With winter being in full swing, we couldn't let this season pass without pouring some extra knowledge into your mind of the potential dangers that are literally in our faces at this moment, and that's THE COMMON COLD. For years many parents have pressured their children to do a collection of things to stay healthy ranging from, "go wash your hands" to "don't put that toy in your mouth", but some reason, even as an adult, we STILL don't listen. When you think about it, and I mean really think about it, your hands are exposed to so many germs on a daily basis, that if we were to really hone in on that reality, the world would be an even scarier place, but at M.C Health & Wellness, we believe that knowledge paired with action is the great nemesis of fear. There are five areas that I want to point out as a syllabus for a more healthy winter, and habit to live by.
"And it began with a runny nose!" The most common sign that you notice in the beginning stage of what could seem like an never ending cycle of sticky tissues and vapor rub. No one enjoys going through this process, especially as an adult because the luxury of missing school and getting the constant attention from mommy is virtually gone. So you can both protect yourself and the people around you, let's start with the most common and fundamental principles to have which is to wash your hands regularly. " According to research from the University of Colorado at Boulder, on average we carry 3,200 bacteria from 150 different species on our hands." I'm not sure if you're as blown away by those number as I am, but when you think about how much we use our hands, and how many surfaces we touch, it actually makes sense. Of course there are some people that aren't as conscience or considerate of personal hygiene as we are and are willingly allowing the bacteria to live on their hand rent free, but in this season, it's even more important to put that final eviction notice and watch your hands. There's actually a proper way to wash your hands to kill the most germs possible, and prevent them from spreading. According to www.youngwomenshealth.org, we should:
First, using clean warm water (not cold or hot), wet your hands and apply soap.
Lather up the soap and scrub both sides of your hands, between your fingers, around your fingernails, and around your wrists.
Wash your hands for 20 seconds. A way to remember this is to sing, hum or whistle the song, “Happy Birthday” two times.
Rinse your hands with warm water
Dry your hands with a clean towel. If you are in a public restroom, use paper towels.
It's always recommended to wash your hands as often as possible, but for those instances where you can't, hand sanitizer is okay, but check the label to make sure it's at least 60% alcohol to kill the most amount of germs as possible.
One thing that I can't stand is anticipating a sneeze that hadn't yet come. You know that feeling. You're busy doing a task, and you instantly stop what you're doing, and put on a confused looking face as you wait for the sneeze to "come up". You know it's there, it knows it's there, but it seems to enjoy seeing you tremble while waiting to see when it's going to attack. Some people believe that if it's a small sneeze, and you forget to cover your mouth, that's it's okay and no harm done. However, you'd be surprise how much distance even a "small sneeze" can travel. "A recent study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology noted that germs from one sneeze could travel from 19 to 26 feet. What’s also unfortunate is how fast these germs travel: A sneeze can move 100 miles per hour, which makes getting away from someone when they sneeze just about impossible." - www.geisinger.org. Crazy stuff right? That's why it's recommended to sneeze downward into your sleeve to reduce the distance of your sneeze and germs being spread.
Keep Your Hands To Yourself
So I know we've mention the importance of washing our hands regularly, and we even know how to properly wash our hands to minimize the amount of germs being spread, but just because you've washed your hands it DOES NOT mean that you can just use your hands all willy nilly. Keep your hands away from your face, eyes and mouth. Again, it sounds really simple, and you might be thinking "I know this, I know this!", but like many other facts from today, you'd be surprised how much we touch our face, eyes, and mouth on a daily basis without knowing. This is just something that we are suggesting that you stay aware of, and purposefully avoid doing. By touching your mouth, face, and eyes, you could potentially spread germs to the mucous membrane which can cause infections.
These are the three main solutions to prevent the chances of you catching a cold and passing it on, but the list doesn't end there. This isn't a blog to make you paranoid about living your everyday lives in peace. We are all about proper mental health, but just be aware of these tactics so we all can have a healthier winter. To wrap this up, here are more preventative actions to keep in your arsenal:
Eat green vegetables
Get Vitamin D
Get lots of exercise
Get enough sleep
Stay at home if you're sick