How Clean Are Your Hands?

In light of everything we’re hearing on the news lately, it’s important to remember that the little things we do throughout the day can have a big impact on how we feel in the days that follow. Besides the usual diet and exercise recommendations, one of the most essential daily habits you can adopt for your health is to make sure your hands are clean.

Why? Well, because our hands touch surfaces that other people touch all day long. We open doors, push shopping carts, use gas pumps, grip the handrail when climbing the steps to our offices. In midst of all this touching, we feed ourselves when we’re hungry, rub our eyes when they’re itchy, and wipe various body parts for any number of reasons.

Any germs that have been left behind on those doorknobs, shopping carts, gas pumps, handrails, and any other public surface will end up on your hands. Left unattended, these germs end up in your body when you handle your food, relieve that itchy eye, or wipe your nose. Therefore, the question of the moment is this: How clean are your hands?

There’s no reason to get obsessive about handwashing. Exposure to germs (along with consistent nutritional support) helps you build a robust immune system. Our immune system must be on the ready every day. Foods that support the gut biome, such as cultured raw milk, raw milk, and raw milk products, as well as whole food supplements such as Immuplex and Congaplex from Standard Process can help make sure your immune system is ready for battle you when you need it most.

However, there are things we do and touch every day that increase our exposure to germs and the chance of passing them along. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), washing your hands before or after these activities can help you stay healthy and protect those around you:

  • After blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing
  • After using the bathroom or changing a diaper
  • Before, during, and after preparing a meal
  • Before sitting down to eat
  • Before and after taking care of someone else who isn’t feeling well

Good ol’ fashioned water and soap is the best way to clean your hands. You can use hand sanitizer in a pinch, but it isn’t nearly as effective. If you’re not sure how thoroughly you should wash your hands, this five-step process from the CDC will help you get the job done right, and it takes less than a minute. You can spare a minute to keep yourself healthy, can’t you?

5 Steps to Clean Hands

  1. Get your hands wet with clean, running water.
  2. Get some soap on those wet hands and lather up every inch, including under your nails.
  3. Keep lathering for at least 20 seconds (sing or hum the alphabet or the happy birthday song a couple of times if you need help keeping track).
  4. Rinse your hands off with clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands with a clean towel or let them air dry.

There’s no reason to play Russian roulette with your health. Avoiding basic precautions that can keep you from getting sick doesn’t make you a tough guy. You’re exposed to germs on a daily basis, and by not keeping your hands clean, you put your own health at risk as well as the health of those around you. Also keep in mind that people with a compromised immune system are at even greater risk of contracting an illness from germs. If you don’t want to adopt this habit for your own well-being, do it to protect the people you love.

Images from iStock/junce (main), AlexRaths (post). 

Paula Widish

Paula Widish, author of Trophia: Simple Steps to Everyday Self-Health, is a freelance writer and self-healther. She loves nothing more than sharing tidbits of information she discovers with others. (Actually, she loves her family more than that—and probably bacon too.) Paula has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Public Relations and is a Certified Professional Life Coach through International Coach Academy.

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