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Cleanliness Is Next to Healthiness

By Paul Rothbart

Most people grew up with their mothers (and perhaps fathers) constantly reminding them to clean their rooms, wash behind their ears, and brush their teeth. The theme was cleanliness and most parents worked hard to impart it to their offspring. Many children find it irritating and don't see why it's so important but as in many other instances, your parents were right. Maintaining a clean body and environment has many health benefits.

A Clean Body

The most obvious reason to bathe or shower regularly is the odor that develops if you don't. You will not be very popular with friends and colleagues. But there is more at stake than that. Failing to clean your body regularly results in dead skin cells, dirt, and oil collecting on your skin and clogging pores. This can cause dry, flaky skin, eczema, or psoriasis. It will itch and be uncomfortable and can also damage your skin. Hair also suffers from being washed too infrequently. It can become dry and brittle.

Your teeth are also part of your body and failing to brush regularly can cause serious problems. Teeth can decay, fall apart, and fall out. This can be incredibly painful, and worse, the bacteria in decayed teeth gets into the bloodstream and can travel to other parts of the body, such as the heart. This can cause serious, life-threatening health issues.

A Clean Environment

A clean living space is equally important. Dust and dirt tend to get into the air. You breathe it in and it can cause respiratory problems and trigger allergies. Unclean surfaces and dishware can contaminate food and cause illness when you consume it. Sleeping on dirty sheets can be harmful to the skin. You may as well not even shower if you're going to sleep in filth. Cleaning and disinfecting your home also kills germs that can make you sick and do serious damage to your health.

Your Mental Health

Keeping a clean house can boost mental health. First, the physical activity involved in cleaning can help ward off depression. Studies have also shown that cluttered, disorganized spaces can trigger depression. It's hard to work, relax, or enjoy yourself in a messy, dirty house. When things are clean and organized you get a sense of satisfaction and can function better. Just being surrounded by order rather than chaos can significantly improve mental health.

Your parents may have emphasized cleanliness. They were right to do so. Keeping yourself and your home clean can boost both physical and mental health. The world can be hard enough to live in. Take good care of your little piece of it.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Inglewood, Calif.

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