Getting a Breath of Fresh Air When Air Quality is Poor

By Inter Valley Health Plan

As we’ve all seen, fire season is upon us in California. You have likely noticed the smoky air and hot weather, maybe even falling ash from local fires. During these harsh weather conditions where air quality is poor, it can be hard to breath and stepping outside can be harmful.

It is your job to make sure that you provide your lungs with clean air on a regular basis while minimizing your exposure to toxins. While you can’t control what is taking place outdoors, there are things you can do to help find that breath of fresh air.

Stay Indoors

Many of us are used to staying indoors during the pandemic, but especially during times of poor air quality, remaining indoors is the best policy. Until air quality improves, try and have essential items delivered, such as groceries and prescriptions, to avoid leaving your home. Keep your doors and windows closed to avoid bringing polluted air inside the home.

Clear Your House of Pollutants

An important part of finding fresh air is to keep the air in your house clean. To achieve this:

  • Avoid using synthetic air fresheners or scented candles or heavily scented products such as perfumes, dryer sheets and cleaning products.
  • Vacuum and dust your house regularly to manage mold, dust, and pet dander levels.  Also try and use natural cleaning products and running an indoor fan, exhaust fan or air purifier.

It is Safe to Run Your AC

Regardless of the severity of fire pollution in your area, its completely safe to run the air conditioner so don’t suffer through this heat. Rest assured that air from the outside is not coming inside your home when you run the air conditioner. Pollutants don’t have the opportunity to intrude into your home, except when you open a door or window.

Continue to Exercise

Regular aerobic exercise causes your lungs to work harder. This is a good thing. As your breathing increases during aerobic exercise you pull in more fresh oxygen and breath out the spent carbon dioxide. The more you use your lungs in a strong, healthy way the more efficient and stronger your lungs will be.

Look into aerobic exercise programs through YouTube videos or online classes offered through your health plan. Also, now might be a great time to explore meditation exercises to work those lungs more than usual.

Focus on Staying Healthy

While at home, make healthy eating a priority and hobby. Purchase fresh fruit and vegetables regularly and experiment with different recipes.

Also, keep up to date with your vaccinations and doctor appointments. Staying healthy from the inside out will make it easier to recover from anything that comes your way in the form of poor air quality, seasonal virus etc.

Pay Attention to the Outdoor Air Quality Reports

The American Lung Association recommends that you regularly check the air pollution forecast. Weather apps and the local news display air quality percentages so be sure and pay attention before heading outdoors.

If you are having trouble breathing, it’s best to consult your doctor immediately.

Check out the schedule for Inter Valley Health Plan’s free online classes focused on health and vitality that can be a great resource when you need to stay indoors.

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