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Bacteria are everywhere. Many things we touch every day — door handles, bathroom sinks, office phones and money — have been touched by hundreds or even thousands of other people. That’s why practicing good hygiene habits is important for promoting good health, especially during flu season.

Here are some tips for preventing illnesses through good personal hygiene:

1. Wash your hands and body regularly.

While you should definitely be washing your hands after you use the restroom, don’t stop there. Wash your hands frequently throughout the day, especially before meals. The same goes for your body – you should be bathing at least once a day to prevent disease-causing germs from spreading.

2. Brush and floss at least twice a day.

We all know the rule of thumb that we should brush our teeth at least twice a day for two minutes. But don’t forget to floss. Brushing and flossing daily can help prevent tooth and gum diseases that can be painful down the road.

3. Wash your clothing.

Much like our bodies, germs also like to cling to our clothes. Don’t wear dirty clothing that has been sitting on your bedroom floor. The outfit you put on in the morning should be clean and free of any bacteria caused by sweat and other factors.

4. Be courteous of others if you are sick.

If you do contract a virus like the flu, be vigilant about not spreading it to others. If you’re sick, stay home from work or school. Don’t share utensils and glasses with others. And make sure to cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze into a tissue – not your hands or clothing.

The benefits of good personal hygiene go beyond having a pleasant social presence. Good hygiene practices can keep you and those around you healthy and happy. Remember to also pay close attention to these tips when your body is most vulnerable, such as when you’re traveling or going to a place where you will be surrounded by a lot of people.

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