The period after New Year’s isn’t just for binging on holiday leftovers, it’s an excellent time to reflect on the last year and plan for the future. There’s no precise New Year’s resolution template, but the goals for self-improvement typically tend toward improving our health with diet and fitness.
Are Resolutions Worth the Effort?
In practice, most people drop good behavior, like exercise, before a new habit can truly be formed. This is usually because of stress or inevitable time constraints and it begs the question: why bother?
Although most people don’t stick to New Year’s resolutions, it’s still worth trying. Because even if we don’t succeed in our goals completely, a portion of the better habits have a chance of sticking around. Or in other words: some self-improvement is better than none.
Deciding What to Change
So now that we’ve confirmed that New Year’s resolutions are worth making, what are the right goals for you in 2024? According to a recent survey of 1,000 adults conducted by Forbes Health/OnePoll, three out of the top five resolutions for 2024 were focused on physical health: improving fitness, losing weight, and improving diet.1
Instead of counting calories or participating in Dry January, Austin Air invites you to take a different approach with good indoor air quality resolutions in 2024. This won’t just improve your respiratory health, it will also have a positive impact on your whole body and mental health.
These tips are for everyone but will be most beneficial for people with underlying respiratory problems like asthma, allergies, or COPD. These practices will also be impactful for anyone who will be getting active! Air quality is important when we’re exercising because we’re breathing faster and harder. Breathing fresh, clean air is crucial when you’re recovering from a workout.
The first step to improving indoor air quality in your space is to remove sources of pollution or emissions. The practice is known as “source control.” Take a hard look around and examine if there are any sources of airborne pollutants in your home.
If you’ve got an issue like asbestos, it can be enclosed or sealed. Or it may be to remove an old carpet from your home. Does your home or workplace have any signs of leaks? That could be causing mold. Find the source of moisture and cut it off, especially in your bathroom or basement.
Air Out This Winter
Each week this winter, open the windows to air out your home for at least 20 minutes. It isn’t pleasant when the winter chill is blowing, but the fresh air can help with any buildup of common airborne pollutants – like pet dander, dust, or chemicals off-gassing from household products like cleaners and furnishings.
Keep an eye on the weekly forecast for a day when temperatures are mild. If possible, air out your home in the midday hours when the temperature is at the high for the day. Also, be mindful of other factors which could impact outdoor air quality. For example, if you live near a highway, you should air out your home at a time of day when traffic is light.
Avoid Bringing Allergens and Irritants Into Your Home
We’ve covered source control from interior items, it’s also important to give thought to what you’re bringing into your home. You should be especially mindful of your bedroom. To help you get the most from your sleep, your bedroom should be as free of contaminants as possible.
When seasonal allergies are at their worst, make sure to change your clothes as soon as you get home. This includes leaving your outer layers, like coats and shoes, near the door and as far away from your bedroom as possible. The same should be done if you find yourself exposed to a moldy area in a home or outside.
In addition to removing soiled clothing, also make sure to take a decontamination shower after extended exposure to allergens and irritants, like a day outside gardening. Allergens and irritants can cling to your hair and skin, causing a never-ending loop of re-irritation.
Pamper Your Pet
You don’t want to turn your dog into a diva but regularly grooming pets will help to control their dander. It also prevents your exposure to allergens and irritants that can get trapped in their fur when they go outside.
People with particularly powerful allergies may want to do the opposite of pampering… and exile your pet from your bedroom where exposure to allergens and irritants has an outsized impact while you sleep.
Consult your vet on what is best for your pet, some animals experience skin irritation if bathed too often.
Cut Back on Heavy Perfumes and Air Fresheners
This suggestion may be tough for some of you but items like perfumes, scented lotions, and air fresheners are full of harmful chemicals like Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Cut back on using scented products if you would like to improve your respiratory health. This is also helpful for those around you who may have respiratory problems like asthma or chemical sensitivity.
You don’t have to quit cold turkey – you can seek out items scented with natural essential oils as an excellent substitute.
As an air cleaner company, we’d be remiss if we didn’t include air filtration in our resolutions for improved indoor air quality in 2024. Clean air impacts just about every part of your health from your immune system to your cognitive function. It’s not just us, the Centers for Disease Control also recommends added air filtration to ensure clean air in the home.
We’re partial to our products and believe them to be the best on the market. You don’t have to take our word for it – Austin Air purifiers are the only clinically proven air cleaner.
Small Steps for Big Indoor Air Quality Benefits
The new year isn’t just a fresh start for the calendar, it’s an opportunity to focus your energy on self-improvement. The air we breathe impacts all aspects of our health and therefore, it’s important to give thought to indoor air quality as we try to set on a new healthier path in 2024.
We don’t discourage anyone from thinking big and making radical changes to their daily habits, but we hope you’ll remember that small changes can make a big improvement on our overall health. For example, switching to perfumes scented with essential oils instead of artificial additives.
The added benefit of improving your indoor air quality is that it’ll have a positive impact on the health of the people around us and our pets. You can’t quite say the same for Dry January.
1 Davis, S. (2023, December 18). New Year’s Resolutions Statistics 2024. Forbes Health. https://www.forbes.com/health/mind/new-years-resolutions-statistics/
2 Improving Indoor Air Quality | US EPA. (2023, June 27). US EPA. https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/improving-indoor-air-quality