My teacher, and founder of IIN, Joshua Rosenthal, spoke this week about the importance of our air quality. He put air into perspective by explaining that we can go weeks without food, days without water, but only a matter of seconds without oxygen. If we’re always focused on eating better and drinking more water, what about the quality of our #1 most immediate, vital requirement for survival?
Oxygen is used, in combination with nutrients from our food, for every function in our body; so naturally, we want the best that we can get, right?
Rosenthal explained that when he moved to a region of the US that was dense with thousands upon thousands of trees, he noticeably began to feel smarter. His ideas started to pour through, and felt more clear and productive. The concept of having a “foggy head” could very well be connected to the fog you’re breathing through that head.
There’s no denying that when you visit the beach, the forest, or perhaps even wake up in your own city at sunrise while the air is fresh, there is an instant attraction to the clean air that you intake.
Heavy pollution is an issue in large cities around the world because it decreases the oxygen levels in the air that we breathe. However, according to an estimate released by the Environmental Protection Agency, people spend 90% of their time indoors, and that indoor air quality can actually be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air.
So, if that sounds like you, then here are some tips on how to improve oxygen intake and the air quality in your indoor space, with many of them thanks to the American Lung Association.
- Get Outside – before you sit at your computer, or leave for the office, spend some time outside. As little as five minutes standing on your balcony or door step, breathing in the fresh air deeply as you wake up, can set you up for a great day. Or, even better, if you’re lucky enough to work/study from home, charge up your laptop’s battery and take it outside for a couple of hours. Your dog will love the company!
- Exercise – it increases your lung capacity. If you are a gym-goer then you’ll be familiar with the feeling of the thick air inside most gyms. When you can, opt for working out in a park instead of inside a sweaty gym. Dr. John Medina at Brainrules.net explains, “Exercise increases oxygen flow into the brain, which reduces brain-bound free radicals. One of the most interesting findings of the past few decades is that an increase in oxygen is always accompanied by an uptick in mental sharpness.”
- Open Up! – Quit sitting in the darkness and open up those doors and windows, allowing a circulation of new air (the air-conditioner doesn’t count). If you live in a highly polluted city, then perhaps skip this and opt for plants…
- Plants – all homes should have some leafy plants. Apart from looking pretty, they do a fine job at exchanging air with you.
- De-pollute – don’t allow smoking indoors, and reduce the amount of chemicals used around the house. Dust the house and clean curtains and carpets regularly.
- Remove Excess Moisture – if you live in a humid environment, or your space lacks decent ventilation (particularly in the kitchen and bathroom), invest in an air purifier to remove the moisture. Moisture creates dampness, mold and mildew, which can all lead to health issues in the lungs.
- Drink Water – this is the answer to almost everything, and seeing that our bodies are made up of 80% water, it’s obvious why. Water is part oxygen, so drink up.
- Invest in a Negative Ion Generator, or preferably a Salt Rock Lamp – with all of the technology we’ve got going in our homes and offices, we’re sitting (and sleeping) amongst a frightening amount of electrical radiation. These devices send off negative ions to counterbalance the positive ions emitted from the electronics. That aside, they have a way of bringing the freshness of a forest into your home.
- Fresh Air To-Go – If your local poker room is stuffy, or perhaps smoky, then handheld, battery-operated devices like the Air Supply Mini-Mate Personal Ionic Air Purifier could be your saviour.