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How to Purify the Air in Your Home

How to Purify the Air in Your Home

Every homeowner wants to ensure that the air in their house is clean. Over the past few decades, our society has become more and more aware of the health problems caused by polluted air. We all know that allergens are a problem for some people, while chemicals and mold are problems for everyone.

Yet achieving air purity is not a simple task. Cleaning the air in older homes seems like a never-ending chore — and even new homes can have air quality problems.

Here are eight tips for purifying the air in your home.

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1. Get your ducts cleaned.

If your home uses forced air cooling and/or heating, the ducts should be cleaned at least once every year. Mold, pollen, dust, and debris build up over time, and unfortunately there’s no DIY way to get it out. So bite the bullet and call the professionals.

2. Invest in an air purifier.

These machines are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (and therefore doctors are cautious about recommending them), so it’s unclear to what degree their claims about reducing the levels of dirt and allergens in the air can be believed. However, they have definitely improved over the past 20 years and will have a positive impact on the air quality in your home (if used as instructed).

3. Choose home cleaning products with care.

Along with the pollutants that enter the home through the windows and doors, there are the pollutants that people carry into their homes and then release! Try to use cleaning products with natural ingredients and without harsh chemicals.

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4. Choose new flooring materials with care.

Another way that homeowners inadvertently introduce pollutants into their home is through the installation of new flooring (and other synthetic materials). Carpet, laminate, and tiles can all emit pollutants for a period of time after installation. Reduce such off-gassing by doing research before you buy flooring, by choosing a product that releases the smallest amount of harmful chemicals, and by ventilating well during and immediately after the installation.

5. Try wet dusting.

Keeping in mind that traditional dusting and sweeping propels dust and pollen into the air, consider “dusting” with a wet cloth and “sweeping” with a damp mop.

6. Clean old carpets well.

Old carpets can absorb and store dust, pollen, mold, and harmful chemicals. Ensure that they are cleaned regularly with a vacuum cleaner using a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate absorption) filter. If you choose to wet-clean old carpets, professional steam cleaning is the safest and most effective option.

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7. Clean curtains and drapes.

Curtains and drapes are no doubt what add to your home that final perfect touch of elegance, beauty and decoration and allow in the ideal amount of sunlight. They come to breathe life into a room as they complement the interior décor. However, Curtains and drapes mostly get dusty — very dusty, which means they need to be washed or cleaned on a regular basis. Although you can clean your drapes and curtains yourself at home, the best option remains to hire the services of a professional cleaner especially when it comes to those without a washing instruction label.

8. Monitor humidity levels.

In the bathroom and kitchen, ensure that the ventilation is adequate to eliminate excess humidity in a timely manner. On the other hand, if you use a humidifier to deal with dry indoor air, monitor the humidity with a hygrometer. Relative humidity levels of 30 percent to 50 percent are optimal. A level above 60 percent results in mold.

A variety of factors affect the quality of the air in your home. Therefore constant vigilance is required to maintain a healthy indoor environment. Every effort that you make is worthwhile, as cleaner indoor air results in fewer respiratory problems and a reduced need for medications.

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Featured photo credit: shutterstock via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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