Germ Busting (Wash Your Hands)
Handwashing is one of the most important things you can do to stop the spread of germs and stay healthy. Wash your hands regularly to protect yourself against colds, flu, and diarrheal illnesses. The CDC recommends following five simple steps for effective handwashing:
- Wet your hands well
- Lather up (don’t forget the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails)
- Scrub thoroughly (at least 20 seconds—or “Happy Birthday” twice through)
- Rinse well
- Dry with a clean towel or air dry
For more information about when and how to wash your hands visit the CDC’s handwashing website at www.cdc.gov/handwashing.
The Great American Smokeout
According to The American Cancer Society, tobacco use remains the largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. November 17th is The American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout event. If you are a smoker, consider joining millions of other smokers and quit smoking for the day. Quitting—for even a day—is an important step to a healthier life.
When you’re ready to take the next step, ask your provider about smoking cessation strategies, quit-smoking programs, and additional resources.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
COPD is caused by damage to the lungs that leads to difficulty breathing. While there is no cure for COPD, there are actions you can take to help you breathe better, be more active, and prevent complications. If you are a smoker, quitting smoking is the most important step you can take. In addition:
- Take your medications as prescribed
- Wash your hands frequently
- Avoid large crowds in the fall and winter
- Get your flu and pneumococcal vaccines
- Eat a healthy diet
- Get regular exercise according to your provider’s recommendations
Follow up with your provider regularly to review your symptoms and the best treatment plan for you.