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Seven Ways to a Healthy Home: Make Wellness a Priority this Winter

By following these helpful hints, you and your family will be better prepared during the long winter months - preventing the spread of germs and making wellness a top priority!

(BPT) - During the winter months, it's important to take extra care of your
home, your family and especially yourself. In addition to taking steps to
prevent cold and flu viruses that are common at this time of year, you should
also pause to relax and recharge, if only for a few minutes each day.
-
Luckily, there are a number of simple, yet impactful ways to keep the
entire household in good health. Here are seven examples to get you and your
family on the right track toward winter wellness.

Pencil in
cleaning

Routine household cleaning keeps clutter - and germs - at
bay. Corral loose items into decorative bins and baskets, then use disinfecting
wipes on common high-touch areas such as faucets, door knobs and light switches
to reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria. Be sure to dust regularly, as dust
particles often contain pet dander, chemicals or other irritants that have the
potential to aggravate allergies. If you have any sensitivity to cleaning
products, try a natural solution of equal parts water and distilled white
vinegar to clean everything from windows to appliances.

The power
of a shower

Installing a new showerhead can go a long way in
improving your frame-of-mind, whether you use your shower to awaken your senses
on a cold winter morning or relax at the end of a long day.

For
the dogs

Pets are extensions of our families and should be treated
as such - even when it comes to bathing. These four-legged friends have the
tendency to bring many allergens into the home. To minimize this problem, dogs
should be bathed regularly and wiped down with a damp cloth when they come in
from outside. A handheld shower is perfect for bathing kids and pets
alike.

Sweeping surprise
For years, we have counted
on vacuums to get rid of dust and allergens in our homes. But, it turns out that
the machines we rely on to clean our floors and furniture may actually be making
them dirtier. A recent study by researchers from Queensland University of
Technology in Brisbane, Australia found that many vacuums - especially older
models - actually suspend harmful allergen particles in the air, increasing our
exposure to them. If you have an older vacuum, consider upgrading to a new one
with a HEPA (High-Efficiency-Particulate-Air) filter, which releases less dirt
and bacteria into the air than a standard model. Regardless of the age or
features of your vacuum, clean it regularly to ensure a healthier
sweep.

Door etiquette

Dirt and pollen are often
brought into a house on the shoes of guests and family members. Adding a door
mat on both sides of a door and having everyone promptly remove their shoes upon
entering can significantly cut back on what is being tracked inside. The Carpet
and Rug Institute estimates that up to 80 percent of dirt and allergens can be
caught with a washable door mat - keeping your family healthy and your floors
clean.

Air it out
One area many homeowners might not
consider when it comes to a healthier home is the mattress. Although changing
your sheets weekly is an important ritual, delay putting on clean linens to
allow time for mite-friendly moisture to evaporate. Now you'll have a clean
mattress to go along with your clean sheets.

Winter
workouts

The perfect prevention for winter illness - from cold and
flu viruses to a case of the winter blues - is exercise. According to Neil
Schachter, a professor of pulmonary and critical care at the Mount Sinai School
of Medicine, any kind of moderate daily exercise can improve lung and immune
function by enhancing the ability of virus-attacking white blood cells to ramp
up the immune response. If you can't get outdoors for a daily walk during the
colder months, consider purchasing a treadmill or stationary bike, beef up your
workout video library or pick up an active game, like Just Dance -or Dance
Central, for your motion-activated gaming system to kick germs to the curb.

Source: Moen

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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