Eating right and exercising daily can provide one with a false conviction that they have a perfectly healthy lifestyle. Well, one needs to take a closer look. There are many habitual practices that are actually hampering the body without one knowing it.
From the moment we wake up in the morning to the time we go to sleep at night, our daily endeavors at staying fit are being undercut by some seemingly ordinary rituals.
What you may not know is that it is at home where 65% of colds and more than half of food-borne illnesses are contracted. The things we do around the house every day have a big impact on both our long- and short-term health.
Here are 5 such eye-openers to such seemingly harmless, but unhealthy habits –
Using a Sponge
Most people clean their countertops and table after a meal with the tool found in almost all kitchens: the sponge. In addition to sopping up liquids and other messes, the kitchen sponge commonly carries E. coli, salmonella and fecal bacteria, as well as many other microbes.
Ironically, the more you attempt to clean your countertops with a sponge, the more germs you're spreading around. Experts suggest dipping sponges into a solution of bleach and water before wiping down surfaces. In addition, once you've used your sponge, be sure to let it air-dry. Dryness kills organisms.
Another way to keep bacteria from building up in your sponge is to microwave it for one to two minutes each week.
Conventional vacuum cleaners are intended to pick up and retain big pieces of dirt, like the dust bunnies we see floating about on our floors. However it's the tiny dust particles that pass right through the porous vacuum bags and up into the air.
Pet allergens and indoor dust, which contains the highest concentrations of hazardous materials like heavy metals, lead, pesticides, and other chemicals, are found in higher concentrations in the smallest particles of the dust.
It is thus advisable to look for a vacuum cleaner with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Unlike those in conventional vacuums, HEPA filters are able to retain the small particles and prevent them from passing through and contaminating the air you breathe in your home.
Sleeping With Pillows and a Mattress
The average person sheds about 1.5 million skin cells per hour and perspires one quart every day even while doing nothing, according to experts. The skin cells accumulate in our pillows and mattresses and dust mites grow and settle.
A mattress doubles in weight every 10 years because of the accumulation of human hair, bodily secretions, animal hair and dander, fungal mold and spores, bacteria, chemicals, dust, lint, fibers, dust mites, insect parts, and a variety of particulates, including dust mite feces. What one is sleeping on can exacerbate their allergies or asthma.
Cover your mattress, box springs, and pillows with impervious outer covers. Experts also suggest washing one’s sheets weekly in hot water, between 130 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
Opening Your Windows
When the weather turns nice, many of us throw open our windows to breathe in the fresh spring air. However that may be an unhealthy move, considering the combination of seasonal allergies and poor air quality of many cities
The Environmental Protection Agency lists poor indoor air quality as the fourth largest environmental threat to our country. Bacteria, molds, mildew, tobacco smoke, viruses, animal dander, house dust mites, and pollen are among the most common household pollutants.
Experts thus suggest shutting the windows and running the air conditioner. All air-conditioning systems have a filter that protects the mechanical equipment and keeps them clean of debris. A recent study showed that cleaner air might add as much as five months to a person's life.
Sitting in Front of the TV
Sitting in front of the television has become a national pastime and one of our least healthy behaviors, particularly because we often do it while snacking on food that is high in calories.
Excess body weight puts us at greater risk for heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and a host of other diseases. That poses a greater health risk than the toxic cleansers under our sinks. It is thus advisable to turn off the TV, put away the bag of chips and go for a walk.
Thus, along with a balanced nutrition and exercise, it is necessary to make wise lifestyle choices. It is not just regular and obvious unhealthy habits like smoking and alcohol intake that can harm you – daily innocuous practices can also be hazardous.
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