Hacking up your phlegm is natural, Dr. Bergquist says. The cilia, or little hairs that line your respiratory tract, sweep your mucus out, which triggers an urge to release it. “If you lost this ability, you’d be more susceptible to infection and wouldn’t breathe as easily,” she says.
2. Launching a Snot Rocket
The same goes for snot. Once again, your nose’s mucus protects you from breathing in bits and pieces that you shouldn’t have in your shnoz, and once that mucus starts drying, it carries its fair share of nasty particles. So let your boogers fly—into a Kleenex, of course. “It’s important to expel that dry mucus, or snot, that’s blocking your sinus passage,” says Dr. Bergquist. “It makes it easier to take in air.”
3. Leaving Your Hair Unwashed
Scrubbing your head until it’s squeaky clean isn’t great for your scalp, so going a few showers sans shampoo won’t do any harm, says Dr. Bergquist. “For most people, washing the scalp every day is probably over-drying it, especially if you’re really rubbing it in and washing it twice. Your scalp needs oils,” she says. Stick to suds every other day, unless you have very oil hair. If that’s the case, you may want to wash every day, but rinse under lukewarm water to avoid further drying, says Dr. Bergquist.
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When you hold back your farts, they don’t evaporate—they come back stronger with a vengeance. Why? A fart forms from some swallowed air, as well as gas that’s created during the fermentation process of your lower intestinal bacteria breaking down fiber, says Dr. Bergquist. When that gas builds up in your colon, you feel the urge to release it. But if you hold it in for the sake of being polite, you can feel bloated and uncomfortable—and your colon could get distended, which is another unpleasant experience. Find a safe place and let ‘er rip.
Excuse yourself. When you eat and drink, you swallow air along with the food and liquid. Burping is your body’s way of releasing that trapped air from the beginning of your digestive tract. “If you hold in that gas, you have considerable discomfort,” says Dr. Bergquist. “And it’ll just travel down and come out as gas the other way.” So basically, some farts begin their lives as burps you tried to kill. If you have the urge, ask yourself which option is more embarrassing. A discreet burp is probably the way to go.