Healthy Habits (Part 2) and Proper Hygiene • How to best Shower, Bathe, and Brush for Good Health

Healthy Habits (Part 2) and Proper Hygiene • How to best Shower, Bathe, and Brush for Good Health

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How’s it going everyone? I’m Nick and you are listening to the Fresh
Perspective Podcast. This episode is the second installment in
series we call: “50 Habits for Maximizing Personal Health and Wellbeing.” In this series, we will get to the bottom
of what experts actually recommend when it comes to those small-yet-impactful health
choices we make, day to day. If you haven’t’ yet listened to our first
podcast in this series, be sure to check it out! It includes an introduction to the 50-Healthy-Habits
program as well as advice about sleeping habits, diet, and exercise! Today, we will continue discussing physical
health with five more habits you’d do well to adopt. This program is brought to you by the members
of the Free Thought Initiative. We help those in need of an inclusive, supportive,
and free-thinking community by hosting public discussions on moral philosophy, healthy living,
and science, to improve the cohesion, health, and scientific literacy of our society. Everyone is welcome, (regardless of personal
religious belief, political leanings, etc.) to participate (in-person) in these open and
civil discussions. To find a Free Thought Forum meeting near
you, to start your own local group, or to become a member and support this program through
monthly donations – please visit freethoughtforum.org. Let’s continue right for where we left off! Again, if you would like an updated version
of this list, or to dig even deeper into our referenced sources to the studies and articles
on which this advice is based, visit: freethoughtforum.org/blog/50-habits. 6. BRUSH YOUR TEETH TWICE A DAY AND FLOSS ONCE
A DAY Oral hygiene is a significant contributor
to one’s overall physical health. According to well-established studies, all
adults should engage in tooth-brushing twice daily (soon after rising from bed or breakfast
and soon after dinner) with fluoridated toothpaste. A toothbrush is the most effective tool in
removing plaque from teeth, but that does not mean that flossing should be ignored. Daily brushing and flossing combat some major
health conditions such as gingivitis, periodontal tissue attachment loss, and carious lesion
development, even more than direct treatment of these conditions after the fact. 7. BATHE ABOUT ONCE A DAY
Your skin is your largest organ, and regular bathing is an essential part of skin care,
infection prevention, waste removal, preventing the spread of pathogens, and overall societal
standards of cleanliness and professionalism. However, it is possible to shower too often
or too intensely. Excessive bathing can lead to rough, dry,
and irritated skin. It can also compromise the naturally protective
oils in the skin provide such as housing beneficial bacteria and providing a barrier against harmful
chemicals. One’s natural scent can also be neutralized
by excessive bathing, often noticeable by one’s intimate partner. Therefore, based upon your own activity levels,
as well as your body’s chemistry, you should plan on showering about once per day (at least
twice every three days and shortly after vigorous exercise). Remember to not use water that is too hot. Avoid showering for more than 30 minutes at
a time. In order to prevent rough or dry skin, lotion
and moisturizers can be used shortly after bathing. 8. WASH HANDS AFTER RESTROOM USE, PRIOR TO PREPARING
FOOD, EATING, AND AS NEEDED Hand washing is the single best way to stop
the spread of pathogens and disease. Hand washing is even preferable to anti-bacterial
alcohol-based disinfectant gels and similar products! It is a practice that is paramount to personal,
interpersonal, and societal wellbeing. No other medical practice or hygienic act
is as important and thus requires our constant adherence. Good handwashing practice includes hand soap,
hot (but not scalding) water, and rubbing your hands together for several seconds. It is strongly recommended after any restroom
use, before preparing food, before eating, after eating, and after touching objects that
often come in contact with pathogens such as steering wheels, door knobs, used dishes,
pets, and shoes. When asked about how often people wash their
hands, they tend to exaggerate and assume that they are doing much better than they
actually are. In reality, only about 40% of people wash
their hands as recommended. 9. USE MEDICATIONS ONLY AS PRESCRIBED
Prescription drug abuse and over-the-counter drug abuse has risen dramatically in the United
States in recent years, leading to a rise in addiction and a swarm of other health and
societal issues. For example, deaths from opioid overdoses
quadrupled between 1999 and 2010, exceeding deaths from cocaine and heroin combined. For teens especially, the abuse of over-the-counter
drugs has reached epidemic levels. Parents are strongly encouraged to be aware
of the drugs being purchased and used by their adolescent children. Even innocuous drugs such as cold and cough
medicines may be abused. To prevent such addiction or abuse, it is
reasonable to ask your doctor about non-drug treatments whenever possible. When drug treatment is prescribed, it is important
to follow one’s medical prescription exactly as it is written. Likewise, when using an over-the-counter drug,
the instructions for usage on a bottle’s label should be followed with strict fidelity. Be sure to ask questions about your medication
until you fully understand how and how often it should be taken. Communicate any problems you are having with
your medications with your doctor before adjusting your medication use in any way. If you suspect that the recommended dosage
on the side of an over-the-counter drug will not meet your needs, communicate this with
a pharmacist so that you can be sure to purchase the most effective drug for your condition. 10. KEEP A HEALTH JOURNAL
Medical professionals could use as much information about your health history as possible when
making an appropriate diagnosis. Although there are efforts to record this
information on a database that can be accessed by medical professionals from different organizations,
the endeavor has been plagued by multiple logistical, political, and practical issues. While technical and elaborate answers may
be more widely available in the future, simply keeping a written “personal health journal”
can be a useful tool for this and other purposes. The Free Thought Initiative strongly recommends
that each member keeps such a journal up to date and readily accessible at a moment’s
notice. (To help keep your medical information private,
it is recommended that you do not record this information digitally.) A personal health journal can be kept in a
common notebook or sketchbook dedicated to this purpose. Even if the written information isn’t used
for decades, the accumulated data can be indispensable in the future. What should be written in a health journal? You should update it with the date, time,
and details of any change to your physical, cognitive, or emotional health such as: Whenever you dramatically change your diet,
sleep patterns, or exercise routine Whenever your diet and sleep patterns change
inexplicably Whenever you lose or gain a large amount of
weight Whenever you experience any head trauma or
bodily injury When you feel new pains or aches When you notice new bruising, burns, bites
or other new marks on your skin When you feel dramatic changes in your mood
or experience dramatic emotional events When you notice unusual things in the process
or products of defecation or urination Whenever you drink more alcohol than usual Whenever you take prescribed or over-the-counter
medication. (This can help to prevent accidental overdose.) It is also useful to describe in a small note
the dosage taken, the effects that you feel from the medication, and how long it takes
to feel the effects That is all I have for you today, but the
conversation continues across social media and in the comment sections below. Do you agree with today’s message? Am I mistaken about some detail? How can I better elaborate on this topic in
the future? Feel free to share your perspective!

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