There are two things we all need: water and air. Clean water is so important for your body to function properly. Drinking contaminated or otherwise unfit to drink water can cause major health problems. This is common knowledge; everyone worries about drinking clean water. From pitcher filters to faucet filters to the obscene amount of bottled water we go through every year, we spend a lot of money making sure we drink clean water.
But what about our air? Impurities in the air can cause any number of health problems. From simple allergens all the way up to issues like lung disease, our air might be every bit as important as the water we drink, but so much less thought goes into what we breathe day to day. Why is that?
Everywhere you go you see people with water bottles. People spend more money on clean drinking water than they do on oil products, including gasoline. That says something about how important it is to people that they’re drinking clean water. Don’t mistake: the money spent on clean drinking water is by no means badly spent. It’s important. Dirty or contaminated water can cause all kinds of intestinal diseases, which can lead to death and does kill around 1.8 million people every year. Whether or not you’re getting water bottles or filtering the water that comes to your home, its cleanliness is key.
There’s not a focus on clean air like on clean water. You don’t see people with air filters over their mouths, or bottles of clean air, although bottled air does exist. While you really only have limited control over the air you breathe outdoors—it’s a gas, obviously, unlike water—you can make a real impact on the air you breathe inside your home. Air filters and purifiers make a major difference and are good to consider whenever possible. Since paying attention to the quality of air inside my home, my son and I rarely get sick, I sleep better, and just feel better throughout the day.
What Can You Do?
Quite simply, the only way to make a real impact on the air you breathe without walking around all day with a breather mask over your nose and mouth, is to treat your HVAC system well. That means replacing filters and understanding what MERV ratings mean. If you have concerns about the air quality in your office, ask someone—HR or building maintenance. You have a right to breathe clean air. Pay attention to the weather, too. Most weather services let you know if there’s anything funky floating around in the air outside. It can be a good indicator as to whether you should limit the amount of time you spend outdoors on any given day.
A healthy lifestyle is more than just exercising occasionally and eating right. It means drinking clean water and breathing clean air. You have to take care of your entire body and all the working parts in it to really be healthy.