” Close houses are injurious to health………….brethren and sisters that have come into the city from living in the canyons and those who have arrived from the states have not been troubled with colds until they came into warm houses, that gives them colds, by depriving their lungs of the benefit they are organized to receive from the atmosphere”. -Brigham Young (1801 -1877)
When we workout hard our cardio vascular system is working over time to deliver much needed oxygen to our muscles. If you are a city slicker like me, you have probably developed the bad habit of exercising only at the local gym. The problem is health clubs today are poorly suited to supply the appropriate mix of inside to outside air exchange. Most are only equipped with ceiling fans, pushing everybody else’s carbon dioxide (and who knows what else) into your lungs! Muscles need and demand fresh oxygen!
There is something called “recovery oxygen uptake” and it basically means even after your muscles have stopped contracting, heavy breathing continues for an extended period. Your lungs are trying to restore metabolic conditions to the resting level. It makes sense to give the body as much fresh oxygen as possible, especially during and after intense exercise.
The remedy is simple and comes in two parts.
1) Whenever possible try exercising outdoors. Try getting at least 30-45minutes of fresh clean air daily. You can try some of the following: biking, hiking, walking, swimming or any other outdoor activity. Try making it a habit of training 1-2 times a week outside instead of the usual stuffy closed indoor environment.
2) Own a home gym: I try not to endorse any products but you might consider owning a home gym. There are many to choose from, but I always go with names that are recognized in the field. If you have the money, 4 names stand above the rest…Bowflex, Hoist, Icon and Precor. I own various modalities from all 4. They have the best warranties and equipment on the market today. I workout with the doors and windows open most of the time (even during the colder months), this allows my lungs to suck up all that clean dandy fresh air. The great thing about owning a home gym is you control the ventilation, along with not having to wait around for equipment to open up. If you want to go down the less expensive road here are some other great choices you might want to consider: selectable dumbbells and exercise bands (Bodylastics is a good choice). Both run under a $100 and can give you an incredible workout in your home.
Try these small but simple ways to get healthier… your lungs, immune system and muscles will thank you for it!
” I don’t believe in pessimism, if you think it will rain, it will” – Clint Eastwood
first published in 2007