When it comes to health, do you think about your home?
If you've been a reader for a while, you should know the basics of staying healthy.
- Exercise more
- Eat more fruits & vegetables
- Get more sleep
- Lose a few pounds
Those are all important parts of your health journey. But there's an overlooked key to good health. One that can make a real difference in whether you live a long, vibrant life, or one in poor health.
I'm talking about your home.
Most people spend 50-75% of their day in their homes. And if your home's air isn't clean, or your water is full of toxins, your health will suffer.
A walk around your home will ferret out some of the hazards, and help keep you healthy and safe…
Some of these are reminders – I'm sure you're doing them already. At least, I hope you are…
Let's start in the bathroom.
You probably know the dangers of drinking unfiltered water. But do you know what happens when you shower in it?
In a quick 10-minute shower, you'll absorb up to 8 glasses of water through your skin. So while you lather up? All that chlorine used to disinfect your water goes right into your bloodstream.
All in all, you're absorbing 6 times more chlorine per glass in the shower than if you drank it in the kitchen.
Chlorine in your shower water can irritate your eyes, lungs, sinuses, throat and skin. It makes you age faster, by creating dangerous free radicals. It's bad for your arteries.
And, it challenges your immune system. Even if you're filtering your drinking water, as much as 2/3 of your chlorine exposure comes not from drinking it, but from bathing in it.
The best thing to do is to attach a filter to your shower. That way, you're not soaking in all those dangerous chemicals.
Next, let's head to the kitchen…
Do you have a working fire extinguisher on hand?
Even the most experienced chefs need to prepare for accidents.
A fire extinguisher is one of the quickest & easiest ways to avert disaster in the kitchen.
Now, if your home has a basement, let's head downstairs…
Basements are notoriously damp because water can seep through your foundation.
And where there's moisture, there is often mold and mildew.
That's where a dehumidifier can help.
Adding a dehumidifier to your basement can help take excessive moisture out of the air. So your basement doesn't become a musty-smelling breeding ground for mold.
If your furnace is in your basement, check its filter while you're down there. You should change your furnace's filter every 3 months. That helps keep your home's air free of pollutants and other irritants.
The last stop of the home health check-up is your bedroom. And more importantly, the air all around it.
Replace the batteries in your home's smoke detectors, even if the battery light isn't blinking. Or, God forbid, that incessant chirp that typically starts around 2 a.m.
I don't know about you, but sometimes it takes me just as long to find the right detector as it does to change the battery!
You should also be sure you have enough smoke detectors installed in the first place.
Every bedroom should have a working smoke detector. And each level of your home should have at least one too.
Detecting smoke is essential. Just as important is ensuring your home's air is free of poisonous carbon monoxide and radon.
Carbon monoxide is dangerous. It's colorless, odorless & can enter your home through any faulty appliance. Something like a gas stove, furnace or even a poorly-vented fireplace.
At best, carbon monoxide can cause headaches, shortness of breath, tiredness & nausea. But when you breathe in large amounts? It can be fatal.
If you don't already have one, install a carbon monoxide detector now. I recommend putting it in the hall outside the sleeping area of your house. (Most modern smoke detectors will do both.)
And then there's radon. Like carbon monoxide, it's also colorless and odorless. But it can be much more deadly, especially in a home with less space.
According to the EPA, radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer. It's also the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.
This gas can seep into your home through cracks in your walls and floors. And since you can't see it, the only way to know it's there is testing for it.
Most hardware stores sell at-home radon testing kits. I strongly suggest you pick one up.
And if you need new batteries for your smoke alarm, I would suggest these USB-Rechargeable Batteries. Unlike the "bunny with a backpack," these batteries recharge up to 500 times. So you can save a fortune on batteries.
And you won't have to scour the junk drawer for a good battery when the smoke alarm dies at 3 in the morning.
When's the last time you did a home "checkup?" Make a point to do one this week…