You wash your hands frequently, do your best to avoid coughing strangers, and generally consider yourself to be a germ-avoiding pro. Still you may be surprised at five little things you’re doing that may be leaving you susceptible to harmful bacteria and viruses.
1. Fruit peels: You buy lots of fruit to eat – bonus points! But, when it comes to fruit you peel (think: bananas, oranges), do you ever wash them first? If you grab that banana, peel it, then handle the fruit as you eat it, you’re potentially putting harmful bacteria right in your mouth. Think of all the people who handled that banana: the banana farmer in another part of the world, the guy at the grocery store who stocked the bunch, 19 customers who picked over it to get to the greener bunch they wanted, the checker at the market, the bagger – and then you!
2. The handles/railings in your house: Did your roommate have a cold this week? Sure, you kept your distance and washed your hands frequently, but did you think to wipe down the stair rails and doorknobs? Using a little hot soapy water or a light bleach solution (like Clorox Anywhere Spray) on frequently touched surfaces can keep you extra protected.
3. Your shoes: Do you keep your shoes on in your house? Yes, this is a controversial issue – those who like to keep their shoes on, thankyouverymuch, may take offense to rhetoric about removing shoes at the door. But, there has been a mounting amount of research in the past years indicating that what we track in on the bottom of our souls could be making us sick – from chemicals lingering on sidewalks and roads to the microbes you picked up in the public restroom. In fact, some health experts consider taking shoes off in your home as a way that anyone can improve their health. Even the super-doc Dr. Mehmet Oz suggested this year that it was on his top-5 list of things he’d recommend people do. So take those shoes off, darlings!
4. Touching your face: We all do it – a scratch here, a nose rub there. But every time we’re touching our face (especially our nose, mouth and eyes), we’re giving germs a free ride into our bods. Even if you can be a teensy bit more aware of when you touch your face throughout the day, you can reduce your germ exposure. No, don’t be compulsive about it, but if you avoid rubbing your eyes now and then, you’re doing your body a good service.
5. The water glass in the bathroom: When’s the last time you sent it for a run in the dishwasher? How about now? Frequently used items like glasses – especially when shared or left out on a countertop where droplets can accumulate from various sources – can be a breeding ground for germs. Wash those glasses frequently, and don’t share them!