Healthy lifestyle or living healthy means living a lifestyle that will help to ward off serious illness and increase the length of your life. You already know that what you eat, the clothes you wear, and the supplements and medications that you take, can add another layer to the healthy lifestyle you want for you and your entire family.
However, really being healthy or living a healthy lifestyle means making the right choices in every aspect of your life – and that includes thinking about how your home, inside and out, also affects your health and well-being. You could be undermining your efforts to stay healthy by ignoring the very real health risks that exist in and around our home.
Too many of the known health risks that experts became aware of years ago are still in our environment and in the products we use. We put our faith into regulatory committees to protect us, not realizing that the process for change is slow moving. It’s up to you to identify the threats that could be affecting you and to learn what you need to do to avoid them. It starts with some in-depth research so you can learn about the potential threats and the healthiest solutions available to you.
Healthy Lifestyle Tips for Your Home
A Better Way to Build Your Home to Support Your Healthy Lifestyle
Your home is the place that provides safety, comfort, and a feeling of security for you and your entire family. But everything you do inside those walls could be hazardous to your health. In fact, the walls and flooring may be contributing to any current symptoms you may have.
Whether you choose to buy a pre-built home or build your own, the use of healthy building materials should be a priority. A number of non-toxic, environmentally-friendly, and sustainable building materials are being used today to create healthier environments indoors and out. Synthetic products and natural ones that have been chemically treated have the greatest potential for toxicity. For example…
Polyvinyl Chloride – Commonly known as PVC and used in pipes, this ingredient becomes toxic under a variety of conditions. It continually releases phthalates and if it burns, it releases dioxin, an extremely toxic substance. Products made with PVC contain known carcinogens and other toxins that affect development and reproduction. While PVC pipes are typically used for sanitary waste and drains, not for water delivery, it is still a major concern to your home and the environment. Instead, use copper or polypropylene.
Lead – In spite of the fact that nearly everyone today knows the dangers of lead to their health, it continues to be found in building materials. A number of household faucets on the market today still contain lead. The only way to be safe and get lead-free water in your home is to purchase a certified 100% lead-free product.
Mercury – This is another hazardous material that most people have heard about over the past few years. While you may have heard more about mercury as a controversial ingredient in fish, you might think that eliminating fish that is high in mercury would be enough to keep mercury from interfering with you living a healthy lifestyle. Today, the mercury in some types of lights is the greatest threat. Avoid purchasing compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) for your home and select light emitting diodes (LED) lights instead. Not only are they mercury-free, they are also much more energy-efficient.
Halogenated Flame Retardants – HFRs are added to many types of building materials under the premise of making them resistant to fire. There are two problems with this practice. For one, the US codes mandate that HFRs be used on materials and in applications where they aren’t needed. Second, the HFRs are highly toxic and they cause the release of more smoke which includes toxic gases that are deadly to humans. Since HFRs are in all US foam products, the only way to avoid them is to not select foam options.
Renovate Your Old Home to Support Your Healthy Lifestyle
If a new home isn’t in your near future, a “Healthy Green Renovation” can still make healthy living easier. The kitchen is often the focus of a renovation, requiring new counter-tops and cabinets to make it look more modern. Here are some additional renovation tips to keep in mind:
- Replace your old cabinets with new healthy green ones that are formaldehyde-free.
- Choose non-toxic paint that is free of VOCs and NPEs. These toxic additives have been linked to a number of health problems including everything from nausea to heart and lung damage, and cancer.
- Wallpaper is another area of concern, specifically PVC laden vinyl wallpaper. This type of wallpaper can contain a broad range of hazardous chemicals including phthalates, heavy metals, lead, and more.
- Flooring is another area where hidden toxins can put you and your family at risk. While those made of hardwood, cork, and bamboo are free of heavy metals, some types contain formaldehyde. Shop for flooring that is formaldehyde- or phenol- free.
- If new carpeting is on the upgrade list, be sure to select one that is Green Label or Green Label Plus certified. Other carpeting contains a variety of chemicals that will poison the air in your home.
Keep It Clean
Whether your home is “new” or “new and improved” you want to keep it in optimal condition. Before you go out and buy the top-rated cleaner for that new hardwood floor, consider what you will be putting on your floor.
Building a home with healthy green products is just the first lesson in how to get it healthy. You will need to be just as vigilant in the products you use to clean your home as you were in choosing the healthy building materials that made it safer. For example, there are many ways that you can “mix up” water, baking soda, vinegar, castile soap, and essential oils to clean all types of surfaces. Simply go online to find the best formula for the product you want to clean.
You will also find a variety of green cleaning products offered for sale on the market today. As awareness continues to grow and building healthy becomes an increasingly popular option, more products continue to become available to help maintain homes and keep them safe.
The Bottom Line for Healthy Lifestyle
You’re already aware that being successful in staving off sickness and living a longer life requires you to take a proactive approach to food, sleep, and exercise. By keeping in mind how your home and the way you take care of it can also affect you and your family’s health you’ll be supporting your efforts to live a healthy life overall – instead of undermining them. Want to learn more? As a member, we’ll be providing you with more detailed information on all of these healthy home and lifestyle topics, to help you take your already healthy lifestyle to the next level.