Denise Sanger

Denise Sanger

Road trip! This past weekend I took a road trip to Ohio with my daughter and her husband to meet family for mom’s 80th birthday celebration. I’m the oldest of four and we decided to go back to the place we vacationed at when we were kids.

Reservations made. Head north to Ohio from Florida to meet my siblings. With great expectations, we get there AND remember nothing! The four of us have always talked about the amazing vacations we remember at this lodge in an Ohio state forest and we all draw a blank. We even ask mom did we really vacation here?

One memory of Ohio at the end of summer/beginning of fall I could have done without though were the sniffling noses. I had forgotten how rough this time of year could be on the sinuses. I think almost everyone I talked to was either dealing with allergies or had an end of summer cold. A lot of hacking, coughing and sniffling all around.  

Of course when you notice all the sniffling and coughing, you also notice all the places people touch — door knobs, railings, chairs and the list goes on. All of us as we move through the day touch many things including other people, animals, surfaces and many objects.  

On all of those objects? Germs. Lots of germs. What happens then? It’s easy to infect ourselves by touching our eyes, nose or mouth. Although it’s impossible to keep yourself 100% germ free, you can limit your exposure by frequent hand washing. Hand washing often can actually help limit your exposure to bacteria and viruses.

A few good rules are to always wash your hands before preparing food or eating, treating wounds or caring for a sick person and inserting or removing contact lenses. Also always wash your hands after preparing food, using the restroom or changing diapers, blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, handling garbage and handing pets or animals. 

Best way to wash your hands? Good old soap and water. Over the counter antibacterial soaps are no more effective than plain soap and water. Lather hands and rub for at least 20 seconds. A little nugget my daughter mentioned is that singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star while washing your hands ensures you scrub for 20 seconds. I was WAY off on what I thought was effective hand washing once I sang — in my head of course — Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

What about hand sanitizer? Hand sanitizers that don’t require water are acceptable for times you do not have access to soap and water. Be sure the hand sanitizer has at least 60% alcohol content.

Something as simple as making hand washing will go a long way to keeping your healthy during flu and cold season. Have an amazing week!

To your health,


Denise Sanger is an over 50 health/lifestyle blogger and speaker. Known for motivation, inspiration & loving the BEACH. Certified fitness instructor, Silver Sneakers Instructor, Zumba, STRONG by Zumba instructor, gentle flow yoga, teaches morning classes at Country Strong Gym. Denise may be reached at, 386-292-6105 or

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