You work out, go out of your way to eat healthy, and even sit on an exercise ball instead of a comfy office chair. However, one of the best ways to improve your health is actually the easiest: Increasing how much fresh air you inhale. Most Americans spend the bulk of their time indoors, and indoor air isn’t the freshest without a little intervention. You need to make sure your HVAC and ventilation system is maintained in order to get the best air flowing.
You “know” that fresh air is good for you, but do you know why? Obviously it’s not good to breathe in harsh chemicals, but there’s a lot more to it than that. With Science Daily reporting that air pollution could be a cause of congenital birth defects, it’s more important than ever to focus on the air that you breathe.
Here’s how fresh air makes a difference:
1. Lower heart rate and blood pressure
Heart disease is on the rise in the US and US News reports that it’s the number one killer regardless of gender. Polluted air can worsen your heart rate and blood pressure, but fresh air combats it. When your body has to work harder to get clean air, you need more oxygen, and this is a nasty cycle to get caught up in.
2. Stronger immune system
It’s pretty simple: The cleaner “stuff” you ingest or inhale, the less polluted your immune system will be. Oxygen is critical for white blood cells, which are in charge of killing germs and bacteria. Fresh air helps them work harder.
3. Better digestion
Poor digestion can lead to all kinds of health problems, and your body needs clean air for this process. Ideally, you should take a walk after a meal (assuming your outdoor air isn’t overly polluted). Not only does it aid in digestion and make you more comfortable, it’s great for weight loss, too.
4. Get cleaner lungs
Where do you think the air you inhale goes, no matter how clean or polluted it is? Fresh air helps with lung dilation which ultimately makes them clean better.
5. Fresh air means happiness
Your serotonin levels are directly impacted by oxygen amounts. The more serotonin you have, the lighter your mood and well-being. It’s easy: Better air equates to more happiness.
6. Mental sharpness
You’ll feel sharper, fresher and have better mental clarity if you manage your air quality. Who knew health could be so easy? The quality of your oxygen correlates directly to your mental sharpness, which is critical whether you’re a student, professional, or simply want to make the most of your relationships. If you’ve been feeling foggy, hazy, or just out of it, it might be a lack of good air that’s to blame.
When you surround yourself with healthy things, you’ll be naturally healthier too. This goes for physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. Sadly, most people don’t check the quality of their home air and don’t take actions to surround themselves with the basic necessities of life they need. This results in a subpar life.
It doesn’t have to be that way, especially with so many options like humidifiers, high tech HVAC systems, or ventilators on the market. However, another aspect is (re)learning how to breathe correctly, since the majority of people barely use their lung capacity. A pranayama class, which is a form of gentle yoga, can be an excellent way to spend your lunch break. Do like professionals singers do, and learn to breathe correctly and deeply. Combine that with quality air, and you can’t lose.