By Dr. Peter Klapper Ph.D.
Did you know that many diseases and ailments can be prevented just by practicing good personal hygiene? It’s true. Just by regularly washing parts of the body with soap and water can prevent the spread of infectious diseases, reduce the risk of illness and promote a healthier lifestyle. In this short guide, we will help you with various tips so you can “Elevate Your Health With Hygiene.”
If you aren’t washing your hands, body, or skin regularly, now is the time. It’s important to practice daily hygiene routines to not only just feel, well, clean, but keep hygiene-related disease like body/head lice, athlete’s foot, chronic diarrhea, various rashes, colds etc. at bay. According to the CDC, if everyone routinely washed their hands, 1 million deaths a year could be prevented.
That said, be sure to include in regular showering into your routine, along with oral hygiene (brushing and flossing twice a day).
But don’t stop there. Yes, most of us dread doing laundry, but by washing our sheets and clothes, you help to remove any bacteria, dirt, fleas, mites and other irritants and prevent diseases such as diarrhoeal disease, respiratory infections, scabies and other skin infections.
And remember, personal hygiene should be something that begins as an infant (regular diaper changes, teeth brushing, baths) and continue into the senior years.
By keeping your environment clean and disinfecting your home and workspace, you are essentially preventing the spread of disease and illness. Maintaining safe cleaning habits helps remove most germs, such as harmful viruses or bacteria, on household surfaces.
Various ways to keep your environment clean include:
- Keep your living spaces clean and well-ventilated to reduce exposure to allergens and pollutants.
- Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (doorknobs, light switches, etc.).
- Properly dispose of waste to prevent the breeding of disease transmitters.
Mental Health and Hygiene
Did you know that your mental health and overall hygiene are connected? Think about it. When a person is struggling with anxiety or depression, they may find it hard to want to shower or keep their space around them clean. Or on the contrary, a person who is maintaining good mental health may have a healthy hygiene routine in place. Regardless, self-care and self-esteem play a large role in a person’s mental well-being. Here are strategies to incorporate into your routine:
- Establishing a personal grooming routine
- Dressing in clean and comfortable clothes to boost your self-esteem
- Regular exercise (and showering after physical activity)
- Getting enough sleep (8 hours per night)
- Practicing mindfulness techniques
So, if you aren’t already, now is the time to start incorporating hygiene (in all aspects of your life) into your daily routine. Good health encompasses physical, mental, and social well-being and can have a transformative effect on your overall quality of life.