Whether it came upon you without warning or slowly built into a raging illness there is usually ways to minimize your risk of becoming ill.
The unavoidable fact is that adults typically touch up to 30 items every minute of the day. Too many to keep track of – but you can maximize your overall health by knowing the key danger areas and following some simple “Rules of Thumb”.
The 1st Rule, and the most important, is to “keep your hands away from your mouth”. If you have a habit of wiping your lips with your hands or chewing nails now’s the time to stop. Every other health change you make will be minimized if you do not.
The 2nd Rule of Thumb: Distance yourself
Keep a respectful distance from others because germs travel 3 feet before falling to the floor. Doctors offices are full of unhealthy microorganisms.
Try to book your exam early in the day to minimize the exposure to bacterium brought into the office throughout the day. Flu viruses last up to 18 hours
on any surface.
The 3rd Rule of Thumb: Surprises galore mean you have to be aware of what is at stake
Kitchens and Bathrooms. Make sure your toothbrush is behind closed doors. A single toilet flush “aerosols” droplets 3 feet coating everything within that distance.
But even more disturbing is that the kitchen sink harbours more bacteria than your bathroom toilet! Never pick up food inadvertently dropped into the kitchen sink while washing (say fruit) and pop it into your mouth. Throw it into the garbage instead. Remember to wash all fruit and vegetables in a vinegar and water solution before preparing to eat.
– Soap dispensers no matter where they are also surprisingly lethal. Bacteria grows in the soap scum unnoticed and the dispensers need to be cleaned regularly.
The 4th Rule of Thumb: Restaurants require an alcohol based hand sanitizer
Ever feel ill after leaving a restaurant? Here’s why. Remember Flu’s and viruses last up to 18 hours and a restaurant menu is never properly cleaned.
Next time you look at one look to see if it looks clean. You can usually tell simply by touching it. But there is more, a lot more.
– Lemon Wedges anyone? – Typically 70% of lemon wedges carry 25 different microorganisms including E. Coli.
– Condiment dispensers are even worse than lemon wedges…enough said.
– Napkins are next to useless as they are porous so that microorganisms pass right on through them.
– Studies show that 65% of bathroom door handles are contaminated, and not just in restaurants in airplanes too.
The 5th Rule of Thumb: Going shopping? Where is that hand sanitizer?
Check out those grocery carts. Grocery stores might do a steam cleaning once a year after the weather clears in the spring. It does not matter, really. Typically 65% of all grocery cart handles are contaminated anytime of the year.
– Any area with a high traffic volume of people will leave a trail of bacteria.
– Always use your own pen
The 6th Rule of Thumb: It matters where you leave things.
Here are three things that can easily be over-looked but are critical if you want to feel healthy and active, as often as possible.
1/ Handbags: Never set onto a counter or table where food will be. The bottom of the average handbag carries 10,000 bacteria per square inch!
2/ Shoes, Sneakers and Flip Flops: If anything they are worse than the handbag. They also contain allergens and contaminants along with bacteria.
3/ Medications: Most of us store any medications including aspirin in the medicine cabinet in our bathrooms. The problem is that at least once a day the
bathroom temperature reaches up 38 Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) when medications should be kept at a constant 25 Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit)
The quality of the medication then plummets so that when you need them they are not as effective as they should be. In some cases this could be a threat to your life.
Odds and ends:
Root canal? Make sure your appointment is after 2 pm in the day. The Dentists medication lasts up to 8 hours so by the time it wears off you will want to be fast asleep.
Ever wondered when is the best time to get your “Flu shot”? Studies show that the most effective results are when you get it in late October and early November.
Mental health is a key to physical health. It always has been, though perhaps not greatly understood in the past, in the Western world. In the Far East especially places like China they claim that there are three elements to good health. The first is prevention and they feel they are #1 in this. The second is surgery and they admit to doing this part badly and the third is post operative and again they feel they are #1. Studies show that they are right.
So the first thing is to always think as if the cup is half full – never look at it as half empty. Look for reasons to feel lucky every day. And that Vacation? Take it in February or March if you live in the Northern hemisphere. To maximize your “mental health”.
E. & O. E.
MA Schneider Insurance Agencies
Mark A Schneider cfp clu cfsb
Chartered Financial Consultant