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4 Good Personal Hygiene Habits to Observe Daily



Maintaining good personal hygiene is one of the cornerstones of being in excellent health. It’s not just about keeping the body clean for social reasons, but also because being diligent with your hygiene can actually help prevent you from falling prey to illness and infection. It can also inhibit the spread of harmful germs or pathogens to those around you. 

In case you needed reminding, here are 4 good personal hygiene habits that you should be observed on a daily basis. We’ll also be discussing why they are important and how they could help in maintaining your health and wellbeing, as well as those of others around you.


Showering 

Taking a daily shower is standard for at least two-thirds of all Americans. Some consider it an essential part of their morning routine that provides them with a much-needed jolt to start the day with, much like a cup of coffee. Others may require it at the end of a long day, especially if they work in “dirty” industries like construction or healthcare. Showering washes dead skin cells, dirt, and sweat off the surface of your skin. Doing so helps prevent body odor and flare-ups of skin conditions such as acne, dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis. You should endeavor to hit the showers at least once daily, though you might want to bump that up to two or three showers a day if you live a very active lifestyle. 


Frequent Handwashing

Viruses and bacteria exist all around us. It's probably fair to say that there are germs on every surface of your home and workplace, even if you’re diligent about cleaning. They can also be found on your most commonly used items, like your phone, wallet, and keys. Viruses and bacteria are the most abundant biological entities on the planet, but don't worry! In the case of bacteria, most are actually beneficial to your health and to the maintenance of all life on earth. In the case of viruses, only a minuscule percentage of them can affect humans at all. However, the ones that are able to do so can knock you right down—think of the ones that cause influenza, swine flu, and most recently, COVID-19. 


Good hand hygiene is the best way to keep yourself from getting sick and spreading harmful viruses and bacteria to others. To wash your hands effectively, wet your hands under clean running water before lathering them up with soap. The CDC recommends washing your hands for at least 20 seconds or the length of two “Happy Birthday” songs before rinsing them. To prevent recontamination, letting your hands air-dry is better than using a towel. 

You can also keep your hands clean even if you don’t have access to soap and water by using anti-microbial products like an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or a fabric arm sleeve that you can slide over your hand when touching communal surfaces like ATM keypads or bus handrails. 

 

Brushing and Flossing Teeth

Most of us have been told from childhood that brushing and flossing are essential to keeping our teeth and gums healthy. They help clear away plaque, the film of bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, regular brushing and flossing can help minimize your risk of contracting more severe conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and even certain cancers. The American Dental Association recommends brushing at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. They also advise cleaning between your teeth with floss at least once a day. 


Dressing in Fresh Clothes

You may have already noticed that wearing the same clothes for an extended period can make them—and you, by extension—smell bad. This is due to the human body’s naturally occurring microbial flora: microorganisms that, when shed by the body, attach themselves to the clothes that we wear, thus giving off that distinct odor. Bacteria can also build up on the inside of your clothes and become the cause of nasty skin infections. Changing your clothes daily—and more than once a day, if you sweat a lot—is just common sense. It’ll make you feel more comfortable and give you that fresh feeling you’ll need at the end of a very long day. 


Ultimately, practicing good hygiene habits every day shows that you care about yourself. It also demonstrates that you’re considerate to those around you and are willing to make an effort to protect their health as well.


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