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Top 10 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Top 10 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Since most of us spend close to 90% of our entire lives indoors, it’s vitally important to ensure that our living spaces have proper air quality. People often take various precautions to protect themselves from the air pollution that exists outside, but little do they know that the air inside of their homes can be equally harmful.

From contributing to multiple health issues including asthma, allergies, headaches, and respiratory infections, to making breathing difficult, poor indoor air quality can cause a lot of harm. In extreme cases, it may even be a cause of lung cancer among individuals of all ages.

It is for these reasons that you must know how to beat indoor air pollution and keep yourself and your family safe from adverse health effects.

Even though installing an Air Purifier Humidifier Combo may be the best bet for all-around indoor safety, improving air quality without it is not impossible. The best way to avoid dirty air inside of your house is often to control the source. Keep on reading for our top 10 tips on how to improve indoor air quality.

1. Clean out the air vents and grills

Since air circulates throughout a building via its air vents and grills, it is necessary to keep the vents and grills free from all obstructions. If these areas are blocked, the air inside your house can become stagnant, with excessive levels of air pollutants caused by poor ventilation.

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Blocked grills may also put the mechanical systems of your home under strain, which may potentially lead to costly repairs and result in higher electricity bills.

2. Avoid smoking indoors

Cigarettes contain literally thousands of chemicals, including carcinogens that can really wreak havoc on the health of those who breathe the contaminated air. Tobacco smoke causes health damage not only to the smoker but also to those who passively inhale the lingering smoke.

So, it’s best that you do not smoke or let anyone smoke inside of the house. This will prevent your family from being exposed to secondhand smoke, which is detrimental to everyone.

3. Dispose of garbage properly

Never forget the importance of disposing of trash properly, as trash can contribute to a deteriorating of air quality in the indoor space. Certain decaying food products disperse mold and various other contaminants that are harmful to the air.

These chemical products release dangerous agents that can be hazardous when either inhaled or ingested. So, it’s best that you maintain a practice of disposing of all trash properly and removing it from your home in order to maintain good air quality.

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4. Clean regularly

Dust, sanitize, and vacuum frequently to control bacteria, dust, animal dander, and other contaminants in enclosed areas. It’s best to use non-toxic cleaning products derived from all-natural ingredients to minimize your exposure to volatile organic compounds. Also, avoid air fresheners as much as possible, because many of the brands are not completely safe.

If you’re a fan of scented candles, make a point of only using all-natural soy or beeswax candles instead of those made of paraffin wax.

5. Avoid using VOC products

VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are present in many household products, such as nail polish remover, pump hair sprays, and dry cleaning substances. Since these products contaminate indoor air, it’s in your best interest to stay away from beauty products that contain these harsh chemicals.

For dry cleaning, always look for businesses that follow an eco-friendly model and use non-toxic substances for cleaning.

6. Use hypoallergenic bedding

Hypoallergenic bedding materials are comprised of all-natural fibers that drastically reduce your exposure to allergens and dust mites. Since hypoallergenic bedding contains a higher thread count, it is better at blocking allergens that would have otherwise contaminated the indoor air.

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The best choices that you can look at are natural cotton dust mite covers, cotton mattress pads, and comforters made of wool or silk. Also, be sure to routinely wash the bedding on the hottest setting in your washer and dryer. That ought to make sure that any trapped germs are gone for good.

7. Use air cleaning systems

One of the best ways to maintain the purity of indoor air is by installing an air purifier. High-quality HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) cleaners are able to filter out up to 99.97% of airborne particles such as pollen. Other purifiers based on ultraviolet light, electrostatic precipitator, activated carbon, etc. work only passively, unlike HEPA filters.

Look for a HEPA system that comes with the prefix of “True” tag, which implies the product to be certified in its category.

8. Bring in houseplants

What can possibly be a better way to maintain the purity of interior air than by having houseplants inside? Plants like Areca and bamboo palms have excellent properties that detoxify air and keep you breathing fresh air all day long. However, be sure to check that the houseplants are non-toxic if you’ve got pets at home.

These plants not only help purify the air, but also add some much-needed beauty in the interior of a home. Having one plant for every 100 feet is the best way to keep the environment fresh and the interior looking aesthetic.

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9. Do not idle cars

Don’t let your vehicles sit idle in an attached garage or even in the outside area, as they will be releasing toxic exhaust the whole time. It is also essential not to let lawnmowers or other fuel-based engines run inside of the garage if it is attached to your house. Always turn the keys and switch off the vehicle before you leave, regardless of the length of time you’ll be gone.

10. Beware of toxic building materials

Materials such as carpet pads, engineered wood, and others that contain toxic vapors or formaldehyde should be avoided.

Insisted of toxic substances, go for bamboo and solid wood products as well as woolen carpets that contain lower levels of VOCs. You may also use a non-toxic variety of paints marked as “non-VOC” paint.

And that’s all folks! These are the 10 most crucial steps that you can take to ensure that the air inside of your home remains fresh for breathing. After all, the home is where the heart is, and so we must keep it safe.

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Tanvir Zafar

Software Engineer at GCUF

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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