Lifestyle 13 September 2020
Our pets are a source of great joy in our lives. They're not only friends, but family, and we look forward to seeing them and playing with them and snuggling with them as we watch a scary movie (even though they're not supposed to be on the couch). One thing we don't look forward to, however, is cleaning up after them.
Pet owners are all too aware that having pets makes for extra cleaning tasks. There are parts of your home that will get dirty if you have animals around that would otherwise stay clean. There will be fur on the couch and the floor. There will be mud tracked in from outside on occasion. And you know what? That's completely okay. Our pets are worth it.
This being said, there are a few things that you can do to encourage the cleanliness of your home, even if you have pets around. The following will break down the care you can give your pet and your home to keep it looking and feeling clean.
A Clean Home With Pets Starts With Good Petcare
That's right, you start keeping your house clean by taking care of your furry friend. If you have an animal that sheds fur, grooming is especially important. Regular brushing not only will gather up all the fur that would have landed on the floor to your hands, but it will also keep your pet's coat looking sleek and shiny.
In addition to grooming, what you feed your pet has a massive impact on the health of their fur and the amount of shedding they do. It turns out that many pets are allergic to some common pet foods. It seems like the raw food trend is on the right track when it comes to the health of your pet's coat. In addition to this, fish oil can also help keep their fur from shedding constantly.
Light Cleaning is Part of Keeping a Pet-Friendly Home Clean
Light cleaning is your everyday cleaning. The vacuuming or sweeping. The wiping up of paw prints near the back door. The cleaning with a non-toxic chemical (like vinegar) around your pet's food dishes. Non-toxic is important in this area as your pet will lick the floor around there from time to time and you don't want them licking up bleach.
This part is pretty straightforward, as likely, you've already been doing it for quite some time. Experts at https://www.pethairpatrol.com/ recommend a cleaning schedule to help keep on top of this and prevent the overwhelm that comes when your pet is blowing their coat for the season and you've not vacuumed in three days. Whatever rhythm you fall into, regular light cleaning is a must.
Deep Cleaning When You Have a Pet in Your Home
Here's where things get interesting. There are a lot of deep-clean tasks that need to be done every once in a while if you've got a pet in your home. One of the things that have a huge impact on how clean your house feels is the trim. Maybe you've never thought of washing your trim before, but if you have a pet, especially if you have a pet that likes to lay down in one spot specifically, you can bet that the oil on your pet's fur has rubbed off on the trim of your house. This is one of those things that get dirty so slowly that we might not notice it, but if you wash it, you're going to be amazed at how dingy it's grown.
Likewise, the first foot or so of your door will need the occasional wash. Often pets who are excited to go outside, or for you to come inside, will jump and roll around near the door. Just like the trim, the lower quarter of your door has likely been stained slowly over time from the oil on your pet's fur.
In addition to that, you need to be giving your pet's toys and bedding a wash as well. When it comes to toys you're going to want to use a non-toxic cleaning product. If you wouldn't wash a baby toy with it, don't wash your pet's toys with it, because we all know that the toys are going into your pet's mouth. As a bonus, keeping these items clean will help keep your home clean because less filth will be flung all over the floor by your furry friend playing.
Finally, if you have carpeting or rugs that your pet likes to lay on, it wouldn't hurt to take a carpet cleaner to them every once in a while. Slowly carpets can end up smelling like your pet. (Or very quickly if your wet dog insists on drying herself on the carpet). Carpet cleaning offers a much deeper clean than just vacuuming alone. Once a month, or once every two months should be enough.
With some consistent pet care, some regular light cleaning, and occasional deep cleaning, you will be able to keep your pet-friendly home shiny and clean. Whenever using new cleaning products, keep a close eye on your pet for a day or so afterward. If you notice some excessive scratching, this may be a sign that your pet is allergic to the product and you need to switch it out.
3 Min Read
With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.
When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.
Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan
Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.
Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.
The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.
Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits
The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.
With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.
Tip 3: Start slow and strong
If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.
Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.
Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize
In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.
When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.
Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness
From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.
Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.
Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.
A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.
Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition
In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.
If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health
While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.
For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.
While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.