Go for a fist bumpNong Mars/Shutterstock
The next time someone approaches you with palm outstretched, try a fist bump or air kiss instead. “Shaking hands may be a social expectation, but it is also an excellent method of transferring germs from one person to another,” says J.D. Zipkin, MD, at GoHealth Urgent Care. That’s why Harvard Medical School alternately suggests a fist bump, which in a study transferred 90 percent fewer germs than a handshake.”While avoiding a handshake is not always socially feasible, hand-washing afterward will kill any germs you picked up,” Dr. Zipkin says. In addition, if you can’t avoid the handshake, don’t touch your face afterward to prevent germs on your hands from migrating to your nose and mouth. Find out the clear signs a cold is coming.
Stop biting your nailsPablo del Rio Sotelo/Shutterstock
Studies have shown that biting your nails is another great way to transfer germs on your hands to your mouth. “Nail-biting can be a difficult habit to break, but doing so comes with several additional benefits including reducing the frequency that you bring your hands to your face, especially the entry points for illness such as the nose and mouth,” Dr. Zipkin says. “This reduces the risk of getting sick.” Learn the other common habits that are making you sick.