Low Impact Ways To Stay Fit

Low Impact Ways To Stay Fit

low impact weightsYou may have heard of both high impact and low impact exercises and not understood the difference between the two. Both help you stay fit and both have a place in your workout program. High impact exercises will move your feet off the ground at the same time, such as jumping jacks, so you can understand why people with joint issues or pregnant women shouldn’t do them. Low impact exercises include things like walking or bicycling. They’re easy on joints and muscles, so if you have leg muscle or joint injuries, you’ll probably want to stick with those.

Why would anyone want to do high impact exercises if they’re riskier?

There’s a lot of reasons to do high impact workouts. They’re better for weight loss, provide a bigger challenge and help you get fit faster. They also build bone density better than low impact workouts do, but if you have osteoporosis, you need to stick to low impact workouts due to the potential risk. Low impact workouts are good for people recovering from injury, are easy on the joints and improve balance, while still get your heart going if you’re doing an intense low impact workout, such as boxing.

You can do some low impact workouts every day.

Walking is one of the best low impact workouts for people recovering or just starting a fitness regimen. If you want to make it more intense, try brisk walking or use a hilly terrain. You can even create a HIIT—high intensity interval training—program by varying the speed from top speed walking for a minute to recovery mid speed walking for an equal or longer time period. Use the steps for your workout. Gyms have stair climbers, but if you live in a two story building, you have even better—real stairs. If you work on an upper floor in a tall building, try walking up as many flights as you can and take the elevators the rest of the way. Adjust your speed to boost the intensity.

Lifting weights is a great low impact workout.

Again, the beauty of lifting weights is that you can adjust how easy or hard it is. Increase the weight you lift or increase the intensity and reps and you have a more difficult routine that will get you into shape fast. If you’re at the gym, check out the rowing machine. It’s another good low impact workout that will help you work up a sweat and provide a great cardio workout.

  • If you want to have fun or take up a hobby that will give you a great low impact workout, try rock climbing, tai chi or yoga. If you’ve never practiced yoga before, you’ll be surprised at how hard it is and how much it makes you sweat.
  • Take to the water to save your joints. Swimming and water aerobics are excellent ways to get a good low-impact workout. Both can lower your blood pressure and help control blood sugar, while burning calories and making you stronger.
  • Dance your calories away and bring that fitness to you. Dancing is one of the best exercises, particularly ballroom dancing. However, you can turn on the music loud and boogie your way to good health at home, without a partner.
  • There are so many great past times that provide an exceptional low impact workout. Rollerblading, roller skating, TRX and even golf can help you get into shape. Keeping active is what it’s all about, even if you just take a walk.

For more information, contact us today at Travel Trim

Top Tips for Choosing Safe Toys this Holiday

Top Tips for Choosing Safe Toys this Holiday

The American Academy of Ophthalmology urges parents to avoid buying toys that can cause serious eye injuries, even blindness. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission an estimated 251,700 toy-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2017. Almost half of those incidents were injuries to the head. Unfortunately, most of these injuries happen to children under age 15. It’s important to think about the safety of any gift you’re giving, especially if it’s a gift for a child.

Top Toy Safety Tips:

  • Avoid purchasing toys with sharp, protruding or projectile parts.
  • Make sure children have appropriate supervision when playing with potentially hazardous toys or games that could cause an eye injury.
  • Ensure that laser product labels include a statement that the device complies with 21 CFR (the Code of Federal Regulations) Subchapter J.
  • If you give a gift of sports equipment, also give the appropriate protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses. Check with your ophthalmologist to learn about protective gear recommended for your child’s sport.
  • Check labels for age recommendations and be sure to select gifts that are appropriate for a child’s age and maturity.
  • Keep toys that are made for older children away from younger children.
  • If your child experiences an eye injury from a toy, seek immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist.

You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out

Eyes are particularly vulnerable to injuries. And serious injuries to the eye can have life-long effects. Commonly reported injuries from toys include corneal abrasions and ocular hyphema. More severe trauma can lead to retinal detachment, ruptured eyeball. and even blindness.

If your child experiences an eye injury from a toy, seek medical attention from an ophthalmologist right away. The good news is that most eye injuries can be easily prevented by following a few key safety tips.


10 Money Traps to Avoid

young woman surfing the webY’all know I’ve got your back. That’s why I want to talk about some of the common money traps out there—so you know what to watch out for.

You might be cruising along, making good progress on your money goals, then suddenly you get hit with one of the 8 gazillion marketing messages you see every day—some deal “you don’t want to miss” or a “once in a lifetime” opportunity. For a second, you might think about checking it out. Who wants to miss out on a sweet deal, right?

Don’t do it. You know better. Here are 10 money traps to stay the heck away from!

1. No-Money-Down Plans

Want a new mattress? How about a payment plan with no money down? Never mind the fact that you’re financing a freaking mattress—now you also have zero “equity” in that mattress.

I realize that putting 0% down might sound legit (especially if it’s one of those memory foam mattresses—those things are the bomb). But the no-money-down trap is just another way to get you locked into making long-term payments on stuff you need to be paying for up front. Instead of putting no money down, here’s a better idea: Save up some cash and put all the money down!

2.  Car Leases

We’ve all been there. You’re driving your old Honda, minding your business, when your friend rolls up in a brand-new BMW with tinted windows, high-quality speakers, and heated seats.


You love that BMW. And wouldn’t it be great to trade in your Honda for something like that? Who cares if you don’t have all the money for it right now—that’s what leases are for, right? Wrong.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that ya boy appreciates a nice car, but only if I can afford to pay for it with cash. Leasing is the most expensive way to drive a car. Just don’t even go there.

3. Timeshares

Picture this: Someone offers you a free vacation. The only catch? You have to come to some “business meeting.” Sounds pretty easy. The problem is that in this meeting, you’ll get pressured to buy a timeshare.  

Timeshares are usually marketed to people who can’t afford them. And if you ever want to sell one, good luck. You can’t give the dang things away. You might as well put your money in a trash can and light it on fire. 

4. Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs)

About ten years ago, ARMs were the hip, cool thing. Then the housing market crashed, and a lot of the banks that made stupid loans either went under or had to get bailed out. (I could make a joke about how someone was willing to lend a helping arm, but I’m not going to.)

Whether it’s a three-year or a five-year ARM, you know that your interest rate will adjust, and you’ll have no control over where it goes. You’re playing with fire when you get an ARM. Instead, play it safe with a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage.

5. Risk-Free Trials

One of the shadiest ways companies get you to pay more than you planned is by encouraging you to sign up for a “free” trial of something, like a streaming service or digital subscription. Usually, these trials cost $0–1 up front (you activate the trial by putting in your debit card information). The companies expect that people will forget to cancel, and then the monthly payments—which are way more expensive after the first month—will just get charged to their account. And way too often, that’s exactly what happens.

It’s happened to me. It’s happened to my friends. One friend of mine wanted to read the full version of an article in a digital newspaper, so she paid $1 for the trial period and planned to cancel the subscription later. Well, guess what? She forgot to cancel. The real monthly fee of $40 per month kicked in after the trial period was over, and she ended up losing over $300 by the time she realized what was happening.

Yeah, don’t do that. (And make sure you know where your money is going, people.)

6. Surprise Contest Winnings

If you ever get an email saying you won a contest or the lottery, but you don’t remember entering, and they ask you to pay a fee in order to claim the prize, it’s a scam. And do not click on pop-ups that say you won an Amazon gift card or something crazy like that. It might sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people fall for that stuff. Sorry, I know you wanted that Amazon gift card.

7. Payday Loans

Life happens. Sometimes we have unexpected financial emergencies—the transmission goes out, your HVAC unit dies, you have way too much fun on the dance floor and wind up in the ER with a broken ankle . . .

You panic. Your emergency fund won’t cover the bills, so maybe some quick cash from a payday loan place would help? Bump that!

These guys are the worst of the worst in the financial industry. Payday loans are nothing but trouble, and you’ll end up paying crazy, ridiculous interest for that loan. 

Pick up an extra job or side hustle. Sell some stuff you don’t need. But please, whatever you do, stay away from the payday loan shops!

8. Investment Scams

Don’t ever give your money or personal details to someone who offers unsolicited investment advice or pressures you to invest in something ASAP so you don’t “miss out.” You might get a phone call or email that seems legit, but watch out if they promise a high return with zero risk.

Just like your grandma always says: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

9. Credit Cards

Let’s be real, guys: Credit card companies hook you by offering you all this free stuff just so you’ll sign up. But that’s what got me in trouble when I was a college student! I wanted the free pizza and t-shirt that came with applying for a credit card, and before I knew it, I had racked up a ton of debt like it was nothing.

And don’t even get me started on those stupid reward points. All the airline miles, cash back, and discounts are just strategies to get you to use credit cards—and go into debt as a result. Usually, once you factor in taxes and hidden fees, the rewards end up being way less rewarding than you originally thought anyway. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

10. Student Loans

The lie that you have to take out student loans in order to be able to afford college is maybe the biggest money trap in our country today—and it’s led to an over $1.6 trillion student loan crisis.1

You guys, there are plenty of ways to pay for college totally without loans. Choosing an affordable school, applying for grants and scholarships, having a job, and knocking out some credit hours at a community college before transferring to a four-year school are just a few of the ways you can save thousands on your education. Trust me, the student loan industry does not want you to win—they want your money. Don’t give it to them.

If you want more tips on avoiding debt like the plague, check out my new book Debt-Free Degree. It’ll give you a step-by-step plan for cash flowing your college education so you can graduate with zero debt and be ready for the future!


HIV/AIDS: The Basics

What is HIV/AIDS?

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus, which is the virus that causes HIV infection. The abbreviation “HIV” can refer to the virus or to HIV infection.

AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV infection.

HIV attacks and destroys the infection-fighting CD4 cells of the immune system. The loss of CD4 cells makes it difficult for the body to fight off infections and certain cancers. Without treatment, HIV can gradually destroy the immune system and advance to AIDS.

How is HIV spread?

The spread of HIV from person to person is called HIV transmission. HIV is spread only in certain body fluids from a person who has HIV. These body fluids include:

  • Blood
  • Semen
  • Pre-seminal fluid
  • Vaginal fluids
  • Rectal fluids
  • Breast milk

HIV transmission is only possible through contact with HIV-infected body fluids. In the United States, HIV is spread mainly by:

  • Having anal or vaginal sex with someone who has HIV without using a condom or taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV
  • Sharing injection drug equipment (works), such as needles, with someone who has HIV

The spread of HIV from a woman with HIV to her child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding is called mother-to-child transmission of HIV. For more information, read the AIDSinfo fact sheet on Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV.

You can’t get HIV by shaking hands or hugging a person who has HIV. You also can’t get HIV from contact with objects such as dishes, toilet seats, or doorknobs used by a person with HIV. HIV is not spread through the air or in water or by mosquitoes, ticks, or other blood-sucking insects.


How can I reduce my risk of getting HIV?

To reduce your risk of HIV infection, use condoms correctly every time you have sex, limit your number of sexual partners, and never share injection drug equipment.

Also talk to your health care provider about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP is an HIV prevention option for people who don’t have HIV but who are at high risk of becoming infected with HIV. PrEP involves taking a specific HIV medicine every day. For more information, read the AIDSinfo fact sheet on PrEP.

HIV medicines, given to women with HIV during pregnancy and childbirth and to their babies after birth, reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. In addition, because HIV can be transmitted in breast milk, women with HIV who live in the United States should not breastfeed their babies. Baby formula is a safe and healthy alternative to breast milk and is readily available in the United States.


What are the symptoms of HIV/AIDS?

Within 2 to 4 weeks after infection with HIV, some people may have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, or rash. The symptoms may last for a few days to several weeks. During this earliest stage of HIV infection, the virus multiplies rapidly.

After the initial stage of infection, HIV continues to multiply but at very low levels. More severe symptoms of HIV infection, such as signs of opportunistic infections, generally don’t appear for many years. (Opportunistic infections are infections and infection-related cancers that occur more frequently or are more severe in people with weakened immune systems than in people with healthy immune systems.)

Without treatment with HIV medicines, HIV infection usually advances to AIDS in 10 years or longer, though it may advance faster in some people.

HIV transmission is possible at any stage of HIV infection—even if a person with HIV has no symptoms of HIV.


Misconceptions About Flu Vaccines

Can a flu vaccine give you the flu?

No, flu vaccines cannot cause flu illness. Flu vaccines given with a needle (i.e., flu shots) are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with a) flu viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ (killed) and that therefore are not infectious, or b) using only a single gene from a flu virus (as opposed to the full virus) in order to produce an immune response without causing infection. This is the case for  recombinant influenza vaccines.


Are any of the available flu vaccines recommended over the others?

For the 2019-2020 flu season, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends annual influenza (flu) vaccination for everyone 6 months and older with any licensed, influenza vaccine that is appropriate for the recipient’s age and health status, including inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV), recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV), or live attenuated nasal spray influenza vaccine (LAIV4) with no preference expressed for any one vaccine over another.

There are many vaccine options to choose from, but the most important thing is for all people 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine every year. If you have questions about which vaccine is best for you, talk to your doctor or other health care professional.


Is it better to get the flu than the flu vaccine?

No. Flu can be a serious disease, particularly among young children, older adults, and people with certain chronic health conditions, such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes. Any flu infection can carry a risk of serious complications, hospitalization or death, even among otherwise healthy children and adults. Therefore, getting vaccinated is a safer choice than risking illness to obtain immune protection.


Do I really need a flu vaccine every year?

Yes. CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for just about everyone 6 months and older, even when the viruses the vaccine protects against have not changed from the previous season. The reason for this is that a person’s immune protection from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccination is needed to get the “optimal” or best protection against the flu.


Why do some people not feel well after getting the seasonal flu vaccine?

Some people report having mild reactions to flu vaccination. The most common side effects from flu shots are soreness, redness, tenderness or swelling where the shot was given. Low-grade fever, headache and muscle aches also may occur. If these reactions occur, they usually begin soon after the shot and last 1-2 days. In randomized, blinded studies, where some people get inactivated flu shots and others get salt-water shots, the only differences in symptoms was increased soreness in the arm and redness at the injection site among people who got the flu shot. There were no differences in terms of body aches, fever, cough, runny nose or sore throat.

Side effects from the nasal spray flu vaccine may include: runny nose, wheezing, headache, vomiting, muscle aches, fever, sore throat and cough. If these problems occur, they usually begin soon after vaccination and are mild and short-lived. The most common reactions people have to flu vaccines are considerably less severe than the symptoms caused by actual flu illness.



What about serious reactions to flu vaccine?

Serious allergic reactions to flu vaccines are very rare. If they do occur, it is usually within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination. While these reactions can be life-threatening, effective treatments are available.


What about people who get a seasonal flu vaccine and still get sick with flu symptoms?

There are several reasons why someone might get a flu symptoms, even after they have been vaccinated against flu.

1.    One reason is that some people can become ill from other respiratory viruses besides flu such as rhinoviruses, which are associated with the common cold, cause symptoms similar to flu, and also spread and cause illness during the flu season. The flu vaccine only protects against influenza, not other illnesses.

2.    Another explanation is that it is possible to be exposed to influenza viruses, which cause the flu, shortly before getting vaccinated or during the two-week period after vaccination that it takes the body to develop immune protection. This exposure may result in a person becoming ill with flu before protection from the vaccine takes effect.

3.    A third reason why some people may experience flu like symptoms despite getting vaccinated is that they may have been exposed to a flu virus that is very different from the viruses the vaccine is designed to protect against. The ability of a flu vaccine to protect a person depends largely on the similarity or “match” between the viruses selected to make the vaccine and those spreading and causing illness. There are many different flu viruses that spread and cause illness among people. For more information, see Influenza (Flu) Viruses.

4.    The final explanation for experiencing flu symptoms after vaccination is that the flu vaccine can vary in how well it works and some people who get vaccinated may still get sick.


Can vaccinating someone twice provide added immunity?

In adults, studies have not shown a benefit from getting more than one dose of vaccine during the same influenza season, even among elderly persons with weakened immune systems. Except for some children, only one dose of flu vaccine is recommended each season.


Is it true that getting a flu vaccine can make you more susceptible to other respiratory viruses?

There was one studyexternal icon (published in 2012) that suggested that influenza vaccination might make people more susceptible to other respiratory infections. After that study was published, many experts looked into this issue further and conducted additional studies to see if the findings could be replicated. No other studies have found this effect. For example, this article [99 KB, 5 pages]external icon in Clinical Infectious Diseases (published in 2013). It’s not clear why this finding was detected in the one study, but the preponderance of evidence suggests that this is not a common or regular occurrence and that influenza vaccination does not, in fact, make people more susceptible to other respiratory infections.


Healthy Habits to Help Prevent Flu

The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. There also are flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat and prevent flu. The tips and resources below will help you learn about steps you can take to protect yourself and others from flu and help stop the spread of germs.

1.    Get Vaccinated.

2.     Avoid close contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

3.     Stay home when you are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.

4.     Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), are spread by cough, sneezing, or unclean hands.

5.     Clean your hands.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

6.     Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

7.     Practice other good health habits.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.


Influenza Key Facts

What is Influenza (Flu)?

Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

Flu Symptoms

Influenza (flu) can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Flu is different from a cold. Flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • muscle or body aches
  • headaches
  • fatigue (tiredness)
  • some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

* It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

How Flu Spreads

Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.

How Many People Get Sick with Flu Every Year?

A 2018 CDC study published in Clinical Infectious Diseasesexternal icon looked at the percentage of the U.S. population who were sickened by flu using two different methods and compared the findings. Both methods had similar findings, which suggested that on average, about 8% of the U.S. population gets sick from flu each season, with a range of between 3% and 11%, depending on the season.

Why is the 3% to 11% estimate different from the previously cited 5% to 20% range?

The commonly cited 5% to 20% estimate was based on a study that examined both symptomatic and asymptomatic influenza illness, which means it also looked at people who may have had the flu but never knew it because they didn’t have any symptoms. The 3% to 11% range is an estimate of the proportion of people who have symptomatic flu illness.

Who is most likely to be infected with influenza?

The same CID studyexternal icon found that children are most likely to get sick from flu and that people 65 and older are least likely to get sick from influenza. Median incidence values (or attack rate) by age group were 9.3% for children 0-17 years, 8.8% for adults 18-64 years, and 3.9% for adults 65 years and older. This means that children younger than 18 are more than twice as likely to develop a symptomatic flu infection than adults 65 and older.

How is seasonal incidence of influenza estimated?

Influenza virus infection is so common that the number of people infected each season can only be estimated. These statistical estimations are based on CDC-measured flu hospitalization rates that are adjusted to produce an estimate of the total number of influenza infections in the United States for a given flu season.

The estimates for the number of infections are then divided by the census population to estimate the seasonal incidence (or attack rate) of influenza.

Does seasonal incidence of influenza change based on the severity of flu season?

Yes. The proportion of people who get sick from flu varies. A paper published in CIDexternal icon found that between 3% and 11% of the U.S. population gets infected and develops flu symptoms each year. The 3% estimate is from the 2011-2012 season, which was an H1N1-predominant season classified as being of low severity. The estimated incidence of flu illness during two seasons was around 11%; 2012-2013 was an H3N2-predominant season classified as being of moderate severity, while 2014-2015 was an H3N2 predominant season classified as being of high severity.


Period of Contagiousness

You may be able to spread flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.

  • People with flu are most contagious in the first 3-4 days after their illness begins.
  • Some otherwise healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick.
  • Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others for an even longer time.

Onset of Symptoms

The time from when a person is exposed and infected with flu to when symptoms begin is about 2 days, but can range from about 1 to 4 days.

Complications of Flu

Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.

People at High Risk from Flu

Anyone can get flu (even healthy people), and serious problems related to flu can happen at any age, but some people are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and children younger than 5 years.

Preventing Seasonal Flu

The first and most important step in preventing flu is to get a flu vaccine each year. Flu vaccine has been shown to reduce flu related illnesses and the risk of serious flu complications that can result in hospitalization or even death. CDC also recommends everyday preventive actions (like staying away from people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes and frequent handwashing) to help slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory (nose, throat, and lungs) illnesses, like flu.


Why Wash Your Hands?

Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water.

How germs get onto hands and make people sick

Feces (poop) from people or animals is an important source of germs like Salmonella, E. coli O157, and norovirus that cause diarrhea, and it can spread some respiratory infections like adenovirus and hand-foot-mouth disease. These kinds of germs can get onto hands after people use the toilet or change a diaper, but also in less obvious ways, like after handling raw meats that have invisible amounts of animal poop on them. A single gram of human feces—which is about the weight of a paper clip—can contain one trillion germs 1. Germs can also get onto hands if people touch any object that has germs on it because someone coughed or sneezed on it or was touched by some other contaminated object. When these germs get onto hands and are not washed off, they can be passed from person to person and make people sick.

Washing hands prevents illnesses and spread of infections to others

Handwashing with soap removes germs from hands. This helps prevent infections because:

·         People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it. Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make us sick.

·         Germs from unwashed hands can get into foods and drinks while people prepare or consume them. Germs can multiply in some types of foods or drinks, under certain conditions, and make people sick.

·         Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred to other objects, like handrails, table tops, or toys, and then transferred to another person’s hands.

·         Removing germs through handwashing therefore helps prevent diarrhea and respiratory infections and may even help prevent skin and eye infections.

Teaching people about handwashing helps them and their communities stay healthy. Handwashing education in the community:

·         Reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by 23-40% 236

·         Reduces diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58%  4

·         Reduces respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by 16-21% 35

·         Reduces absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illness in schoolchildren by 29-57% 7

Not washing hands harms children around the world

About 1.8 million children under the age of 5 die each year from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, the top two killers of young children around the

·         Handwashing with soap could protect about 1 out of every 3 young children who get sick with diarrhea 23 and almost 1 out of 5 young children with respiratory infections like pneumonia 3, 5.

·         Although people around the world clean their hands with water, very few use soap to wash their hands. Washing hands with soap removes germs much more effectively 9.

·         Handwashing education and access to soap in schools can help improve attendance 10, 11, 12.

·         Good handwashing early in life may help improve child development in some settings 13.

·         Estimated global rates of handwashing after using the toilet are only 19% 6.

Handwashing helps battle the rise in antibiotic resistance

Preventing sickness reduces the amount of antibiotics people use and the likelihood that antibiotic resistance will develop. Handwashing can prevent about 30% of diarrhea-related sicknesses and about 20% of respiratory infections (e.g., colds) 25. Antibiotics often are prescribed unnecessarily for these health issues 14. Reducing the number of these infections by washing hands frequently helps prevent the overuse of antibiotics—the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world. Handwashing can also prevent people from getting sick with germs that are already resistant to antibiotics and that can be difficult to treat.


  1. Franks AH, Harmsen HJM, Raangs GC, Jansen GJ, Schut F, Welling GW. Variations of bacterial populations in human feces measured by fluorescent in situ hybridization with group-specific 16S rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes.external icon Appl Environ Microbiol. 1998;64(9):3336-3345.
  2. Ejemot RI, Ehiri JE, Meremikwu MM, Critchley JA. Hand washing for preventing diarrhoea.external icon Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008;1:CD004265.
  3. Aiello AE, Coulborn RM, Perez V, Larson EL. Effect of hand hygiene on infectious disease risk in the community setting: a meta-analysis.external icon Am J Public Health. 2008;98(8):1372-81.
  4. Huang DB, Zhou J. Effect of intensive handwashing in the prevention of diarrhoeal illness among patients with AIDS: a randomized controlled study.external icon J Med Microbiol. 2007;56(5):659-63.
  5. Rabie T and Curtis V. Handwashing and risk of respiratory infections: a quantitative systematic review.external icon Trop Med Int Health. 2006 Mar;11(3):258-67.
  6. Freeman MC, Stocks ME, Cumming O, Jeandron A, Higgins JPT, Wolf J et al. Hygiene and health: Systematic review of handwashing practices worldwide and update of health effects.external icon Trop Med Int Heal 2014; 19: 906–916.
  7. Wang Z, Lapinski M, Quilliam E, Jaykus LA, Fraser A. The effect of hand-hygiene interventions on infectious disease-associated absenteeism in elementary schools: A systematic literature review.external icon Am J Infect Control 2017; 45: 682–689.
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When to Wash Your Hands

You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
  • 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


Yoga Poses For Back And Neck Pain

Yoga Poses For Back And Neck Pain

yoga2If you’re having chronic back and neck pain or simply want relief from occasional pain, consider using yoga poses to help. Many of these poses help stretch tight muscle that often cause pain and help relieve the stress that can often cause the muscle tension. The history of yoga goes back thousands of years and comes from ancient India. While it wasn’t accepted by Western science for a long time, today there’s more and more evidence that yoga helps. In fact, some studies show that yoga can help relieve back pain more than traditional western techniques if it’s done just once a week.

A cat/cow movement uses two yoga poses for relief.

As your body flows through the motions of the two poses, it stretches the back, body and neck. It helps bring the body in alignment and can almost eliminate future back pain if done regularly. It helps relieve tension in the shoulders, too. Get into position on your knees with your hands on the floor under your shoulders and your knees on the floor under your hips. Inhale and as you exhale, round your back, like a cat arching its back, while keeping your shoulders and knees in the original position. Release your head, go back to the starting position and relax. Move to the cow position, where you lift your bottom and chest, letting your belly sink as you lift your head to look straight ahead.

The child pose simply feels good, whether you’ve got back pain or just want to relax.

Many people start their yoga poses with the child pose. Not only can you use it for relief from back pain, by modifying it slightly, spreading knees wider as you bring your toes together, it can help stretch the hip muscles. Start on your hands and knees with your lower leg on the floor and your bottom on your heels. Sit up straight pulling yourself high and inhale. As you exhale lay your upper body forward with your torso on your thighs and touching your forehead on the floor. Your arms should be extended out in front of you and your bottom should always have contact with your hips. Relax and hold. When ready to go back to starting position, use your hands to walk your torso back to upright position.

Downward dog may be the best known yoga pose name.

While many people don’t know how to do the downward dog, the vast majority will recognize it as a yoga pose. It helps loosen your shoulders and spine. You start in child’s pose and when fully extended, press your hands into the ground, tucking your toes and lifting your hips up at the same time. If you need to, keep your knees bent and heels up and with your bottom in the air focus your energy on lengthening your spine, pushing your hip bones toward the ceiling.

  • A gentle seated twist can relieve neck tension and upper back tension. Sit in cross legged position with your right hand on your left knee and left hand behind you, looking straight ahead. Inhale as you turn your head toward your left shoulder, exhale and turn your head toward your right shoulder.
  • If your lower back is bothering you, try the knees to chest pose. Lay on your back. Bring your knees together and toward your chest, wrap your arms around your legs and pull them even closer. Hold.
  • The standing forward bend pose can help relax your back and especially your neck. It’s nothing more than bending at the hips and lengthening your torso as you let your head hang. Try to do it with straight legs, but if you must bend your knees, it’s okay, too.
  • Warrior II pose, extended triangle, cow face pose and extended puppy pose are all yoga poses that can help your neck. There are many more poses that can bring relief. Find ones that make you feel better and practice them often.

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