Did you know that Americans spend most of their time indoors? And not just a small majority of their time either; they spend 90% of their time inside.
And that’s the average. The statistic is likely much higher for older adults, who typically are more housebound and who find it more challenging to get out.
Spending nearly all our time can’t be healthy, breathing in recycled air, with all its dust and mould; looking at the same, decades-old environment; navigating around the static, unchallenging setup of our living space. We need physical and visual stimulation to be healthy. We need to breathe.
6 health benefits of fresh air
Urmet Seepter, a lifestyle and health improvement specialist, outlines in his magazine Good Relaxation the following 6 ways fresh air benefits our health:
- Improve digestion
- Improve your blood pressure and heart rate
- Be happier
- Strengthen your immune system
- Clean your lungs
- More energy and sharper mind
How can I, as an older adult, get fresh air?
The short answer: get out more.
The important thing is to leave your home. Visit a nearby park. Walk around the block. Chat with your neighbours. Enjoy a cup of tea on the patio. Make a trip to a store nearby for a short errand. Tend a flower garden. Photograph nature.
And if you can’t get out on your own, talk to your caregiver about incorporating more outside time into your routine.
Getting outside not only gives you fresh air, it encourages you to move a little more, and added physical activity is a key to aging gracefully. Plus, a change of environment stimulates our senses, which helps keep our minds sharp.
Do you have ideas for getting fresh air? Let us know in the comments?