21-mile-wide passage each day. This flow of oil represents 20 percent of the world’s supply.

Most of the tankers traveling through the Strait of Hormuz are bound for Asia. But an attack on any tanker there, regardless of its destination, can affect the price of oil everywhere. That’s because oil is a globally traded product — a drop in supply from the Persian Gulf can drive up prices from other sources around the world. After two tankers were attacked in June, the price of Brent Crude — oil sourced from the North Sea — jumped by nearly $2 per barrel.

The price of Brent crude, a global benchmark, jumped in response to the attack of two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz.

Vox/Danush Parvaneh

The attacks in June weren’t the only incidents in Hormuz in recent months. Several other oil tankers have been seized, attacked, and harassed. These tankers — and this narrow water passage — have become a center of conflict between the US and Iran. It’s a conflict with the potential to escalate in one of the world’s most important oil chokepoints, sending the global economy into a tailspin.

You can find this video and all of Vox’s videos on YouTube. And if you’re interested in supporting our video journalism, you can become a member of the Vox Video Lab on YouTube.

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