by MATT CASADONA
Air pollution is a serious problem, especially if you live in a big city. This pollution is an environmental health hazard that can look like anything from exhaust billowing down a highway or nothing at all because we can’t always see air pollution. Unfortunately, air pollution is a direct threat to you because your body requires oxygen to function properly. Here are the health benefits of clean air.
Keeps Allergies at Bay
Many people suffer from seasonal allergies that can be as minor as a scratchy throat in the morning to as major as a swelling of the eyes. According to 1Dental, “Allergies caused by food or environmental surroundings can enlarge two major air filtering organs.” These allergies can, in turn, make you breathe through your mouth, which can result in more health complications down the line.
While you can’t stop flowers from blooming and trees from growing outside to stop seasonal allergies, and you can’t ask your local government to stop allowing transportation, you can improve the air quality of your home.
Much like diet and exercise, air quality plays a significant role in your overall health. Consider this: You’re walking down the sidewalk and walk by someone smoking a cigarette; if you’ve never been a smoker, the smoke in the air might irritate your nasal passages because the quality of air decreased for a moment. If you live in a big city, you’re exposed to exhaust from transportation constantly, which could make you feel sick more often.
There are allergens inside your home that you might not even realize. If you have a pet, their dander could be the cause of allergies because dander can go right from your dog or cat into the air and then straight into your lungs when you inhale. This can be especially dangerous to those with known allergies to cats and/or dogs.
You, as one person, might not be able to solve air pollution problems, but you can keep your indoor air clean with air quality solutions like an air purifier. If you’re allergic to dust, it can help you breathe better and feel better throughout the day.
Eases Asthma Symptoms
Much like easing the symptoms of allergies, clean air can help you if you suffer from asthma. Your lungs require clean air to function properly, especially if you have asthma, a condition in which your airways swell and can produce additional mucus.
If you’re constantly breathing in air pollution outside and dust and smoke while you’re inside, you can irritate your sensitive airways, causing them to swell more often and creating discomfort for you. If your asthma forces you to cough, then you’ll be breathing in even more polluted air with each deep inhale, only exacerbating your symptoms because you’re breathing in unhealthy air.
Improves Your Workouts
If you want to improve your physical health through exercise, you might want to consider your home air quality. Clean air can promote better athletic performance, which means that you can work out much easier and for longer because you’ll be breathing in clean air instead of dust and pollen that you’ve brought in with you from outside.
When you work out, your body requires more oxygen than it does when you’re sitting on the couch watching television, which means that you’ll be breathing more to pull in more air to give oxygen to your muscles. If you have low-quality air, breathing more often through exercise can increase your exposure to contaminants that can affect your health.
When you improve your indoor air quality, you’ll feel healthier, which can help you relax better when you need it the most. Poor air quality can affect your health, which can, in turn, negatively impact your mental health due to things like stress. Instead of adding more blankets to create a relaxing space, try improving the air you breathe.
Helps You Age Better
Part of being healthy is having healthy skin, which can help you look younger as you age. Constant exposure to toxins and free radicals in the air can cause your skin to become dehydrated and lose valuable collagen. With cleaner air, your skin will be more likely to retain elasticity as you age to prevent wrinkles. For example, if you notice the air getting dry in the winter, you may want to use a humidifier to bring purified air to an ideal level of moisture in the air, which can keep your skin healthy while making it easier to breathe.
Lowers Your Risk of Heart Disease
Many people don’t realize that your heart can be damaged by airborne contaminants in polluted air. Long-term exposure to air pollution may result in cardiovascular disease because air pollution can affect every organ in your body. Keeping the air in your home clean won’t completely eliminate this risk, but it can help you limit your exposure.
Improves Cognitive Health
Your brain needs oxygen to function properly, so if the air you breathe is contaminated, you could be putting your brain health at risk. Long-term exposure to air pollution can result in mental health issues and cognitive decline because your brain is taking in oxygen that’s filled with contaminants. While you have no control over the air outside, you can control the air in your home to help you prevent some of the cognitive issues associated with bringing in polluted air.
Air is necessary for the health of all living things, but only if that air is healthy enough to breathe. When air becomes polluted, it is no longer healthy and can negatively impact your body and mind. Even though you alone can’t stop air pollution outside, you can control how healthy your air is inside of your own home. The best thing that you can do to ensure your health, especially if you live in a place where air quality is a problem, is to invest in an air purifier that can help remove dust, allergens like pollen, mold, and bacteria from your home.
Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. He is currently a contributing editor for 365 Business Tips. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys the San Diego life, traveling and music.