We live in a time when many of us are working hard to change the way we eat, work and sleep, all in the name of a healthy lifestyle.
Many times the first thing individuals change is activity levels, next they change diets, then sleeping and working habits. As a last resort, we look at our home environment.
This is all backwards.
Really, you should be paying attention the environment that you live in FIRST. I’ve heard it said that in a way, our home and other environments are like a second skin for our bodies.
How exactly does a healthy home environment support a healthy body and promote a healthy lifestyle?
We know from research that a healthy living environment is the building block for a healthy life. You wouldn’t expect an apple to stay fresh and edible if you stored it in a dirty, wet box filled with bugs and worms, would you?
A healthy house promotes a healthy body in many different areas.
When the indoor air quality at home is high, your lungs are thriving in a healthy environment as well. We spend between 80 and 90 percent of time INDOORS. That’s a scary statistic when you consider most of the air you breathe indoors isn’t properly vented or diluted with fresh outdoor air.
The more your lungs are subjected to toxins, both organic and inorganic, the more likely it is that those toxins will embed themselves into your lung tissue. Once something like a mold spore is embedded inside body tissue, you will start to notice the effects of your body reacting to this foreign invader.
When your lungs are healthy and free from toxins, they function at a higher level. When your lungs are in working order, you are free to exercise and stay active as your body was meant to. When you’re active and moving, you are not only in better shape, but generally happier and more able to cope with stressful situations.
One of the earlier signs of exposure to toxins and black mold is fatigue. And, for those who are constantly living in an unhealthy environment, this can oftentimes turn into chronic fatigue.
The research that has been done on this connection shows that once VOCs, toxic mold spores and indoor allergens continuously bombard your body, your central nervous system and frontal cortex of your brain can become affected, resulting in chronic fatigue.
When there’s a serious zap in energy from chronic fatigue, the level of healthy living decreases. Most people who suffer from this don’t have the energy to exercise or eat properly, which means their physical health declines. It also means they don’t have the energy to take care of themselves mentally or spiritually, which leads to a decrease in general sense of well-being, leaving a very unhealthy body, mind and spirit.
Your respiratory systems provide the natural filters your body requires to keep you safe from allergens and toxins. This is why your body’s natural recourse of action against viruses is the common cold. When your respiratory system is suffering from allergic-like responses, you don’t feel good. All of us are familiar with the feeling of a stuffy nose, itchy throat and a cough.
When your body is constantly in contact with the toxins of an unhealthy house, the respiratory system will be the first to feel it. The way you feel it is with those cold and allergy symptoms listed above.
If your home is free from toxins like VOCs from paints, carpets and pressed wood products as well as free from black mold, your respiratory system is allowed to function as normal. You will feel no ill effects of allergies or cold viruses. You can breathe normally and increase your activity levels to lead a healthier life.
When your body is constantly exposed to toxins, it has no choice but to hold on to some of them. Your joints have a large capacity to do just this. Many people who have been exposed to toxic mold for a long period of time or those who have been living in an environment with high amounts of VOCs will oftentimes complain of joint pain and stiffness.
Truth be told, if your joints are in pain and you’ve got aches and stiffness, the last thing you want to do is move your body. Most people will want to rest their bodies and stay sedentary. As you can see, the joint pain is just the beginning of an unhealthy lifestyle. But, by avoiding an unhealthy living environment filled with toxins or toxic mold, your physical well-being won’t be put at risk.
A study done by Brown University linked toxic mold to an inflammation within the frontal cortex of the brain that causes clinical depression. There have also been other psychologists who have been speaking out on the effect unhealthy living environments have on mental health.
The toxins you breathe in will eventually enter your bloodstream. When this happens, it is only a matter of time before your nervous system is becoming affected by these toxins as well. This is especially true of an organic toxin such as mold.
Eventually these effects trickle down to the brain. Once your mental well-being is impacted, it becomes difficult to overcome the problem or detect that the solution is to improve the health of the home environment.
We only have one life here, and of course we all want it to be as enjoyable and purposeful as possible. By creating a healthy home environment, you can give yourself and your loved ones that building block for a healthy, happy life.