This is NOT a drill.
And it’s certainly not a joke.
…What do interior design, remodeling, and health all have in common? There’s no punch line—they actually share MANY common elements that come together to impact your overall wellness.
Just think about the materials used to build your cabinets, or that piece of furniture that was manufactured who-knows-where. And how about the placement of your windows? Or the set-up of your kitchen?
These things all shape the four major elements of health at home. And by shaping your health, they shape your longevity, and even your happiness.
Scientists and doctors agree: buildings play a major role in how we feel and in the health (or lack of it) in our daily lifestyle. And guess what? Those things really do affect how long we live. The Well Building Standard has even created a new certification that buildings can receive for taking extra steps toward health and wellness by the way they’re built. We live in amazing times!!
To get the most out of all the wellness elements in your home, we’re breaking those elements down this week into some real and actionable updates you can make. Let’s start with what those home wellness elements are:
- The air you breathe
- The nourishment you have
- The light you see
- And the comfort you enjoy
The air you breathe…
Of COURSE we want to breathe clean air! By now, many of you have heard about air pollution in homes…AMAZING though this sounds, indoor air can be up to FIVE TIMES more polluted than outdoor air. This is usually the product of the off-gassing from furnishings and finishes as well as poor ventilation.
Off-gassing is also commonly referred to as VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds. The materials used in your furniture, your flooring, and all the products you use in the home have organic compounds that you do not want to build up in your air.
For example, did you know there can be a corn element used in certain drywall? We had a client with such a SEVERE corn allergy that when we were cutting and sanding drywall for her remodel, we had to schedule carefully with her to be sure she wasn’t home while we worked! An allergy can be THAT serious. And you probably didn’t know that corn is used in drywall!!
The toxins in the air we breathe not only contribute to allergies, but to asthma and those suffering any respiratory illness, too. They can aggravate neurological and hormonal conditions, and even cause cancer.
So, what do you do?
Option: Recent studies on Indoor Air Quality have focused on new technology that uses dual wavelength lights (comprised of high-output UVC and UVV lights) to control and eliminate air contaminants.
Option: If you have allergies, consider NOT keeping that carpet. Choose flooring options with surfaces that are easier to keep clean…have you ever seen what’s underneath a carpet when it’s pulled?! Seriously, it’s GROSS.
Option: Antibacterial paint was a big deal when it was new. It inhibits the growth of bacterial, after all!! But now, there’s a microbicidal agent available in Sherwin Williams’ Paint Shield products. This actively KILLS a huge array of microorganisms, including bacteria and OTHER infection-causing microbes. A good option for the kids’ room? Um, YES…
The nourishment you have…
It’s hard enough to encourage healthy eating habits as it is! Ultimately, we want to consume the recommended servings of fruits and veggies each day and avoid processed or sugary foods. Most people’s diets today, however, are just the opposite.
How can you ignore the quick-and-easy option when it’s been such a long day at work?
Eating the wrong foods too often saps your motivation and leads to discomfort, weight gain, heart disease, hypertension, and all the rest.
So, how can your kitchen design make the right choices easier for you to make?
Option: Don’t hide your perishable food! You’re a lot more likely to eat a pear if it’s sitting right on the counter. This helps you save more money, too, without so much food going bad after buying produce with the INTENTION to eat right.
Option: Cook in a cast iron skillet for a LOT of health reasons! First, you’ll inhale fewer fumes, because the skillet actually absorbs more than a classic frying pan. And second, if you’re prone to go for the pre-packaged stuff, getting more out of your skillet means more home-cooked meals, thereby avoiding all the processed stuff!
Option: Wash your fruit better than ever! You know why that apple looks so shiny in the store, right? By washing your produce well (with soap and water or vinegar and water), you remove SURPRISING levels of residual preservatives, not to mention the fingerprints of everyone else who touched it along the way…
Ready for a new kitchen to make some of this easier? Getting the layout of your kitchen “just right” is the first step in creating a healthier lifestyle! Check out what we’ve done with recent kitchens…
Or see the progress on the #LifestyleKitchen project we’ve almost completed on Facebook!!
The light you see…
If you need more restful nights and more energy during the day, the light in your home has a BIG part to play.
Our inner clocks are ticking away…but they don’t always click in time with the rest of the world! Your internal clock is tied to your own circadian rhythms, and this can get EASILY knocked out of whack. That internal clock has to be aligned with the right levels of natural light for you to function at your highest level.
What are the symptoms of a light-deprived circadian rhythm? Among them, you could experience sleep disorders, loss of productivity, and a whole bunch of other awful stuff like weight gain…you name it.
There are two ways you can get the right light at the right time to keep your body ticking optimally.
Option 1: There are lighting devices, smart clocks and more that can be programmed to your circadian rhythm. As the sun comes up, that the strip of light down your alarm slowly starts to crank up…the alarm goes off, you go downstairs, and the lights are all at their brightest. Your brain KICKS that sleepy melatonin to the curb and wakes you RIGHT up for the day! Then evening comes, and your lights automatically adjust to that warm, orangey light. It slowly gets darker as you feel that melatonin rising again after dinner, making you sleepy. You’re ready for bed!
Option 2: This is NOT an if/or option! Rather, your second route of action is to ensure your window coverings offer the proper light control. Just look at some of these options, like motorized lifts, custom thickness of shades, and so much more from Graber…
The comfort you enjoy…
Comfort is about more than big, overstuffed couches. It’s also about minimizing distractions! That takes factors like air temperature and noise levels into account, especially while families are spending more time at home.
Thermal comfort (i.e., whether you’re too warm or too cool) is directly linked to distractions and loss of productivity, not to mention bad moods and even headaches!
As for noise levels, what more need we say?!
Option: For optimal thermal comfort, your home needs to be properly insulated and air sealed. This includes taking advantage of the not-too-hot months to get the guys to check the insulation in the attic, because once summer hits, any work up there has to be blocked off in short increments.
Option: Now, how about steam?! Having a steam machine in your bathroom or a steam treatment device in your bedroom (or even another room of the house) can be more than a luxury—it can be a LIFE-CHANGER for anyone with allergies or asthma.
Option: As for the noise levels in your home, choosing which activities happen in which rooms is one of the most important decisions in controlling noise levels. There’s also the option to soundproof key rooms like your home office, which is MUCH easier than you might think! You’re just a handyman call away from your office getting EXACTLY as quiet as you need it…
You have options! We just went over a dozen. The real question is, which steps will you take today to find greater health and wellness in your home?
Contact us with any questions you might, or tell us on social which of these tips would make the biggest difference for YOU. We want to know!!
To read more, check this article out.
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