10 Tips for a Healthy Home
Taking care of your lifelong home (your body) requires an ‘as above so below’ approach. The environment that we spend much of our time is will have a huge impact on our mental and physical health. These 10 tips for a healthy home will cover a wide range of ways to optimize your living space and promote wellbeing
1. Drink (and Bathe) in Clean Water
Although city tap water is considered safe according to government regulations, it contains an array of chemicals to treat it that actually can be quite harmful to your body over time. Additives like chlorine help kill the bad bacteria that may make its way into the town water supply, but unfortunately, chlorine also kills good bacteria. Since our body’s health depends heavily on the health of our microbiome, consuming chlorine daily by drinking and bathing in tap water is no good. [1, 2]
Ideally, you want to be consuming spring water, which comes from nature and was never treated with chemicals to purify it. Many larger towns offer home delivery service for spring water if this is within your budget or made a priority. Shower filters can be purchased online for fairly cheap.
Another option is to get a whole-house reverse osmosis filter installed for your home. Reverse osmosis uses the city tap water and puts it through a rigorous filtration. Although it strips the water completely of all bad and good elements (like minerals), many filters remineralize the water. You can also add minerals to your drinking water after the fact.
2. Keep it Clean
Keeping your home clean is important, even if nobody is coming over to visit. Having a clean home space is great for mental health, and promotes sensations of relaxation and general promotion of wellbeing.  With all the stress of the modern world, it is important to have a haven that feels safe, clean, and cozy.
Studies suggest that a chaotic home can increase cortisol (the stress response hormone).  No matter how small your space is, having it organized is a reflection of self-care and self-respect. The study even notes that the act of cleaning itself can be beneficial to mental health, decreasing stress, and anxiety by about 20%.
3. Use Low VOC Paints
Volatile organic compounds (or VOCs) are the solvents that get released into the air as the paint dries. VOCs are extremely harmful to human health because airborne ingredients like formaldehyde, benzene, and acetone, make their way into your lungs, promoting an array of side effects ranging from immune suppression and asthma to endocrine disruptions.  Chronic exposure to VOCs can lead to long-term damage to your nervous system, kidneys, and liver. 
Not all paints contain high degrees of these volatile compounds, and some contain none at all. By asking at your local paint store, or reading the information before you buy online, opting for a low VOC or no VOC paint is a step towards a healthier home.
4. Natural Light
Light plays a crucial role in regulating our circadian rhythm. This internal biological clock called our circadian rhythm is responsible for a wide range of functions, including the triggering of sleep/ wake hormones.
When we expose our bodies (and especially our eyes) to artificial light that has a high concentration of the blue light spectrum, it actually tricks the body into thinking that it’s daytime. In doing so, our body holds off on the release of melatonin, a crucial sleep hormone that induces a deep, restful, and restorative sleep. Furthermore, artificial light comes with a flicker, that is unnoticeable to the naked eye but causes low levels of chronic stress on the autonomic nervous system. 
Opting for more natural light sources (windows, skylights) for daytime use can remove the impact of flicker stress. Avoiding artificial blue light can be done by opting for softer light, like incandescent lightbulbs, red bulbs, a pink salt lamp, or candles. This switch to natural light is especially important after sundown to promote deeper sleep. Blue light blocking glasses are another great way to get the best of both worlds, as they help filter out the blue spectrum of artificial light. 
5. Keep the Air Clean
Reducing the volatile organic compounds in your home starts by reducing the exposure to these compounds, found in things like toxic paint, artificial rugs, and furniture. But these days, VOCs are almost non-avoidable, since toxins are being gassed off by essentially everything, from plastic electronics to building materials.
Two great ways to ensure the air inside your house stays clean is to use plants and an air purifier. Plants that help promote air purification include Devil's Ivy, Peace Lily Dwarf Date Palm, Spider Plant, Boston Fern, and Chrysanthemums.  The more, the better!
For indoor air purifiers, invest in a high-efficiency particulate air filter (known as HEPA filters). HEPA filters actually trap pollutants including dust mites, pollen, pet dander, and tobacco smoke, by forcing them through a fine mesh. 
6. Grow Some Food
Growing food is one of the most radical acts of rebellion you can do to empower your family. Whether you have acres of land or no backyard at all, there is always a way to grow at least something for your family to eat.
Start with a simple window-bench herb garden. Pick 3 of your favorite herbs, and simply grow a little window-side garden that requires very minimal maintenance or skill. If you have more space, consider taking a local gardening course to know which plants are most suited to your climate and some basic skills to ensure your garden flourishes. Many cities have community gardens, as well!
7. Avoid Mold
Household mold is one of the most insidious ways that your home can become a genuine health hazard. Mold forms due to dampness and the airborne spores (known as mycotoxins) that are released as a result can cause various health issues including allergies, suppressed immune system, damage of lungs, and even DNA damage. 
You want to prevent mold as much as possible before it becomes an issue because once spores are present, they can never be completely eradicated. Visible mold is generally like the tip of the iceberg because many places mold grows initially is hidden (behind the drywall, under the floorboards, or above the ceiling tiles).
Avoiding mold is predominantly a moisture control issue. Having too much moisture in the house promotes the kind of environment that mold thrives in. If you live in a humid environment, keeping airflow in the house and invest in a dehumidifier. This is particularly important in high-moisture rooms like bathroom, kitchen, laundry room. Water leaks are a major cause of devastating mold problems, so ensuring that your plumbing is inline is very important.
If you do find yourself in a moldy home, act swiftly. Vinegar is one of the best solutions to remove mold, using an 80% white vinegar to 20% water (or hydrogen peroxide) solution. Be mindful of properly rinsing off your brush before every application, as to not recontaminate the surface with mold spores. There is an array of essential oils that can be added to the mix for an even more potent mold killer, including tea tree. Again, note that humidity or leaks must be addressed as well so that the mold will not return.
8. Get Rid of Dust Mites
Dust mites are microscopic creates that resemble small bugs. They are the source of an array of unfavorable health symptoms including skin rashes and allergies. The symptoms (that include runny nose, postnasal drip, congestion, sneezing, and itchy/ red eyes and throat) are caused by inflammation of the nasal passage. 
Getting rid of dust mites is fairly straight forward: avoid the collection of dust. Vacuum rugs, carpet, and upholstery furniture at least once a week. Wash sheets, blankets, comforters, and plush animals once a week in hot water. For larger items that aren’t conveniently washed once a week, dust mites can also be killed off by throwing the lot into the drier once a week. Ensure you properly empty out vacuum bags after each use.
9. Lower Exposure to Artificial EMFs
Electromagnetic frequencies or field (EMFs) are the forces that quite literally make the world go round. Natural EMFs are emitted by the sun and the earth, but artificial ones were introduced with the advent of electricity. Items like radios, lightbulbs, WiFi, toasters, microwaves, and cell phones emit these non-native EMFs that interfere with our natural human frequencies.
Humans have magnetic fields that emit from the heart and brain, and an array of functions (including mitochondrial activity) operates with electrical energy. Keeping artificial EMF exposure down inside the home is paramount, especially when it comes to promoting deep sleep. [12-14]
10. Enable Movement
Although the benefits of exercise are well understood, many people who exercise daily are still considered sedentary. Working out in the gym or playing a sport, even daily, can still qualify for a sedentary lifestyle if you spend the majority of the other 23 hours of the day sitting or laying down.
Enabling a movement-friendly home is a fantastic way to keep your body moving, and mobile, naturally. A few ways include having lower to the ground beds, which promotes a larger range of motion getting in and out of bed daily. Consider sitting around a coffee table, on the floor, instead of the upright in a chair. Standing desks are a great option too but remember: too much standing also creates stagnancy. Placing the bowls and plates in lower cabinets instead of at eye level is another great way to regularly promote more natural ranges of motion.
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