Across the U.S. we just celebrated Easter Weekend. It is a holiday of rebirth and life. It also reminds me that spring-time is here again. Flowers are blooming. Trees are budding. Birds are singing. And with it all comes warmer weather, which means I can throw open the windows again and air out the home that has been closed up against the cold winds of winter.

If you are anything like me, fresh air clears out the mind, refreshes the spirit and invigorates the body. Fresh is important for good health. In fact, I include it when I talk about our environment – or Key #5 in my 6 Keys to Total Wellness series. Fresh air allows us to get rid of the toxins that build up when we breathe recycled air all day.

In fact, there is an illness, called Sick Building Syndrome, that occurs in people who spend a lot of time inside. Mostly it occurs in workers who are in a new building. These new buildings are energy efficient (i.e. no drafts) and have windows that don’t open. That can lead to poor circulation of air. In addition, the chemicals from new carpet, pressed wood and cleaning supplies creates for some people a noxious environment. They may suffer from headaches, nausea, fatigue, shortness of breathe or chest tightness. Eye, skin and throat irritation may also occur.

One of the best ways to improve these symptoms – short of quitting your job in the offending building – is to make sure you get plenty of fresh air. If you can’t open a window, take breaks where you go outdoors. Also, place a plant on your desk. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. They act as natural air filters.

Enjoy the spring-time. Get out and breathe deeply of the fresh air. Enjoy the green plants and blooming trees. Take advantage of this great season before the summer heat drives folks back into the air conditioning.

Christopher Burton, MD
Christopher Burton, MD

Christopher Burton, MD is a physician, speaker, coach and author, practicing in Pensacola, FL. He specializes in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, which focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of conditions - particularly those of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems - that may produce temporary or permanent impairment of function. Dr. Burton also provides one-on-one Health & Wellness Coaching for select clients who want to improve their life significantly. In addition to his practice and coaching, he actively lectures on health, nutrition and exercise for healthcare groups, colleges, and businesses, and travels internationally teaching on various topics including the treatment and rehabilitation of athletes.