Did you set a resolution to improve your health this year? Maybe you resolved to lose weight, get stress under control, or to simplify your life in some way. Showing a commitment to your health starts with identifying what areas you’d like to change and resolving to address those areas. But it doesn’t stop there. You must also have a SMART plan to achieve your health goals.
With the many distractions of life, usually around this time of year many people have given up on – or forgotten about – their resolutions.
One little “slip” is sometimes all it takes to think you have to give up on your goals and accept that your past unhealthy habits are just the way it’s going to be. But you don’t have to give up.
I created the Better Health Now series to support women just like you who are eager to improve your health but need a roadmap to get you there, one step at a time.
Each month of the series is focused on one specific topic, delivering easy-to-implement action steps to help you stay on track and tackle your health goals.
If you’ve been with us from the beginning, great! If you’re just joining us, now is the perfect time to get started! Everyone is welcome no matter what phase you are in. Be sure to sign up for this year-long series so you don’t miss any of the future posts.
You’ve got this!
Makeover Your Cleaning Routine for Better Health at Home
If you are like most people, thinking about health and wellness brings up thoughts about your physical and emotional health and wellness. But there are many other dimensions to being healthy that often go overlooked. For example, maintaining the health of your home environment is a big factor in keeping you and your family healthy. But just (or maybe even more important) is how you go about maintaining and cleaning your home.
As Spring rolls into view this month, we’re going to talk about making over your cleaning routine for better health at home.
If you’re like most people, you purchase your household cleaning products without much thought. After all, we all want a clean and nice-smelling home environment, right?
When you work on making changes to your level of physical activity, eating habits, and even your relationships – you’ll also want to look at ways you can boost the health of your home environment. This means taking a look at the products and chemicals that you are using to clean and maintain your home.
Did you know that the average household contains 62 toxic chemicals? These are chemicals found in your bathroom, kitchen, or garage. They may even be the products you use to clean and sanitize your children’s toys and play areas.
Common Chemicals in Household Products
Some common chemicals in household cleaning products are phthalates, triclosan, and 2-Butoxyethanol to name a few. But hundreds of new chemicals are introduced to the market every year. The reasons to avoid many of these chemicals have been well-known for years but most recently another study highlights and confirms what we all believe to be true. Exposure to household chemicals can have damaging effects on our health.
The study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine found that women who had regular, long-term exposure to spray cleaners were at increased risk of lung damage, similar to that of smoking a pack-a-day of cigarettes.
In other words, heavy use of common household spray cleaning products can greatly contribute to a decline in lung function. Not good.
And spray cleaners are not the only places that these harsh chemicals are found. You can also find toxic chemicals lurking in dishwashing liquid, laundry detergent, floor cleaners, glass cleaners, dishwashing soap, and other everyday household cleaners.
In addition to lung damage, other damaging effects of common household chemicals include:
- Hormone disruption
- Insulin resistance
- Immune system dysfunction
- and other conditions
Avoiding these chemicals in your home-cleaning regimen is a must in order to reduce exposure and improve the air quality of your home for a healthier indoor environment.
Your task this month is to makeover your cleaning routine for a healthier home environment.
How to Spring Clean Your Home Without Harsh Chemicals for a Healthier Home Environment
Many people are migrating away from commercial household cleaners and opting to create their own DIY products or purchase safer, green products that have fewer chemicals.
If you’re a DIY’er here’s a common recipe for general household cleaning and sanitizing:
Recipe for DIY All-Purpose Non-toxic Household Cleaner
Making your own non-toxic cleaner at home is easy. Here’s one of my favorite recipes.
Combine equal parts distilled white vinegar, rubbing alcohol (70%), and distilled water. Some people also choose to add a few drops of essential oils for fragrance. Mix all ingredients together in a PET spray bottle and use this mixture to clean all around the home. Be sure to test on an inconspicuous area of fabrics or surfaces before use to ensure that it will not cause damage.
What I love about this cleaner recipe is that it is versatile and can easily move from glass (streak-free) to counters to tubs to toilets and just about everywhere in the home without exposing myself or my family to inhalation hazards. Using a non-toxic mixture like this ensures your home remains clean and sparkly without exposing your family to harm from toxic chemicals.
If you’re not a DIY type, here is a list of some of our favorite non-toxic cleaning brands.
My Favorite Non-toxic Cleaning Brands
- Seventh Generation
- Honest Company
- Mrs. Myers
Where to Buy Safer Cleaning Products
- Amazon Prime Pantry
- Grove Collaborative
- Thrive Market
March is a great month for detoxing and renewing both our bodies and our homes. As you work on decluttering and Spring cleaning, be sure to purge products under your kitchen sink and in your laundry room that could be causing more harm than good – and replacing them with healthier options. It’s time to create new habits in your cleaning routine to improve the health of your home and family for the long term.
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Alicia Hyatte is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Family Wellness Expert, and Health Educator. She creates impactful, evidence-based health and wellness content and programs for individuals, families, and communities.