Indoor vs Outdoor Air

Hey guys – Happy New Year! I can’t believe it’s 2018 already, yet, at the same time, I’m so glad we’re moving on from 2017. I’ve been MIA just a bit thanks to the wonderful sicknesses of winter, including hand foot and mouth disease, some sort of horrible stomach bug, and course your good ol’ fashioned  cold (which I seem to contract every year without fail)! My wish for the New Year is for good health, for everyone but especially for myself and my family, as we have a lot of things ahead of us moving forward!

Hopefully, now that things have calmed down a bit following the chaos of the holidays, you’ve caught up on some sleep, or maybe you’re like me and fall asleep around 9pm every night! #momlife.

Whether you’ve got older kids who are still on winter vacation, or you still have some time off to spend with the family, don’t forget to get outside and enjoy our beautiful outdoors and all the winter months have to offer. In Colorado, it sure feels like the dead of winter with snow on the ground, minimal daylight and freezing temperatures. But that’s no reason to stay inside, as fresh air is highly underrated this time of year.

I recently hosted a “Good Generation” party (which is not sponsoring this post, but I found a lot of the information SO helpful and surprising), and it gave me plenty of “tips” and tidbits of information regarding common areas of misconception, and how to integrate a healthier lifestyle around the house. With the new year upon us and plenty of resolutions involving health and better habits, I thought I’d include my own post about how to start simple and embark on an easily attainable goal for the year ahead.



I’ve never been one to make a goal of losing weight at the start of the year, and actually I’m probably your worst advice giver in that field anyway, as I’m trying to gain weight. Actually – I did lose about 7% of my body weight recently, but I wouldn’t recommend my method. >>Hint: It’s called getting sick, to the point where you literally can’t stop vomiting and feel like death. It’s mostly water weight anyway, but it was nasty and I don’t wish it upon my most loathed enemy, but I digress. So while you may have your own weight related goals, also think about you and your family’s overall health in the home. Something that is easy to change, but yet you may not even realize how it could be negatively affecting your health! What am I talking about? Read on…

One of the tips that stood out to me the most was that outdoor air is actually cleaner than indoor air! Say what?! We live in an apartment near a semi-major road, where cars and trucks and motorcycles spewing diesel fumes and other nasty stuff drive by constantly. I always thought the pollution from cars and everyday life would be worse outside, but that’s actually NOT the case. So while it’s sub-freezing weather outdoors, I’m not inclined to keep a window open (and jack up my energy bill). Instead, I find it that much more important to make sure we bundle up and get outside at least once a day.

Think about how much time YOU spend indoors, especially in the winter. Research suggests we spend about 90% of our time inside – especially kids! That’s a lot of exposure when indoor air is more harmful than outdoor air. The EPA estimates that indoor air can be 2-5x more toxic than outdoor air, and even worse in certain regions of the country i.e. LA or China. That’s crazy!! No matter how “clean” you think your household is, there are sources of pollution in ALL of our homes. Some of the common ones include cooking (yes, that’s right – cooking), household products, air fresheners, some glues in furniture and carpet, and just poor circulation/ventilation in the house.

I know it’s not easy; I strongly dislike the cold and would rather stay inside and snuggle up in big comfy sweaters and soft blankets with a good book and a glass of wine mug of hot cocoa. But even for me, I still find it worth my while (and for the sake of my little one!) to bundle up and go play in the snow, go for a walk around the neighborhood, say hi to the squirrels and dogs and geese that are still roaming about , and just get out of the house!

If you’re looking for ideas that are family friendly in the winter, take a look at my winter activities post for new things to try outdoors this year.

And if you’re just looking to fulfill your  time outdoors with the least amount of effort and exposure possible  (i.e. if you live in some crazy cold place like North Dakota or Wisconsin or the UP, or anywhere up north really), then spend even 15 minutes doing something easy, like:

  • Walking around in the snow and making snow angels
  • Walking a different route in the neighborhood take notice of your surroundings (talk about the plants, animals, sounds, etc.)
  • Go on a nature scavenger hunt to look for rocks, leaves, pine needles, mulch, etc. and help your kiddos find where these items might be if you happen to be living in a winter wonderland blanketed in snow this time of year
  • Play tag, or hide-and-seek
  • Walk to get hot chocolate! Incentives work wonders when it comes to getting your kiddos out of the house

 

So, when you’re trying to come up with things to do this winter and spring season, don’t forget about the great outdoors. There is so much to do, to explore, and to enjoy, while also reaping the benefits of breathing in the clean, crisp air outside.

Our mantra for this year: More wood, less plastic. More purging, less clutter. More saving, less waste. Reuse, reuse, reuse.

 

 

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