A Guide to Good Personal Hygiene
One of the best ways to ensure good health and wellbeing is also one of the simplest – good personal hygiene.
A good grooming and improved personal habit regime can work wonders for the body and soul; looking good and feeling good often go hand in hand and will have a profound impact on your overall health. It is important to adopt and maintain a regular routine that takes care of your basic personal hygiene needs.
Basic personal hygiene including washing your hands and cleaning your teeth will help prevent bacterial and viral infection and help keep you illness-free. There is also the feel good factor to consider – by carrying out a good routine of personal hygiene you will undoubtedly feel better about yourself, perform better at work and in social situations. This in turn has a very positive effect on your mental health and with mental health problems on the rise this has to be a good thing. Conversely people who have ‘let themselves go’ with rumpled clothing, bad breath and quite often body odour will often perfrom badly in society and social situations and may even face a form of discrimination.
Your Personal Hygiene Personal Hygiene Healthy Habits Checklist
OK so what is the best regime to adopt to avoid constant illness and instead develop a healthier body?
Fairly simple rules that must be adhered to maximise impact.
Bath or Shower?
The jury is out on this one, but to many the idea of lying is a warm bath is the perfect relaxation process, so perhaps bathing at the end of the day is the ideal solution. Many prefer a morning shower to waken and invigorate the body and help start the day with a bang.
While it is not absolutely vital to shower or bathe every day, much depends on your own body. If you perspire a lot, then daily, or even twice daily body washing may be needed. And don’t forget your hair – some people have problem hair that requires extra attention. The largest organ in your body is your skin and this sheds a huge amount very regularly, so it is important to bathe or shower regularly for several reasons. Skin that has been shed needs to be removed from your body quickly
Your body is constantly shedding skin. Your skin is composed of several layers. The layer you can see is called the epidermis. It’s composed of cells made of keratin, a hard substance that also forms your hair and nails. In other species, keratin forms hooves, claws, horns, and even the shells of turtles and the spines of porcupines. The individual cells are called keratinocytes . New keratinocytes grow at the lowest level of the epidermis, which bonds with the next layer, the dermis. The new skin cells gradually push their way to the top layer. When they reach the top, they die and are “weathered” by the environment and your daily activities. The top “dead” layer is called the stratum corneum. Eventually, the dead cells break away from the epidermis and fall off, making room for newer cells growing up from below. It takes roughly one month for new cells to get all the way to the top layer, meaning the skin you have a month from today will be completely new compared to the skin you have now.
If you’re wondering exactly how many skin cells fall off, get ready for some staggering numbers. Scientists estimate that the human body is made up of around 10 trillion cells in total. Your skin makes up about 16 percent of your body weight, which means you have roughly 1.6 trillion skin cells.This estimate can vary tremendously according to a person’s size, but of those billions of skin cells, between 30,000 and 40,000 of them fall off every hour. Over a 24-hour period, you lose almost a million skin cells. If you don’t remove them from your body they can cake up and cause illnesses.
Where do they all go? The dust on your tables, TV, windowsills and many difficult to clean spaces is made mostly from dead human skin cells. In other words, your house is filled with former bits of yourself. In one year, you’ll shed more than 3.6 kilograms of dead skin. It gets worse – your house is also filled with trillions of microscopic life forms called dust mites that eat your old dead skin. And since we spend almost a third of our life in bed, guess where the majority of the dead skin and the dust mites congregate.
Vacuuming your mattress regularly is essential; I once witnessed a demonstration of a vacuum with a black dust collector cleaning a bed. After a few minutes, the dust cloth was absolutely covered in white powder that was a combination of skin cells, mattress debris and dust mites.
- Keep your nails in trim. Cutting your finger and toenails correctlywill prevent problems such as hang nails and infected nail beds. In addition keeping your feet clean and dry will help you avoid athlete’s foot.
- Oral Hygiene. Ideally, you should brush your teeth after every meal. At the very least, brush your teeth twice a day and rinse well. Brushing reduces the accumulation of bacteria in your mouth, which are the cause of tooth decay and gum disease, Flossing, which has always been recommended in the past has had mixed reviews recently as to its effectiveness. In some cases, the bacteria that builds up and causes gum disease can go straight to the heart and cause very nasty problems,” Unhealthy gums also can cause your teeth to become loose, which can make it difficult to chew your food properly.
- To maintain a healthy smile, make the dentist your best friend and have regular check-ups and cleaning.
- Wash your hands. Washing your hands is one of the key drivers of prevention of infection. Wash them before preparing or eating food, after going to the bathroom, after coughing or sneezing, and after handling rubbish, and this will go a long way towards preventing the spread of bacteria and viruses. Where soap and water may not be available, keep a waterless hygiene product, such as an alcohol-based sanitizing gel, handy for when soap and water isn’t available.
- Sleep tight. Get plenty of rest so that you are refreshed and are ready to take on the day every morning. Lack of sleep can leave you feeling run down and can compromise your body’s natural defences and your immune system.
Happy healthy bodies and healthy minds – what more could you want?