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The Healthy Home

Updated on October 8, 2016

Think of the Outside

We've all heard that we should bring the outside in to stay healthy. We need ample amounts of space to live, fresh air to breathe, sunshine for vitamin D, and the energizing benefits of green plants.

These are all wonderful things when the sun is shining and it is seventy degrees outside. When along comes the winter, it is much more of a challenge to maintain this same level of healthy living.

Alas, we must close up the windows to keep the furnace from running up a million-dollar heating bill. Some days the grey weather does not step aside to allow the sunshine to shine through. Biting cold temperatures keep us indoors. Inside the confines of our homes which we have been hearing greater and greater amounts of information regarding their off-gassing, pollution, and lack of good indoor air quality in our homes. Here are some simple steps to creating a healthier home for those colder times.

Pure Air

One of the most vital elements to our existence is the air we breathe. We need oxygen to sustain our very existence. Often, the air in our homes is not as clean as you might think. Many fabrics, glues, and materials are made from synthetic chemicals. This means that over time, they break down and disperse into dust-some of which ends up in the air in our homes. Ovens release gases that we breathe in.

A study done by NASA concludes that house plants can take in some of these dangerous pollutants and release clean air. In our home, we have at least one plant in most rooms. Sadly, my aloe Vera plant did not survive last winter. I do, however have several Golden Pothos plants that are easy to keep alive, and easy to propagate as well. Peace Lily is also an effective air purifier, as is any dracanea.

Not only will a house plant offer the benefits from purifying your air, psychologically, plants can act as mood boosters during the winter time when there isn't a lot of color outside. Having a vibrant green, living plant in your home reminds you that life is around you, and to continue to be inspired in your work.

A life-sustaining, air-purifying houseplant.

Move Your Body!

Not a lot can be done when the sun refuses to shine, but you can try your hardest to get out when it is day light and have some exercise. Moving your body will increase your feel-good body chemicals and also provides a boost to your health!

If you can be active, you will be more likely to keep your body healthy even when indoor conditions are not ideal. And who knows, maybe the sun will peek out and overlook your promenade.

How do you stay healthy during the colder seasons?

What is your favorite cold-weather health-maintaining activity?

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Plants: vital to a clean home

Natural, well-broken-in Fabrics

Neweer items today tend to lean toward being made of synthetic fabrics. The newer the item is, the more it is freshly off-gassing in your home. If you can find used items for your home from second-hand stores, rather than new furniture stores, they are more apt to be made of higher quality, more natural materials, and have done much of their off-gassing already.

We steer toward used clothing (still in good shape, mind you!), cotton linens, wool rugs (or at least we hope to switch over to them in the future), solid wood furniture, and pieces that will look nice, last a long while, hold up well, and keep us free of off-gassing symptoms such as headaches, stuffy/runny noses, and watery eyes.

Pick up that Rag!

Maintaining a more stringent cleaning regiment will also play a role in your overall health. As less air is flowing through your home, it is more important to stay on top of dusting, vacuuming, and general cleaning habits. By keeping after these pesky germs, dust, grime, and dirt, you are keeping them from falling off surfaces and floating in the air. When windows are closed, air is re-circulated through your home and that means if it is not clean air, you will be continuing to inhale oxygen that could make you sick and won't cause you to be living in optimal health.

Own a Pet!

Yes! Owning a pet gets your body used to allergens that non-pet owners might be more sensitive to. This means fewer rounds of asthma and allergies. Fewer missed days of work and school. Not only do pets provide immunity support in this way, they also are proven to boost your mood. Psychologically, pets provide care, affection, and companionship. They can cheer you up when you've had a bad day and sense when you are in trouble. Pets are used to cope with depression and anxiety. They can also protect your home which eases your worries about safety. Less stress always equates greater health.


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