We are all dirty. Whether you are a child or an adult or something in between you are simply covered in germs. Now, before you freak out and run to the nearest shower note that not all germs are bad germs. In fact, less than 1% of all germs are considered to be harmful to the human body. On top of that your body’s immune system does a great job at keeping you healthy. Did you know that if you get the common cold that you would never get that same cold strain again? You can actually be given these cold strains on purpose and treated in an effort to assist in not being sick in the future. There are actually over two hundred strains of the common cold.
So, remember when I said that not all germs are bad? Well, let me rephrase that. Germs are smart. Now, I am not saying they are smarter than us by any means, but germs have the ability to mold themselves into all different shapes and sizes in an effort to attack your body. Again, our immune system has the ability to combat most of these, but not all strains are the same.
These germs live everywhere. Think about some of the things that you touch every single day that might carry these little guys. Doorknobs have germs all over them. When was the last time you saw someone clean a doorknob? Your keyboard is swimming with germs. Toilet seats, cell phones, and refrigerator handles are just covered in germs. (Did you know that a public toilet seat actually has fewer germs than your keyboard?) So how can you stay safe from these little guys? Well, you will never be able to rid yourself of germs all together, but below is a list of ways you can help assist in staying clean and better yet staying healthy.
Wash Your Hands
This is about as obvious as you can get. Wash your hands. Wash them after you go to the restroom. Wash them before you eat. Better yet wash them every couple of hours. And when I say wash your hands, I do not mean run them under cold water and carry on with your day. To actually be able to get the germs from your paws you need to use hot water (the hotter the better) and hand soap that has antibacterial ingredients. Now, how long do you need to wash your hands? When you begin sing happy birthday to yourself. Then, when you are finished singing repeats the ever-popular song again. Then, rinse, dry, and now know that 99.98% of the germs that were on your hands just a few seconds ago are now gone.
Use Bleach in your Laundry
When I first moved away to college I refused to learn how to do my own laundry. I am lucky enough to have a collection of clothes that allows me to go a couple of months (yes, a couple of months) without having to do laundry. I would send it home to my mom. Actually, my step-dad would do the laundry as he plays that role around my house. It is OK though, because he really knows how to not only make the clothes smell incredible but he can fold a pair of pants better than anyone I have ever met.
But, last year I decided that I would learn how to do it myself. I had my step-dad actually drive two hours to give me a lesson on how to wash, dry, and fold my clothes. And while they might not smell as good as they used to, I felt like I got one step closer to being able to survive on my own. So, how can you kill germs when doing your laundry? Use bleach. Bleach not only leaves your clothes smelling delicious but also kills any germs the laundry detergent missed out on.
Avoid Touching your Eyes, Nose, and Mouth
These places just so happen to be located on your face, and prove to be very difficult not to touch. I always have an itch in my eye, snot running out of my nose, or a piece of food stuck in the back of my mouth. But, it is advised that you try to avoid touching these places on your body, as they are stacked with germs. So what do you do if you catch yourself digging sleep out of your eyes, reaching for a booger that has been hanging out for the entire afternoon, or brushing your teeth with your middle finger? Wash your hands. Don’t forget to sing happy birthday twice when doing so.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Who does not like to sleep? We all like to sleep and it is suggested that you get a minimum of eight hours every night to be able to live a healthy and steady life. So, are you getting your eight hours a night? I know I am not. There are nights that I am lucky to get three or four. However, there are some nights where I head to bed at nine or ten and wake up the next day around noon. So I figure I am making up for it somewhere along the way. However, sleeping a true eight hours a night will actually help your body regulate and gives your immune system ample time to refresh itself for the next day. So, get to bed early tonight and see if you don’t feel better tomorrow morning.
Drink Lots of Water
I drink a gallon of this stuff a day, Actually, I have been drinking my fair share of diet soda, but I still try to drink a gallon of water a day. It is suggested by experts that you drink eight glasses of water each and every day. This might seem like a lot but if you drink a glass when you get up, one with breakfast, another in the afternoon, one with lunch, a couple in the evening and one before you go to bed then you have done this throughout the day and it does not seem like a daunting task. Drinking this much water actually helps you not only stay hydrated, but also helps keep your system clean.
If You are Sick, Stay Home
This bothers me more than anything. I hate walking around the mall or the grocery store to hear and see people hacking and coughing into their arm. If you are sick, stay home for goodness sake. This will not only help the spread of germs but also will give you time to rest. Most doctors will say that if you are sick, especially with a common cold or the flu, the best medicine is to rest. Plus, you get the chance to lie around and do nothing all day. So enjoy it and help keep the rest of us healthy.
I could continue to go on and on about ways to keep you healthy. The list truly is endless. But these are some basic steps, and ones that most people ignore, that can help keep you in tiptop shape this season. So take some notes if you must, but if you follow these simple rules you will not only be healthier but you will feel better and you will have more energy to live an even more active life. All of that sounds pretty good to me. And remember, sing happy birthday to yourself twice when washing your hands!