The Importance of Health and Hygiene
Health and hygiene have always been an essential part of life, but it’s more important now than ever to prioritize healthy living. The good news about incorporated healthy habits is that it’s never too late to start.
In uncertain times such as the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important that recognize the things we can and cannot control. We can’t control what’s happening in the world around us – but we can take measures to protect ourselves, like washing our hands!
Here are a few ways to stay healthy in times of high stress.
Wash your hands
There’s a reason handwashing is taught in schools and at home – it works! The Centers for Disease Control says it best in their campaign, Clean Hands Save Lives. In fact, handwashing can reduce the incidence of respiratory illnesses in the general population by up to 21%. Whether you’re scrubbing it at work or getting ready to eat lunch – wash your hands.
The best way to keep your hands germs and microbe-free is to wet your hands with water, turn off the tap, and apply soap. Lather the soap in your hands, making sure to get it under your nails and the back of your hands. Scrub for 20 seconds, then rinse with water. This simple act is one way to gain control over your health while also protecting others from the spread of bacteria.
Eating a nutritious and balanced diet will help fuel your body and immune system, helping you defend yourself against preventable illness. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, eating healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables, and are getting enough food to give you the energy you need to get through the day.
It is also a good idea to ensure that you’re thoroughly cleaning the fruits and vegetables that you purchased prior to eating them, especially those with edible or thin skin such as apples, grapes, and carrots. Despite what the internet may tell you, both the FDA and USDA warn consumers to not wash your produce with soap.
Don’t forget to move your body. Even getting light exercise helps your body better manage stress – something that can impact your immune system. Do some yoga, at-home bodyweight workouts, or take a walk around your neighborhood (keeping a safe distance from others). Some fresh air, sunshine, and exercise will do your body good.
Staying healthy through proper diet, exercise, and hygiene practices doesn’t just help you – it helps those around you. When you establish good habits for yourself, you’re demonstrating to others that wellness isn’t unattainable or overwhelming. Small, simple tasks can empower you in times of stress and keep you as healthy as possible.