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.
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.
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.