During this time of a global pandemic, fresh outdoor air is overlooked and under-estimated for the benefits it can offer in helping to support immune-system health.
Unfortunately, it has become increasingly easy to isolate indoors (even before COVID-19), in environments with stale, vitiated air. This practice can be detrimental for not only physical health but mental health as well. The air in many homes can become hazardous because of several factors, such as cooking odors, pet dander, tobacco smoke, furniture odors, fireplace/wood stove emissions, carbon dioxide and more. Unless buildings (homes, work places, etc.) are well ventilated they may lead to a host of ill effects, including fatigue, headaches, allergies, poor immune response, and recurring colds and flu.
For decades numerous studies have highlighted the health benefits of fresh air. Negatively charged air is the best for good health. This type of health-promoting air is most available around evergreen trees and forests, during lightening flashes, and any location with moving water, such as rain, waterfalls, beaches, etc.
Prior to antibiotics becoming available, open-air therapy was the standard of treatment for tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. Patients were nursed either by placing them near open windows or wheeling their beds outdoors. This type of therapy was also widely used during the First World War; and during the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic.•
With this in mind, the use of fresh air may still prove to be effective in our day. Something as simple as airing out your home and regularly getting plenty of fresh air can be very beneficial as you seek to stay healthy in this tentative climate. Here are some of the benefits of getting fresh air:
- It helps to clear your lungs
- It can give you energy and mental focus
- Improves digestion
- Better stress management
- Helps you heal faster
- Boosts immune system
- Helps to improve blood pressure and heart rate
- Helps kill germs and increases cellular resistance to infection.
If you desire to improve your health in any of these areas, here are some helpful suggestions:
- Crack windows open even in the winter – there should be a constant influx of fresh air coming into your home.
- Get house plants – these will help to purify the air.
- Do deep breathing exercises outside – this helps to clear lungs
- Go for a daily walk – this helps with overall health
- Open your bedroom window for fresh air while sleeping – this will improve your quality of sleep and help you to wake up feeling more refreshed. Be sure to skip the late meal.
Sometimes it is hard to believe that some of the simplest things can be the most helpful. So remember — open your windows, spend more time outside, and breathe!
*Hobday, R.A., 2019, ‘The open-air factor and infection control’, Journal of Hospital Infection, vol. 103, pp. 23-24.