Fresh air is essential in optimizing a healthy body and mind. Studies show that the average person spends an average of 93% of their life inside. That leaves only 7% to be spent outside! Chances are that as we get older, we spend less time outside due to decreased mobility and fewer appointments outside the home.
More exposure to fresh air provides us with more energy. Because fresh air is loaded with oxygen, our lungs expand more and cleanse themselves when we breathe it. Fresh air provides many health benefits:
- Improves blood pressure
- Improves heart rate
- Good for digestion
- Boosts immune system
- Cleans lungs
- Provides more energy
- Increases brain function
The brain needs oxygen to function properly. Our brains use roughly 20% of the oxygen we take in. That is why when people say they need to go for a walk or a run to ‘clear their head’, it is because your brain functions more effectively when you are breathing fresh air. An increased intake of oxygen helps with concentration and lucidity.
Breathing in fresh air can elevate your mood and help you feel more relaxed. The intake of oxygen prompts the body to create serotonin. Serotonin is responsible for stabilizing your mood and regulating bodily functions. Fresh air has long been associated with happiness. For example, getting out of the city and into nature can trigger in instant improvement in mood and feelings of well-being.
Get More Fresh Air
We have established that getting more fresh air, and therefore higher oxygen levels, can help improve overall health. So, how do we go about getting more fresh air? Ideally to get clean and pure fresh air we should go to an area with lots of trees, possibly out in the country. This is not always a convenient or even feasible option for a lot of seniors. As an alternative, you might try going for a walk in your neighborhood. Try to avoid downtown areas with lots of traffic and congestion. Getting out for a walk not only provides your body with increased oxygen levels, but also gives you a chance to get some exercise. If you want to get outside, but are not up for the exercise aspect you can read a book outside, or sit outside while enjoyable some food or a beverage. Going to the park is another way to get outside for some fresh air. If the weather outside does not agree with an outdoor excursion you can stay inside and open a window to get some fresh air. Having plants in your home is also a good way to increase your oxygen levels indoors.
At Retire-At-Home Toronto, our caregivers can be a huge help in getting your loved one outdoors for some fresh air, as well as providing companionship. If you have any questions or would like to speak further about opportunities for your loved one, please contact our office.