Wellness | News |

Training for the American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb

2 minute read

The Fight For Air Climb is a great way to challenge yourself physically while making a positive impact on millions of Americans affected by lung disease.

Climbers can join friends, family, and/or co-workers in this fun fitness challenge by climbing to the top of America’s most prominent skyscrapers. There are 42 Fight For Air Climb events throughout the year.  To find the closest event to you, go to https://www.lung.org/get-involved/events/fight-for-air-climb/. Or go to the bottom of this page, where there are links for each of the 42 cities participating in this year’s event. The cities are listed in alphabetical order.

To make sure you’re prepared, we strongly encourage you to train for the upcoming climb.

Training for the Fight For Air Climb

Remember to start slow and to go at your own pace. You can begin with a 10-minute workout each week to help build your cardiovascular fitness.

Another fun and easy way to increase your cardiovascular fitness is to do interval training by mixing in different speeds and effort levels. For example: do 2 minutes of something easier, like a walk, followed by a minute of something that requires maximum effort, like running.

Other ways to challenge yourself while keeping the training fun and interesting is to: listen to music or to come up with different challenges and goals. For example: adding another couple minutes of interval training or adding additional steps in to your daily routine will help you challenged and accountable.

Don’t forget that you will also want to make sure you’re also stretching properly; eating plenty of nutritious foods like lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats; and most importantly, having fun!

Listed below are several exercises you can do inside the comfort of your home to help you train.

  1. Squats
  2. Lunges
  3. Jumping Jacks
  4. Calf Raise
  5. Donkey Kicks
  6. Mountain Climbers
  7. Yoga
  8. Burpees

Other Training Tools

There are several more training exercises you can do at home depending on your fitness level and experience.

You can also find several training videos with the American Lung Association’s  Fight For Air Climb Ambassador Najee Richardson.

There’s even a place to sign up for exclusive training and tips from Richardson.

Locations of Fight For Air Climb 2020

Albuquerque

Atlanta

Baltimore

Boston

Buffalo

Chicago

Cincinnati

Cleveland

Columbus

Charlotte

Dallas

Denver

Des Moines

Detroit

Fort Myers

Hartford

Houston

Indianapolis

Jacksonville

Kansas City

Louisville

Los Angeles

Miami

Minneapolis

Milwaukee

Nashville

New Orleans

New York

Newark

Oakbrook Terrace

Oklahoma City

Orlando

Phoenix

Philadelphia

Pittsburgh

Portland

Providence

Rochester

Springfield

San Francisco

St. Louis

Tampa

 

 

Healthy Clean Air | Wellness |

Removing VOCs From Your Home

2 minute read

A Healthy Home environment is something everyone strives for. But despite your best efforts, unseen dangers can compromise the safety of your home.

removing VOCs

VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are gases released from certain chemicals, many of which are found in cleaning agents and other common household items. When large amounts of VOCs build up in your home, the air can become unsafe to breathe.

While no general standards exist for safe VOC concentrations (here’s more info from the EPA), it’s best to limit exposure for both your everyday comfort and potentially your long-term health. Here are some resources for removing VOCs in your home and improving the quality of the air your family breathes.

Don’t Store Unnecessary Chemicals

The following are sources of VOCs; you should avoid keeping them around your house and garage: paints, adhesives, cleaning agents, aerosol sprays, stored fuels, and other automotive products.

Look For Symptoms

Be aware of illnesses or symptoms in yourself and your kids. These can include: headaches, eye and nose irritation, sore throat, nausea, and unexplainably worse asthma symptoms. All are possible signs that you need to address VOC levels in your home.

Increase Ventilation

Bringing in fresh air is key to limiting VOC concentrations in your home, especially after cooking, using a wood fireplace, or doing arts and crafts. See how we’re solving fresh air problems.

Homemade Cleaners

Because so many commercially available cleaning products contain VOCs, it’s wise (and less expensive) to create your own cleaning agents at home.

Try this simple recipe for an all-purpose cleaner:

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 gallon water

Plus, try this recipe for a Natural bleach alternative for laundry and other cleaning:

  • 6 cups water
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide

Here are some natural air fresheners that remove odors throughout the home without harsh chemicals or aerosol cans:

  • Kitchen: Simmer vinegar and water on the stove during cooking.
  • Bathroom: Choose your favorite dried plants and herbs and keep them in a bowl in the bathroom. Pine, citrus, and cloves are some of our seasonal favorites.
  • Living Room: Plants are excellent at removing VOCs, like formaldehyde, and they work on odors, too.
  • Whole Home: Fresh air from the outdoors is a great way to flush out unwanted smells and VOCs. A ventilation system makes the process easy.
sleep hygiene

Healthy Air | Wellness |

The Best Temperature For Good Sleep

2 minute read

Have you heard of sleep hygiene? It’s not about washing your bed sheets on a regular basis (though, you should). It’s all about finding the best ways to get consistent, quality sleep by forming a healthy routine and optimizing your sleeping environment.

Sleep hygiene deals with everything from caffeine intake to light exposure to exercise. One of the most important factors on the list is the temperature of your sleeping environment.

 If your bedroom is too hot, you’re tossing and turning all night, waking up in a puddle of sweat. Too cold and shivering prevents you from achieving deep, restful sleep.

The body expends lots of energy trying to reach an ideal temperature. By helping it get there, you can prevent those restless, exhausting nights.

 Ideal Sleeping Temperatures

Everyone has a preference when it comes to temperature, so you should stick with whatever heat level gives you the most restful sleep. But the general rule of thumb for sleep hygiene is to opt for cooler temperatures over warmer, typically somewhere between 60-67°F.

The body goes through normal temperature fluctuations throughout the day, naturally cooling off around nighttime. By creating a cooler environment, you can encourage natural feelings of tiredness and get to sleep fast. You also get more restful sleep throughout the night when your body doesn’t have to waste energy regulating temperatures. This lets you wake up feeling fully restored and refreshed.

How To Control Temperatures

It can be difficult to find and maintain the perfect temperature for your best sleep. It’s a lot easier with a programmable thermostat that can deliver precise temperatures to any room in your house. Our Wi-Fi Thermostat lets you control heating and cooling using your smart phone or the wall-mounted digital control panel. You can program it to automatically lower temperatures around bedtime and raise them when you wake up. That means you don’t even have to think about creating an ideal sleep environment. You can just enjoy it.

 Clean Air

Air quality is another aspect to consider when creating your ideal sleeping environment. An air purifier can help you fall asleep fast and wake up feeling refreshed by removing allergens and irritants from the air. Stop dealing with a stuffy nose as part of your morning routine. Program an “Air Cleaning” cycle for about an hour before you go to bed and you’ll breathe in fresh air throughout the night.

Prefer some white noise as you doze off? Schedule the Event-Based™ Air Cleaning schedule for whenever you typically go to bed and the pleasant hum of the air purifier will help dampen noises that might otherwise disturb your sleep.

Source: National Sleep Foundation

Environment |

Summer’s Most Common Bugs

2 minute read

When it comes to a love of humidity, humans and pests are on opposite ends of the spectrum. While we tend to despise air that is thick with heat and water vapor, most bugs actually thrive in it and need it to live.

Unfortunately, this means that the impending summer humidity in certain parts of the country is about to bring these summer pests out in a big way.

Summer’s Most Common Pests

Cockroaches

The German cockroach is the most common roach species infesting our homes in North America. They are attracted to warm and humid places, making your kitchen and the water heater in the basement their most frequented hideaways.

Silverfish

These small, wingless insects are nocturnal and need to keep their bodies moist at all times in order to survive. You are likely to find them beneath boxes or furniture in your basement, the shower, or hiding in your kitchen.

Centipedes

Carnivorous and nocturnal, with their 100 feet, these pests can move quickly and spend most of the day hiding in humid, secluded places. They are highly attracted to the moist, humid parts of the home because they need to rehydrate constantly in order to live.

Earwigs

Known to burrow into topsoil outside, these nocturnal bugs can also infiltrate dark and humid areas of your home. You are most likely to find them around floor drains, bathrooms, or under rugs or furniture.

Roly-Poly Bugs

Also known as pill bugs, sow bugs, potato bugs, or armadillo bugs, these bugs often infest damp basements.

Tips to Prevent/Eliminate Summer Pests:

Healthy Home |

Professionals Needed: Here Are The Home Projects You Should Never DIY

2 minute read

So you bought your first house and can’t wait to rip up that crummy carpet. Go for it! But if you hit dirt, you might need to call in backup. As more millennials take the plunge into home ownership, it’s becoming more and more common to see DIY projects big and small. Things like carpet removal are doable. But no matter how many tips and tricks you’ve picked up from HGTV, Pinterest, or YouTube, there are some projects that simply aren’t worth the money, time, or risk to do yourself.

Setting Limits on DIY Home Projects

Skill Level for DIY Home Projects:

For some people, DIY is a way of life. For the rest of us, we need to be honest about our skills and level of experience. Sometimes a “simple” job can actually be a lot more complex than it appears. Hire a professional for these projects before you try it yourself and make a mistake that costs way more to fix.

  • Paving your driveway
  • Custom kitchen and bathroom jobs – backsplashes, flooring, countertops
  • Pest removal
  • Window Installation

Time Commitment for DIY Home Projects:

Some home improvement jobs can take weeks to complete when you try to do them yourself. For big projects, hiring a professional will mean a quicker and more efficient job done well so you can get back to enjoying your home without interruptions.

  • Large landscaping projects
  • Flooring
  • Demolition

Permission for DIY Home Projects:

Some home improvement projects require permits due to building codes. Save yourself the headache, and possible code violation, by hiring a professional who’s familiar with the process when it comes to these types of jobs.

  • Additions and remodels
  • Deck or patio addition
  • Major electrical/plumbing work
  • Pool installation and repairs

Safety Risk for DIY Home Projects:

If there’s any question of your ability to do something without injury or structural damage to your home, it’s most definitely a job for a professional.

  • Mold, asbestos, lead removal
  • Tree removal
  • Roof and foundation repairs
  • HVAC system installation and repair

When you’ve decided you need a pro, try to keep the process simple to save you time and headaches. Start by reaching out to a few trusted contractors in your area to get estimates on the work, (recommendations from friends are a great place to start) and then consider price and professionalism before making your decision.

When it comes to HVAC work, we make it easy to find a pro. Along with plumbing and electrical work, HVAC is an area where it’s crucial to get the job done right the first time.

Sources:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/millennials-take-on-diy-projects-with-more-confidence-and-budgeting-discipline-than-previous-generations-300813538.html

https://www.familyhandyman.com/smart-homeowner/10-home-projects-you-should-always-hire-a-pro-for/

https://www.ahs.com/home-matters/quick-tips/8-household-projects-to-leave-to-professionals/

https://www.rd.com/home/improvement/diy-home-improvement-projects/

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/projects-you-should-not-diy_n_3923456

https://www.hallerent.com/blog/when-to-call-professional-for-home-improvement-repairs/

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clean air

AA Homepage Articles | Healthy Air |

Stand Up for Clean Air

3 minute read

50 Years Later: The Clean Air Act of 1970

50 years ago, Congress signed a landmark bill – The Clean Air Act of 1970. This bill helped reduce air pollution, spurred energy-efficient machines, cars, and helped Americans breathe easier, but there’s still more work to be done. Now, the American Lung Association is asking everyone to join the Stand Up For Clean Air initiative to help make healthy air accessible to everyone.

Stand Up for Clean Air Initiative

The initiative focuses on creating clean air at home, at work, at school, and outdoors. It also focuses on reducing climate change and addressing air quality concerns after a natural disaster. Lastly, people can read about the state of the air in their community in the American Lung Association’s annual State of the Air report.

Its most recent State of the Air report states that nearly half of Americans live with unhealthy air. Most of that unhealthy air is a result of the byproducts of climate change.

“Climate change results in increased levels of wildfire smoke, worsened ozone pollution, more extreme storms and frequent flooding, which leave behind mold, polluted floodwater residue and other damage, exposing people to indoor air pollution as they clean up and repair homes. Many sources of climate pollution – power plants, oil and gas operations, and cars and trucks – also produce air pollution that is directly harmful to lung health.” – Harold Wimmer, American Lung Association CEO and President 

Air pollution contributes to premature deaths, heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and asthma attacks. Children, older adults, and those with underlying health conditions are most vulnerable.

Resources to Create Healthy Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality for Workplaces

With its Stand up for Clean Air initiative, the American Lung Association wants to create better indoor air quality. In doing so, the ALA provides several resources to help users advocate for these changes.

Fortunately, the ALA is not only the group advocating for healthy buildings and better indoor air quality.

The TH Chan School of Public Health at Harvard has been advocating for healthy buildings for 40 years. Through its advocacy, the school has completed and promoted studies that indicate production declines when employees are in an unhealthy workplace. Workers in these poor conditions type slower, take more sick days, and are generally less productive. Healthy insurance provider Kaiser Permanente estimates that the net result of this absenteeism and poor production costs businesses thousands of dollars per employee.

Indoor Air Quality for Schools

Students in poorly ventilated schools face similar problems. They lack focus, are more likely to get sick, and subsequently are more likely to be absent. This can result in lower performance. The American Lung Association and Environmental Protection Agency have collaborated to create a toolkit to help schools improve their indoor air quality with low-cost initiatives. Benefits include improved academic performance, higher rates of attendance, and healthier children.

Advocate for Clean Air

To join the fight against poor indoor air quality and air pollution, you can visit the American Lung Association and become an advocate.

“Everyone has a role to play in addressing climate change and ensuring clean air for all,” Wimmer said. “Our hope is that everyone – from individual citizens to industries, federal and state governments, and companies and brands – recognize that everyone is needed to ensure clean air for all and address an obstacle as unprecedented as climate change. I hope you’ll join us in realizing our vision of a world free of lung disease.” – Harold Wimmer

Please note: Aprilaire is a partner of the American Lung Association. We are a national sponsor of the American Lung Association’s fundraiser Fight for Air Climb FY20.