Hygiene and Health Go Hand in Hand

We've always known that personal hygiene is important for remaining healthy. Of course, this point has been driven home many times over the last 12 months.

But even if the coronavirus pandemic did not exist, we would stay healthier if we practiced good hygiene habits on a regular basis.

There are countless viruses floating around out there – as well as harmful bacteria. Good hygiene limits the spread of germs and infectious diseases.

In addition to strengthening our immune system, we should keep personal hygiene top of mind. The cleaner your hands are, for example, the less likely you will be to transfer anything harmful to your mouth, nose or eyes.

Results of Bad Hygiene

Poor personal hygiene transforms the body into a perfect environment for germs to live long and prosper.

It also makes our bodies more vulnerable to infection. Failing to practice good hygiene can lead to a number of problems. Including...

  • Diarrhea and gastroenteritis
  • Respiratory infections including the flu and common cold
  • Staph infections
  • Worm-related conditions including ringworm
  • Scabies
  • Lice
  • Trachoma and other eye infections
  • Athlete's foot
  • Tooth decay

Proper Hygiene Habits

What are the best ways to practice good hygiene? Here are some of them:

  • Cleaning your body every day. With a bath or shower. This will wash away dead skin cells, oil and bacteria.
  • Thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water after going to the bathroom.
  • Brushing your teeth at least twice a day.
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Washing your hands after handling a pet or other animal.

How to Wash Your Hands

We heard more about hand-washing in 2020 than in any previous year that I can recall. Not only about doing it frequently, but how to do it.

Most of us probably thought we had a pretty good grip on how to wash our hands. Long before we'd heard of the coronavirus. But now we have detailed instructions.

Such as wetting our hands first. Then washing them with soap for at least 20 seconds, lathering between fingers and the backs of our hands.

Cleaning underneath fingernails as well as possible. Rinsing both sides of our hands with running water. And drying them thoroughly with a clean cloth towel or a paper towel.

When to Wash Your Hands

That covers the "how." What about the "when?" Some of them are pretty obvious. Like before and after changing a baby's diapers. And before and after touching a sick person.

Others we probably don't need to be reminded about are after taking out the garbage. Or before and after treating a wound. And prior to eating.

But some we might not think about, especially when we're busy. Such as before and after preparing food.

And after blowing our noses, coughing or sneezing. And after petting the dog or cat. Or after touching any surface that might have germs on it. Such as doorknobs, railings, kitchen counters, remotes and cellphones.

Bathroom Hygiene

I'm not going to get into the specifics of bathroom hygiene. Including bathing and what to clean. I'm pretty sure we all know how to take care of that. And why it's important.

But I will mention that our bodies are covered with millions of sweat glands. When bacteria breaks down sweat, it can cause body odor. Washing our bodies removes that bacteria and helps prevent skin irritations. Hair washing removes oils.

I'll also remind you that poor oral hygiene is not only unhealthy for our teeth and gums. It can cause bad breath. And that can lead to isolation.

Brushing and flossing regularly reduce the chances of tooth decay and gum disease. And that helps keep breath fresh.

Your Hygiene Affects Others

It's not discussed often, but good hygiene can lead to an increased confidence level. And that can help in pretty much every area of life.

Having a good self-esteem can make you more attractive and desirable to others. This is a benefit in personal relationships, as well as in the business world.

It's pretty obvious that good hygiene helps the individual who practices it. In many different ways.

But it also benefits those around us. The more we practice good hygiene, the healthier we will be. Which means there's a much lower chance of spreading germs to others.

And Speaking of Staying Healthy...

Now it's probably a stretch to connect hygiene with a healthy diet. But you are what you eat. Garbage in, garbage out.

When our diets are nutritious, we look and feel better. And we're more likely to be concerned about staying that way.

At the risk of sounding like your mother, make sure you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. And not just the same ones over and over again.

Variety is important with vegetables and fruits. Because each one provides different vitamins, minerals and nutrients we need to stay healthy.

It can be challenging to acquire that variety and keep it fresh. But as you'll see below, there's an easy, one-step way to get everything you need in this area.


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Frank Abdullah - February 8, 2021

Patriots Health Alliance Care System speakers the truth.

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