There would appear to be no realm in the health and fitness world than what to put in our bodies. We argue constantly over this and that. Raw food vs. cooked food. Organic? Well you should be low-carb or high-carb or low-fat or high protein. You get the idea. After having done a tremendous amount of research and experimenting personally, I can only say 3 things for certain.
1. There are different diets that result in people improving their health. What might work for me might not work for you.
2. Don’t get locked into dietary dogmas. Your body is always changing. Every year, every season, every activity. You will probably need more fat and protein after doing some hard strength training
3. Everyone should eat a “whole-foods” diet. This removes processed and packaged foods and focuses on things like fruits, vegetables, nuts, roots, good quality meats and fats.
That said, on to the point of this post. Oxygen.
How many people do you see arguing or being picky over the quality or quantity of the air they breath? Now I don’t know the exact science, but I do know that if you stop breathing you will die in a matter of minutes. If you stop drinking water, you will die in a few days. Most people can go quite awhile (although not pleasantly) without food for quite awhile. This is somewhat common sense. Wouldn’t it make sense to do things in that order first? Many people are living in moldy homes or have poor indoor air circulation. If you live in a city I’m sorry. The air around you is just dirty. The best thing i think you can do is to get an indoor air purifier and make sure you breath well when your home. So i think we need to stop overanalyzing what we are putting into our bodies at any given moment. I think air deserves a little higher seat on the wagon. Having a fresh supply of high quality oxygen is probably one of the best things you can do to improve your health. And it’s free! You can’t get much better. So how do we increase this valuable resource?
1. Unless you live in a super-congested city, try to keep your windows open much of the time. Especially windows on opposite sides of the house/apartment. This will cross-ventilate your entire space. Just this one tip can dramatically increase your air quality. Even in the winter, open them up at least 5-10 minutes twice a day. Trust me, a little extra on the heating bill is worth your health.
2. Get in the habit of breathing deeper. Most people are stressed from work, kids, and life in general. We are on edge. We don’t “breathe easy” as it were. Sometimes just taking a few really deep breaths can relax you and put you in a better space. There are also different deep breathing practices that can greatly improve your lung capacity.
3. Exercise Outdoors (unless in clogged cities). I know the gyms with the fancy equipment may look appealing but your body would much prefer that you were outside sucking in quality fresh air and getting some sun on your skin.
I think in the health world things can become a little unbalanced. People fanaticize about what they eat but pay little attention to what they breath, the water they drink, or the thoughts they think. All of these can dramatically affect your health just as much as what you are eating. So lets become a little more balanced here and start giving equal stead to ALL factors so that we can become happier, healthier, and more balanced as individuals.