My routine is very different during the winter than during the summer. In the colder months, I’m indoors more, I exercise less, and I crave warm comfort foods. If you can relate, then consider these ways to detox your winter tendencies and boost your health’s resiliency!
Indoor Air Contaminants Indoor air can be 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air, and even up to 100 times higher for some pollutants. The EPA estimates that we spend up to 90 percent of our time indoors. And probably even more when it’s cold!
During the winter, we also open windows and doors less. So toxic fumes from the release of indoor materials and from other sources become trapped and accumulate. Consequently, indoor air during the winter can be more polluted. The tips below, however, can detox your indoor air.
- Reduce indoor combustion. Certain winter habits pollute our indoor air further: we burn candles, use fireplaces, and cook more indoors. Minimize using fireplaces, and burning candles. When you can’t resist, remember that 100% unscented beeswax candles are best; beeswax candles scented with 100% natural essential oils are healthier options for when you crave scents.
- Avoid artificial scents. While holiday scented products make our indoor ambiance more festive, synthetic fragrances are formulated with a variety of chemicals that may not be safe. Furthermore, inhaling these chemical formulas provide a fast route into our bodies. So avoid what you can, and remember air fresheners are obvious sources of these chemical-laden fumes.
- Facilitate air exchange! Ventilate when cooking. Consider opportunities to open windows, especially after burning candles, fireplaces, and using products with artificial scents. Air purifiers can reduce toxic exposures too.
- Fight the dust. Dust has been found to contain dozens of toxic exposures, including pesticides and lead. Vacuuming and wiping surfaces with a wet microfiber cloth should be done regularly to minimize exposure.
5. Electromagnetic Fields Electrical devices-such as televisions and appliances-emit electromagnetic fields. You can reduce your exposures by removing unnecessary devices from your bedroom, where we spend 1/3 of our time; minimize devices that are plugged in near your head (like electric alarm clocks and cordless phones). Turn wireless devices off when cell service isn’t needed. If you can’t, turn them to airplane mode. Turn off WiFi routers at night too.
6. Exercise Sweat regularly. And consider raising your heart rate outdoors where you can get sunshine and your lungs can experience fresh air.
7. Boost Immunity Wonderful nutrient-dense diets for the winter include soups and vegetable-rich dishes. My favorite ingredients include Brussels sprouts, broccoli, orange foods (squashes, sweet potatoes, and carrots), and other immune-boosting ingredients like garlic, onions, and mushrooms. Organic herbal teas also support immunity, detoxing, and sleep.
8. More Detox Tips Other winter detox habits incorporate salt baths and infrared saunas. Both can help detox your bodies. Afterwards, hydrate your skin: My favorite non-toxic moisturizers include organic sesame oil (yes, the kind you cook with, but not the toasted kind!) for the body, and organic shea butter for my feet and hands.