Over the past few weeks I have been writing about how to stay healthy naturally. I wrote about going outside for natural sunlight because it is the best light for us to see by, provides natural warmth, and helps the body produce things like vitamin D. Next I wrote about the importance of clean water. After all, your body is 70% to 85% water. This post is about why fresh air is good for you.
I said last time that I’m following the basic elements. I already wrote about fire (sun) and water. This time is about air. Most people don’t think too much about the air they breathe, unless they have trouble breathing it. Asthma and some allergy sufferers think much more about the air they breathe. Whether you have trouble breathing or not, the air you breathe is very important. By the time we’re done you should understand why fresh air is good for you.
Why do we need to breathe fresh air?
Why Fresh Air is Good for You
I keep my windows open as much as possible throughout the year, both at home and in the car when I drive. I’m lucky that I live in the south close to the mountains, so the winters aren’t terribly cold and the summers aren’t terribly hot. I can get outside and get plenty of fresh air year round.
I know a lot of people aren’t so lucky. My parents live a little farther south and at a lower elevation and their outside temperatures during the summer often exceed 100°F. There is no way that they are going to open their windows during the summer.
If you work in a high-rise building you don’t even have the option to open a window no matter what the temperature is outside. You have to take what the building’s HVAC gives you.
Why Do We Need to Breathe Fresh Air
Fresh air is produced by plants, especially trees. They breathe in carbon dioxide (our exhaust) and any other pollutants in the air and breathe out oxygen (their exhaust) and produce negative ions.
I don’t think I need to spend much time on your need for oxygen. Your cells use it to burn fuel to produce energy for movement.
You might not know about the benefits of negative ions though. They help you to relax and feel energized. Most people would agree that they feel better when they are relaxing out in a forest or near a waterfall. That’s because those areas are rich in negative ions, and you’re breathing them in.
I think one of the reasons that fresh air is good for you is that it contains trace amounts of pollutants, like bacteria and viruses. Breathing in natural air is like getting a natural immunization.
When you get a shot, you get a small amount of a virus so that your body can build immunity to it. When you get it in fresh air instead, you still get the same small amount of virus or bacteria to build immunity, but you don’t get all of the potentially toxic chemicals that come with the vaccine.
Why is Fresh Air Good for Your Brain
Want to know why fresh air is good for you? How about because your brain needs a steady supply of oxygen to function. Oxygen deprivation has a major impact on your ability to think straight and function.
Here’s a good statistic for you. Your brain makes up about 2% of your body weight, but takes up about 20% of your oxygen supply.
Lack of oxygen to the brain can cause (according to SpinalCord.com):
- Changes in your heart rate as it tries to get more oxygen to your brain.
- Decreased circulation to hands and feet as it focuses on getting oxygen to the brain.
- Parts of the body turn blue, again focusing on getting oxygen to the brain
- Fainting, seeing spots, inability to think clearly
- Decreased judgement or awareness
- Inability to follow directions or complete complex tasks
I guarantee that if you can get out to a natural setting, you will feel more awake and smarter than you do cooped up inside in a stuffy office with no outside air.
Which Air Filter is Best
Not everyone lives where they can keep their windows open as much as I can, and most office buildings don’t have windows that open, so fresh air isn’t always easy to come by. You still need clean air to breathe because you still have to live and think.
Air obviously still gets inside so that you can breathe. The problem is that indoor air doesn’t exchange adequately with outdoor air, so indoor air pollutants become more and more concentrated over time until the air becomes toxic.
The most obvious result is asthma problems.
You need a good air filter to keep your indoor air clean, but which air filter is best?
The best air filters have multiple stages of filtration to get rid of particles, smoke and odors. They also have some form of technology to kill viruses and bacteria to help you stay healthy.
Be Wary of Negative Ion Generators
The very best air filters also generate clean negative ions to get you closer to the benefits of breathing fresh air. There are a lot of air filters that claim to give you negative ions, but very few can give you clean negative ions. Most generate ozone as a by-product and then try to convince that the ozone has benefits too. Ozone is a pollutant and will irritate your lungs, especially if you have asthma.
Nikken, the company that I affiliate with, used to have a great air filter that had multiple filtration stages and produced clean negative ions, but it is no longer available. They understand why fresh air is good for you, but it’s a challenge to produce an air filter with the best technologies and keep it inexpensive enough to compete with the less expensive (and less effective) units on the market. If I were to buy a new air filter today I would consider this one on Amazon (affiliate link).
Which Air Filter is Best for Allergies
People with asthma and allergies are most interested in a good air filter. Fortunately, filtering out pollen and other things that cause most of the problems for people with asthma and allergies is pretty easy. The one that I linked to on Amazon above should work well. The key is to make sure that you don’t get one that generates ozone. That could pose a serious issue.
Do You See Why Fresh Air is Good for You?
My point through all of these posts is that nature is good for us. As a race, we started out living out in nature and that is our natural environment. Our challenges come when we separate ourselves from nature.
The best air for us to breathe is fresh air from outdoors. You need to be more careful if you live in a city where people have polluted the air too heavily. You also have to be more careful indoors where normal household pollutants can concentrate if the air isn’t adequately exchanged with clean air from outside.
How About You?
Do you get plenty of clean, fresh air, or at least filter the air you breathe indoors? Share what you do in a comment below, and please share this post with your followers on social media. Thanks for reading.