Cut the yuck for a health­ier home

The Covington News - - HEALTH -

(Fam­ily Fea­tures) Dirt. Grime. Bac­te­ria. Air­borne al­ler­gens. As hard as you try to keep your home clean, these types of yucky things are an ev­ery­day re­al­ity. Tak­ing the nec­es­sary steps to cre­ate a healthy home can not only give you peace of mind, but also help keep your fam­ily health­ier.

“Peo­ple think that if your home looks clean and smells clean, then it must be clean and there­fore healthy for their fam­ily. How­ever, when you look closely, you may be shocked by all the ‘yuck’ you find,” said Dr. Roshini Raj, at­tend­ing physi­cian and a clin­i­cal as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine. “Tak­ing con­trol of your home can make a big dif­fer­ence when it comes to liv­ing a health­ier life.”

Raj sug­gests these changes for a health­ier home:

1. Learn the tooth truth. Most peo­ple know to brush their teeth at least twice daily for good oral hy­giene, but what they don’t of­ten think about is what is lurk­ing on their tooth­brush be­tween uses. Viruses and bac­te­ria can live for weeks on a tooth­brush’s sur­face. Make sure you’re stor­ing your tooth­brush prop­erly in an up­right, dry place and use an an­tibac­te­rial tooth­brush cover to kill germs. Most only last 60 to 90 days, so make sure to swap out your tooth­brush, as well as your cover, regularly.

2. Be air aware. Ac­cord­ing to the U.S. En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency, in­door lev­els of air pol­lu­tants may be two to five times higher than out­door lev­els. Make ev­ery breath count and re­ally pay at­ten­tion to in­door air qual­ity. Use fil­ters

like Fil­trete Healthy Liv­ing Fil­ters in your heat­ing and cool­ing sys­tems to pull in and trap un­wanted air par­ti­cles such as dust, pollen, bac­te­ria and viruses, while let­ting cleaner air flow through. Also check fil­ters monthly and change them at least ev­ery three months. If you burn scented can­dles regularly, use a fire­place or have con­struc­tion in progress, change your fil­ter more of­ten, as these con­trib­ute to poor in­door air qual­ity.

3. Don’t be a track star. Ev­ery day, we walk through items like car oil, al­ler­gens, pes­ti­cides and other tox­ins. Re­move your shoes be­fore you en­ter the home to avoid drag­ging them through­out your home. If you have car­pet­ing, take ex­tra care as pollen and other al­ler­gens can be brought into the home on your shoes and then har­bored in the fibers of rugs and car­pets.

4. Here comes the sun. Have you ever felt slug­gish af­ter sit­ting un­der the ar­ti­fi­cial lights in your home? Re­search shows that peo­ple who spend more time in nat­u­ral light­ing than ar­ti­fi­cial have in­creased pro­duc­tiv­ity and alert­ness. So open up those blinds and drapes to let nat­u­ral light shine in.

5. Start a tech­nol­ogy detox. In to­day’s binge­watch­ing cul­ture, it’s all too easy to let that next episode of the hottest show auto play. Re­move TVs and com­put­ers from the bed­room for more and bet­ter qual­ity sleep. You’ll be glad you did when you feel en­er­gized and have a more pro­duc­tive day af­ter a solid seven to eight hours of slum­ber.

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