Creating a Healthy Home

My resolution is get unhealthy. Said no one ever.

How can one improve their overall health?  That is what I wanna talk about today…improving our health factor by making some simple changes inside our home. I did a little research and found that among others there are some basic areas of health – physical, mental, spiritual and social. Those four areas can be greatly affected by our homes.  Anyone that has ever seen an episode of Hoarders Buried Alive knows that our home can actually cause us huge problems in all four areas. So that is on the agenda here…how to improve our health by improving our homes.

Diet & Exercise

Yo-yo. That would describe my weight over the last four years. Between two pregnancies I have gained and lost a lot of weight. But I do try to maintain a colorful plate of well portioned food and be active. That is consistent. I make small changes (like switching out butter for an olive oil spread) and realize that limitations are going to exist (I have a torn ligament in my knee right now that limits my high impact exercise so I make up for it with Pilates, lots of walking, swimming and dancing with Will!). There are a lot of other sites out there that can give you amazing advice on how to improve your diet and get in your steps each day.  Inside your home, you can create an area specifically that can be used for exercise….it can be as simple as a hallway with a chair.  And making a space for eating without distractions like the TV or sight of clutter can help cut down on mindless calorie intake or emotional eating.  Simple small changes within our home can make it easier to diet right (putting healthy snacks like fruit on the counter in a pretty bowl!) and get our burn on each day. 

Sleep

Being sleep deprived or not getting a regular amount of sleep each night can really take a toll. I become the Loch Ness monster without sleep…I don’t want to be seen, heard or talked to. Just leave me the heck alone. I’ve learned with little ones that sleeping when they do is absolutely necessary for my emotional health. And going to bed & waking up each morning at the same time (aka getting your body on a routine) gives me more energy for the day and actually allows me to get more done.  A few ways to improve your home to get the needed sleep is to get black out blinds for windows, make sure all your bedding is clean and odor free, get a thermastat that will ensure regular temperatures while you sleep and utilizing a bed side alarm. 

Stress Management

Most folks that know me up close and personal (hi mom!) know that I am not the best housekeeper in the world. I will be the first to admit that I have hoarder tendencies. Seriously who doesn’t want seventeen different types in their napkin ring arsenal?! But having more ‘stuff’ has been shown to hold us back and weigh us down. It creates anxiety because then we need to care, clean and store all that extra stuff. And it doesn’t allow us to really relax. One way to get away from it all is to put it in that donate pile or host one big yard sale.  Declutter.  Chances are that you will never miss it.  And gaining some stress relief is priceless.

Elimination of Toxins

Toxins are everywhere. Humans are disgusting. And the basic clean & maintain philosphy is huge when it comes to making a healthier home. Here’s some of my favorite tips….clean your mattress with a sprinkle of baking soda to get rid of dust mites. Wash pillows to get rid of bacteria, mold and smells.  Install and use a water filter.  Empty out the freezer and fridge and clean thoroughly. That box is a habitat for cross contamination.  Clean those bathrooms and kitchen sinks thoroughly.  Dust is a huge factor in any home. Dust thoroughly all items, walls and baseboards. Get those ceiling fans and have your ducts cleaned regularly. And change your air filters every three months.

And a little note on how to DIY smarter for a healthier home…

  • use low or no VOC paint
  • wear a mask and other protective gear especially when dealing with potentially toxic cleaners or tools
  • always check for radon or lead paint if your home is built before 1978.
  • donate unused materials and removed appliances and hardware from renovations to cut down on your home’s clutter
  • don’t operate power tools if you haven’t gotten enough rest
  • painting, building and general DIY work builds muscle and burns calories.  It’s a great workout!

(photo of an air filter we found in our other home after only three months!  Can you imagine breathing this in?)

This is a sponsored post brought to you by Filtrete Brand filters from 3M.  Filtrete Filters help create a healthy home and healthier indoor air by capturing airborne dust, allergens, bacteria, and viruses.  They are like the Ghostbusters of mold spores, pollen, pet dander, smog and smoke.  According to the EPA, the average person spends 90% of their life indoors…and they say that the indoors has levels of some pollutants that are 2-5X more than those levels outdoors.  We are sucking in a lot of junk.  Throw a few bucks each month toward a filter fund and create that healthier home you want!

p.s.  Filtrete is hosting a Healthy Homes Remodel Contest with Mike Holmes for a winner to receive a $30K prize (other first place prizes are there too! woot! woot!)  Go like them on Filtrete’s Facebook page to get complete details.

Comments

  1. says

    Well first off- you look great in pictures! I can’t even imagine how hard it is to get in shape AND have kiddos to care for. Your point about making the healthy items more available- healthy snacks nearby, a fitness zone in the home- really help!! Simply reorganizing my pantry and making a weekly menu have absolutely changed our eating habits…

    I feel totally silly sharing this but… I recently started blogging about my own health journey so I wanted to share. Hope that’s ok (haven’t done this before).. I check Bower Power daily! SeeStephRun

  2. Amy L. says

    Is that one of your modeling pics?!

    This post is timely. Trying to get back to eating well. Lost a good bit of baby weight last year and then put back on about 5 lbs. after my dad passed away in November. Emotional eater! Thanks for the nudge!

  3. Sarah says

    Just be mindful that if you’re cleaning your home to “remove toxins” like you suggest, you’re using natural cleaners instead of harmful… ahem, toxic… conventional cleaning products ;)

    I love our air purifiers, we have one in our bedroom and one in our main living space. Changing the filters is disgustingly satisfying.

    • says

      Oh yes – that is a good point! I’ve switched most of mine to greener supplies (not all but most)! I just snagged an old photo so I didn’t need to do additional uploading/photo editing just to make a point :)
      xo – kb

    • says

      I totally agree ! I started using vinegar for a most of my cleaning now, along with various other old-school things like baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

  4. Alicia says

    Awesome post! It’s great to hear someone talking about healthy living and mentioning more than just weight loss.

  5. Jenni says

    Out of curiosity-which ligament have you torn? I just had MPFL reconstruction and still recovering all with a 2 and half year old and 7 month old.

    • says

      I tore my ACL in college and had a alograft done…well, apparently there was fluid so it got stretched out…which is really bad for knee stability and I was playing indoor soccer again and it got torn a second time. I planned on having it fixed right before I found out I was pregnant with Will.
      xo – kb

  6. says

    Love, love, love! All great points. It is crazy what being a homeowner and a mother does to you body and mind. Of course, most of it is positive, but it is riddled with contradictions. To be great at one thing, others must suffer. Good luck trying to find a healthy balance all around!

  7. says

    Great post and suggestions! Im so grateful i was introduced to shaklee (number 1 natural nutrition company in the u.s) i switched all my cleaners to their non toxic green cleaners and i am saving money and they work better than any cleaners i have ever used! I had no idea until the past year how cleaners effect so many people …allergies, asthma, etc! I love knowing i can help eliminate some toxins for my daughter!

  8. Nicole says

    I love having reminders like these, I totally need to take care of some of those listed things. And now I also have the Outkast song “So Fresh and So Clean” in my head. So there’s that.

  9. says

    We are taking baby steps to healthier eating too. But instead of switching from butter to a spread, we went the other way around (in moderation. we mostly just use it for toast). The ingredients list on all spreads is a mile long and full of chemicals I can’t pronounce. Butter has two ingredients (if it’s salted). We’re giving up soda, and eliminating all artificial sugars (most are proven to cause cancer, among other problems, with long term use), and food dyes (red 40 is known to cause ADHD and emotional problems in children).

    Speaking on cleaners, Pinterest has given me lots of great recipes for DIY cleaners made from natural products you already have in your house! I switch from swiffer wet pads to homemade floor cleaner (this one: http://naturesnurtureblog.com/2012/04/19/homemade-floor-all-purpose-cleaner/ ) and my floors have never looked better. The swiffer solution never got all the dog tongue licks off.

  10. rachel says

    I love the part about having a healthier home by having some basic things we do regularly, like sleeping, eating well, etc. I find I’m the most unhealthy and the house and my spiritual life is in total disorder when I waffle from thing to thing without a general plan or goal for the day. Also, like you said in the laid off post, I find I get less things done when my husband is around. It’s like I’m waiting for him to do whatever is on my mind and when he doesn’t I get ticked. HA. Ah well. Good luck with the baby weight.

  11. Hope says

    Great post! Since you mentioned excersises, was Jeremy really doing yoga in those Instagram shots? Will had great form!!

  12. says

    i hear you about the stuff. i have so.much.stuff. and at times it really is overwhelming! Recently I started bagging up clothes to get rid of them, and instantly I felt better because there is no reason to keep all this excess around. They say your stuff starts to own YOU.

  13. Molly O. says

    Thanks for this post! I am running my pillows through the dryer and purging my closet right now!

    So grateful for you and your blog.

  14. Jennifer Wear says

    I recommend having your radon levels checked anyway, even if you have a newer home and especially if you live in a high radon area. We bought our house at auction, so no normal closing stuff like a radon test and I never thought a thing of it until I saw an article about young women who had never smoked being stricken with cancer due to radon in their homes.

    My house was built in 1995, but according to a map of the US we have really high radon levels in my area (the pacific northwest) so we ran two tests. One came back at 50 pCi/L and the other at 52 pCi/L!!! The EPA recommendation is no more than 4 pCi/L! I picked up the tests at Home Depot because I didn’t want a sales person to do it with an agenda in mind.

    I was a stay at home mom for several years, which means my kids and I were in the house all day everyday (it’s very cold here in the winter, so lots of time indoors) sucking up all that icky air. We had a radon system installed (about $2000 for our 4000 sq home) and we retested with four tests and we are now around 2 pCi/L. It was money well spent to protect my family.

    My advice is don’t just assume that because you have a newer home that you could be safe from radon.

  15. Angela R says

    Good post~
    We’ve been “cleaning up” around here because we recently found out our sweet two year old boy has celiacs and dairy allergies! Talk about a diet change! No more going out, processed foods or pasta/breads…. such a sad thing (although I have a secret stash of girl scout cookies for after bed time hehehe)

    I continue to love your blog and I have noticed how much extra you seem to be putting into it- it’s amazing how you do it with two little ones at home! Thanks for sharing your world with us!

  16. says

    Wow, that air filter is shocking. I’ve never seen one that bad personally and we have 1 cat and 1 little dog that produce a handful of hair that I swiffer up and sucks into the central vac daily. Pets create extra dust bunnies but its ok we love them too much. Soon I hope to remove all the carpet and that will make our home more healthy.

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