WHO defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Our health is very important so we must take time to take care of ourselves. This is a mini medical series and I’ll be covering topics on ‘hand washing’ and ‘physical activity’.
Being sick makes us feel bad and if the sickness is worse, it can take our joy and happiness. We may not enjoy the things we used to enjoy e.g a good meal and you may not be able to even get out of bed. You may even need a friend or loved one to look after you, and you may have to pay for treatment to enable you get better.
Prevention is better than cure is a very common saying and I’m sure we’ve heard the expression. Below are tips on things you can do today to ensure a better health and prevent illnesses.
GOOD HYGIENE PRACTICE
Good hygiene may be described as the principle of maintaining cleanliness and good grooming of the external body. A good hygiene practice entails ‘hand washing’. Hand washing has become the most basic and most important life saver. Imagine the harm you’ll bring to yourself after working in the hospital with several diarrhea patients and grabbing a bite without thinking to wash your hands. Or rubbing your eyes and nose after playing with dirt. Our hands are constantly filled with germs and small microbes so our best bet for a safe health is a hand washing. A simple hand washing practice can protect your life and the lives of your loved ones so when do we wash our hands?
For doctors, hand washing is always recommended as it may save lives. Imagine the outcome of patients if the doctors were to go from one patients to another without a good hand washing practice. It would be devastating right? WHO has five recommended rules for doctors about hand washing.
• Before touching a patient
• Before clean/ aseptic procedure
• After body fluid exposure risk
• After touching a patient, after touching patient surroundings
The CDC also has these tips on when to practice hand washing. And this can protect your own health and the health of others.
• Before, during, and after preparing food, before eating food.
• Before and after caring for someone who is sick, before and after treating a cut or wound.
• After using the toilet, after changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
• After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste, after handling pet food or pet treats, after touching garbage
The practice of hand washing should never be taken for granted. As stated earlier, hand washing is the most important measure to prevent harmful germ transmission and also protect ourselves. So we must all learn how to wash our hands correctly.
The CDC offers these helpful tips on hand washing.
• Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
• Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
• Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
• Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
• Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
In cases where there’s no water, then a hand sanitizer comes in handy. Hand sanitizers do not kill all germs and should not be preferred over hand washing. Hand washing with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of germs on them in most situations.
STAY PHYSICALLY ACTIVE
Physically activity is very important as it reduces your risk for cardiovascular diseases and other fatal medical conditions.
Regardless of your age, you need regular physical activity to stay in good shape.
People nowadays generally do not exercise. Everyone wants to just stay home and be lazy and there are risks of being sedentary. Lack of physical activity has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality causing an estimated 3.2 million deaths globally.
According to WHO, Physically activity can help you to:
• Sleep well.
• Lower blood cholesterol.
• Maintain strong bones and muscles.
• Maintain or achieve a healthy weight.
• Lower your risk of suffering from depression, lower your risk of premature death.
• Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce the risk of diseases, reduce the risk of colon and breast cancer
• Decrease the risk of vertebral fracture
• Reduce high blood pressure, reduce risk of stroke, reduce stress
read more : What are the benefits of exercise?
Regular moderate intensity physical activity such as walking, cycling, and low intensity jogging or participating in sports has significant benefits for health.
Physical activity varies for different age group so it’s better to consult a professional to determine what is right for your age and your health. According to various recommendations, children and adolescents should get at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity every day. Adults should get 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity every week.
Exercising should be fun. Going to the gym 2-3 times a week would go a long way in avoiding the risks associated with lack of physical activity. Choose activities that are fun. You might consider basketball, tennis, soccer, brisk walking, cycling, gardening, swimming, canoeing and jogging.
So no matter how busy you are, always leave time for physical activity. It is always better to be healthy than wealthy. So get your running shoes, a headphone and start exercising.
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