When you really pay attention to public places you will notice something that is everywhere these days. No I’m not talking about flatscreens, skinny jeans or electric cars. I am talking about anti-septic hand wash/soap. It’s literally everywhere. In the bathrooms, at the tables, at the check-out, next to the grocery carts, on your keychain and next to almost every door you go in and out of. We are a country of germaphobes. I get it. It’s what we are told and marketed. We have been so convinced that when washing with these scrubs you will not contract any illness. So is this fact or fiction?

Rather than writing about some opinion I have I am going to pull from the research instead. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after a study released in September of 2016, there isn’t enough science to show that over-the-counter (OTC) antibacterial soaps are better at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water. There’s no data demonstrating that these drugs provide additional protection from diseases and infections. Using these products might give people a false sense of security,” Michele says. “If you use these products because you think they protect you more than soap and water, that’s not correct. If you use them because of how they feel, there are many other products that have similar formulations but won’t expose your family to unnecessary chemicals.” This commentary is directly from Theresa M. Michele, MD, who is with the FDA’s Division of Nonprescription Drug Products. So not only do they not work like advertised but they also may make you more sick due to what they are made with.

So what does one do to minimize their risk of getting sick? The first thing is to change your mindset from “trying to avoid sickness” to “building your health”. Most people think of how can I avoid contacting germs and trying everything they can to kill them off so they don’t get sick. The truth of the matter is that germs are everywhere. Literally everywhere. If you were to do a swab of almost any surface at your home or office you would find a concoction of germs living on it. You would see things from strep to staph and many strains of bacteria and viruses in between. My point is this. Focus on building the strength of your immune system to fight these bacteria naturally. It’s inevitable your body will be in contact with germs. Help it build the army necessary to fight the good fight and keep you healthy.

Here are some simple, already-known tips to follow…

1. Consume anti-oxidants – fruits and vegetables are a key source. Another simple step with this is using a fruit and vegetable supplement. (Greens product)
2. Get your rest – if your body is tired it will get sick eventually. If you say you only need 4hrs of sleep you are wrong. Your body must get rest to repair and recharge. You can do 4hrs for a short period of time but not long stretches.
3. Manage your stress – Stress may be one of the biggest challenges with getting sick. It changes your hormones, weakens your immune system and leads your body directly towards illnesses of all kinds. Find ways to put life in perspective and lower your stress.
4. Get adjusted – There are studies showing increases in immune system function in people that are adjusted on a regular basis. It’s pretty simple, if you take stress off your nervous system, your immune system will function more properly.
5. Have fun and be happy – There are no studies on this but happy people are sick less. It’s amazing how smiling more than you complain will help your immune system and body working better. Try smiling sometime. It does make you feel better.
6. Movement – You must get daily movement to keep your immune system working properly. It cleans your system out and stimulates immune function.

So the moral of the story is stop using your hand-wash. It doesn’t work. Change your perspective from defense to offense. Build your immune system army daily. Your body will thank you.