Five Surprising Things That May Affect Your Health

Even with the vast amount of health information available, there are still a number of surprising things that may either positively or negatively affect your health. Diseases are often spread in numerous ways, so it is good to keep an eye on certain places that hide the most germs, or be on the lookout for surprising places you can find good health. To help you make the best decisions, here are five surprising things that may affect your health.

ATMs are as Filthy as Public Restrooms

Everyone knows that we are supposed to wash our hands after using the restroom, but do you wash your hands after getting money from an ATM? You should. The money itself contains germs, but the buttons on the cash machines are covered with the same types of bacteria, in the same quantity as surfaces on a public toilet. Since ATMs don’t have soap and sinks waiting nearby, using an antibacterial wipe, or hand sanitizer might keep you from getting sick. Your phone, and computer keyboard are all places your hands touch frequently and are usually covered with germs. Sanitize these common places as often as necessary to keep from getting sick.

Germs are Good

This may seem like a contradiction of the previous advice, but it is true that living in an environment that is too clean can be bad for your immune system. While it is wise to take precautions to steer clear of the illness-causing bacteria common in some public places, not all germs are bad. If your immune system is not sufficiently challenged, it will not build the necessary defenses to keep you healthy when you are exposed to dangerous bugs. Since a stunningly small number of germs will actually make you sick, simple soap and water is sufficient for cleaning in most circumstances. Save the antibacterial cleansers for the truly disgusting surfaces.

Sugar is as Bad as Smoking Cigarettes

It will come as no surprise that sugar is not a health food, but is it really as bad as nicotine? A number of studies have shown that it is. Actual sugar addiction has been documented, along with the cravings and withdrawal symptoms often experienced by people trying to kick cigarettes or alcohol. Some scientists have even compared it to harder drugs such as heroin and cocaine. People are hard-wired to like sugar and other sweet foods because of their high energy content. Constant, daily intake of sugary sweets can lead to a variety of health issues, including obesity, tooth decay, and diabetes, among others. Replacing sugar-dense foods with healthy fruits is a smart way to manage those sweet cravings.

Family History Matters

Research into the impact of genes on personal health is becoming ever more sophisticated. Knowing your family history can help you and your doctor understand your predisposition for certain diseases, or determine a course of treatment once an illness is diagnosed. While most of us are familiar with the health issues of our parents, and sometimes our grandparents as well, beyond that, much of the history is unknown. Thanks to modern technology and the availability of information online, it is now possible to research your family history and learn health details that were previously unknown. A good place to start is looking up census records. For example, to find relatives of your grandparents, you might want to start by looking up 1940 US Census Records. Those records can be obtained at From there you can begin to gather additional information to build a family tree, and uncover your family’s medical history.

Exercise Alone Won’t Shave Pounds

While exercise is important to your health for many reasons, expecting exercise alone to help you lose weight will likely disappoint you. Unless paired with changes to your diet, exercise is not the weight loss solution most people think it is. This does not mean you should forgo the exercise, just pair it with good food choices.

Staying informed is important, and the internet is an amazing resource, but be sure to confirm all information with your doctor before changing your lifestyle. Use these surprising tips to keep up on your daily health.