Earlier this week, I wrote a post about healthy hand-washing tips and techniques. Obviously, it was timely and relevant, but was it necessary? Shouldn't we all know how to wash our hands without a 500-word instructional?
The answer, of course, is that while we do know how and why and when, we could all use the occasional reminder. And I'll be the first to admit that, prior to the Coronavirus panic, my kids would rinse their hands for a hot second and call it "good enough." Yeah, that's not gonna fly in the face of a pandemic.
But all this aside, it got me thinking about the potential need for other "reminders." Because, we've got some kind of icky habits that could use breaking. With an emphasis on stopping the spread of germs, here are two things to stop and two things to start doing now.
STOP USING THE SAME BATHROOM TOWEL
We all want to live a little greener, and using the same shower towel a few times before washing it might seem like an easy step to having a reduced carbon footprint. Fact is , thought, that this seemingly well-intended practice is actually pretty gross. According to Healthline, we each have 19 million skin cells and 650 sweat glands in every single inch of our respective bodies; and, since dead skin cells comprise the first 20 or so layers of our skin, we're rubbing a whole lot of those cells off into that same towel every day.
Worse yet, according to Time, "towels offer the perfect environment for bacteria and other microorganisms to grow because they’re often damp, warm and absorbent, and they hang in dark bathrooms." Ewwww.
So do you need to wash your towels every single day? Not quite, but almost. Experts recommend throwing your offending body wrap in the laundry every two to three days (or three uses max.) Dr. Philip Tierno, a clinical professor of pathology and microbiology at NYU School of Medicine, tells Reader's Digest that "between washes, [you can cut down bacteria growth by letting your towel air-dry fully."
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START CHANGING YOUR BED SHEETS REGULARLY
I hate changing my sheets, I admit it. A 2012 Sleep Foundation poll found that 91 percent of people swap out their sheets every other week. But, according to the experts at Sleep Advisor, it's advisable to wash and change bed sheets once a week. Think about it--you sweat in bed, drool in bed, sneeze in bed, have intimate moments in your bed... And if you have a partner or pet, germ accumulation is compounded. On top of that, dust and pollen make for an unpleasant sleep situation. In short: it's time to up my game!
STOP BITING YOUR NAILS
Besides being a nasty nervous habit, biting your fingernails can make you ill. Even if you wash your hands regularly, germs can get trapped under your nails--put them in your mouth and you could definitely get sick. What's more ,according to Prevention, the germs in your mouth could also give your nail an infection! Additionally, per the article, biting your nails can cause teeth problems and hand herpes--so, yeah, keep your fingers out of your mouth.
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