Many of the best things in life are free — one of them is fresh, outdoor air. Now that most of us are staying put at home because of the coronavirus, we’re also realizing how much we’ve taken for granted the freedom to go for walks in the park or explore nature. These activities were therapeutic and mentally and emotionally calming. Best of all, they enabled us to breathe in the fresh air and reap its health benefits.
The Health Benefits of Clean Air
Fresh air offers so many benefits to human health, but these four are arguable its biggest benefits:
- Boosts the immune system – Good bacteria in the body aid the leukocytes in fighting harmful bacteria and viruses that make their way into the body. Good bacteria need an ample amount of oxygen to thrive, which is why frequent exposure to fresh air is believed to strengthen the body’s immune functions.
- Reduce risks of cancer and other serious diseases – There have been many studies on the correlation between clean air and population health, and many of them found that fresh air does have a positive impact on people’s health. One study by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that women who lived near green spaces and lush vegetation had a longer lifespan than women who lived away from green spaces. The former also had lower risks of cancer, kidney disease, and respiratory diseases. The researchers said these benefits stemmed from the fresh air the respondents enjoyed, being surrounded by plants that produced oxygen and reduced air pollution.
- Reduces stress and increases happiness – Nature walks are known to have a calming effect on people experiencing high levels of stress and emotional distress. The scent of pine trees, in particular, has a calming and relaxing effect on people according to several early research.
- Helps detoxify the body – Regular exposure to fresh air would imply that air pollution is low where you live. Also, seeking out places where you can breathe in clean, sweet-smelling air for hours can already do your body so much good. It helps clear the airways in your lungs and supplies enough oxygen to the cells, keeping them from becoming damaged and producing toxins.
Is the Air You Breathe at Home Clean?
Now that we are in the middle of a pandemic and are unable to go outside anytime we wish, how can you enjoy fresh air if you live in the middle of the city? Below are some tips:
- Install a home air purifier to get rid of allergens like pollen, soot, asbestos, and unpleasant scents like cigarette smoke.
- Put lots of real, potted plants all over your home. Don’t just choose the tiny, decorative varieties like succulents, begonias, and orchids but also the bigger “indoor trees” like bamboo, palm, the fiddle-leaf fig, rubber plants, and dwarf orange trees. Live plants filter the air that circulates inside your house, helping keep your indoor air clean and fresh at all times.
- Clean your house regularly. You can’t rely on air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and plants to do all the work. You also have to rid your house of mold, mildew, dirt, and clutter — things that reduce indoor air quality and trigger health problems like eye irritation, sore throat, and asthma attacks.
These simple tips should help you maintain your indoor air quality. Follow them so you can enjoy clean, fresh air without having to leave your home.