Especially during cold and flu season and this era of COVID-19, we need to be washing our hands thoroughly all through the day – every day. But the first full week of December is designated National Handwashing Awareness Week, which presents and excellent opportunity to provide reminders about good hand hygiene and washing tips to keep in mind. Okay, so we missed that week for posting this blog. Sorry.
Here are some tips and recommendations to remember during National Handwashing Week and all throughout the year.
Benefits of Proper Handwashing
Germs are frequently spread by people touching surfaces and bodily fluids. When you wash your hands with soap, you remove germs and reduce the spread of food-borne illnesses. Lingering bacteria has less of a chance of survival when they can’t live on your hands for long periods of time.
You can help prevent infections by washing your hands, especially if you are prone to touching your eyes, nose, and mouth throughout the day. All of these benefits can help fight the rise in antibiotic resistance, which makes common winter sicknesses more difficult to treat.
Good Handwashing Tips
To really kill germs with your handwashing technique, you may need to take a little extra time and care. Wet your hands with warm water and scrub your hands with soap until you reach a good lather. Rub them together for 20 seconds, which may feel long to you if you have slipped into bad handwashing habits. Then, rinse your hands with warm water to remove all the soap and dry your hands.
Now that they are clean, don’t dirty them back up again by immediately touching surfaces. Instead, use a cloth or paper towel to turn off the faucet and open the bathroom door if you’re in a public bathroom.
Natural Handwashing Products
Just like not all handwashing practices are the same, nor are all handwashing products. To avoid adding more chemicals and toxins into your life, consider using a natural handwashing soap that is paraben-free, organic, and made with all-natural and sustainably sourced ingredients.
There are many commercially made hand soaps that fit these characteristics and that leave common soap ingredients out of the equation, such as sulfates, synthetic fragrance, and polyethylene glycol. Alternatively, you can make your own hand soap at home for a fun winter activity and so that you know exactly what is in your soap.
Read more here: Common Ingredients in Hand Soap and How to Make Your Own at Home
Other Ways to Stay Healthy This Winter
In addition to good handwashing, you can keep yourself healthy during the winter by adjusting your diet for the winter, focusing your diet on in-season fruits and vegetables, and taking all-natural supplements to make up for dietary deficiencies. Good hydration, continued exercise, getting plenty of sleep, and limiting alcohol can all go a long way in helping you prevent winter illnesses as well.