What can we do during this time of social distancing to ensure that our homes are a safe, healthy environment in which to work, learn, and play?
Let’s take a look at a few practical, but important tips that are easy to implement and can make a huge difference in the toxin/germ level inside your home.
- Take your shoes off before entering your home.
This is a free and simple way to help keep all sorts of nasty things from getting into your living space. Besides the obvious dog poop and dirt being tracked through your home, everything from heavy metals and herbicides are hitching a ride as well and can build up and cause mild to major health concerns. One specific study conducted at The University of Arizona found alarming levels of bacteria including E.coli, meningitis, and diarrheal disease, among others on new shoes after a two week time period (1). The study also found that washing shoes in regular detergent in the washing machine helped to remove most of the contaminants. Bottom line: Take your shoes off before walking into your home!
- Pick up some plants. The quality of the indoor air you’re breathing makes a big difference in your overall health. Instead of using things like scented candles, air fresheners, fragrant hairsprays, and cookware like Teflon coated pans, opt for using essential oil diffusers, non-fragrant beauty products, and stainless steel/cast iron for cooking. To help filter the air, pick up some plants that can help to minimize the effect of poor air quality. Some of my favorite (and most effective air-purifying plants) are spider plants, bamboo palm, devil’s ivy, and snake plants.
- Open your windows (even on chilly days). Get the air circulating in your home to help your body acclimate to the season and to help break up a stagnant space, which can impact mood and productivity. Even just a small window open in one room of the house (like a small bathroom) can have dramatic effects on the air circulation in the whole house.
- Get a standing desk. If you’re working from home, try to switch up your space so that you aren’t sitting all day long, which can have negative impacts on cardiovascular health, posture, and joint health. Sitting all day can also make us feel tired and lethargic so pick up a standing desk or a laptop stand. If you need to sit at your desk, try sitting on a balance ball chair or a wobble stool (which will help posture and encourage you to engage your abs) while working.
- Drink high quality water. 1 in 4 people in the United States (77 million Americans) are drinking contaminated water with heavy amounts of pharmaceuticals and chemicals. Because of plastics and BPA exposure, bottled water is not the answer, either. One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to filter your water with a purification system. There’s no one perfect water filtering system because of the diversity of water toxins in different parts of the country, but at the least look for a system that removes arsenic, fluoride, radioactivity, chromium, lead, and perchlorate (a propellant in rocket fuel showing up in drinking water). One of my favorite resources for all things regarding water is: https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/ Check this website out for more info!