Best houseplants for excellent indoor air quality

In the 1980s, NASA released several studies showing that indoor houseplants have the capability to purify the air. In response, people across the United States laced their windowsills with house plants and greenery. The right indoor plants have the capability to remove stale air and work as a natural humidifier. This ultimately creates a healthier indoor environment where there is less stress, less coughing, and reduced irritation to eyes, nose, ears, and throat.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

This is a beautiful evergreen houseplant that is easy to take care of. Peace Lily indoor plants require very little maintenance, which is the main reason why it is one of the most popular indoor plants. This plant should never be put in direct sunlight and requires very little water. In addition to being a great houseplant to purify indoor air quality, Peace Lily is also ideal for providing groundcover outside your house.

Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

The spider plant is one of the easiest indoor plants to grow and maintain, which makes it very popular with beginners. These plants thrive in an environment where there is indirect sunlight and require very little water. The initial plant will eventually produce shoots with floors, which then grow into baby spider plants.

Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)

Also referred to as Golden Pothos, this is a beautiful houseplant that originated from the Soloman Islands. It is commonly sold in hanging baskets and can thrive anywhere in the world. Gardening experts recommend that you keep Devil’s Ivy close to a window but not exposed to direct sunlight. The soil should have ample moisture so you should make a point to water every now and then. Devil’s Ivy cleans out air pollutants such as xylene, benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde. More so, it gives your house a lively, natural vibe.

Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)

Native to southeast Asia and some parts of Australia, this air-purifying indoor plant can grow up to 10 feet. It requires low maintenance and will thrive in environments where there is bright but indirect sunlight. Weeping Fig is commonly used as an indoor houseplant but can also be taken outside to decorate your patio or porch. Make sure that the soil is dried up before watering again. Important to note also is the fact that Weeping Fig is poisonous to pets. Take extra precautions if you have dogs and cats around.

Florist’s Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)

This air-purifying houseplant is sometimes also referred to as Hardy Garden Mum or Florist’s daisy. Unlike many other indoor plants, this one loves direct sunlight. You’ll also need to water it every now and then so it can blossom. Florist’s daisy removes pollutants such as benzene, xylene, ammonia, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and toluene. In addition, it brightens your room. Keep in mind though that it is poisonous to animals so you will need to take extra measures if you have pets like dogs or cats around.

Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Some people refer to this houseplant as Mother-In-Law’s Tongue. It is an evergreen perennial species that can dramatically improve your indoor air quality. Based on a NASA study carried out in the 80’s, Snake Plant is one of the best indoor pollutants for removing indoor air pollutants such as nitrogen oxide, xylene, benzene, and formaldehyde. While native to West Africa, Snake Plant has become very popular over the last few decades and can thrive almost anywhere in the world. It requires bright light and shouldn’t be overwatered.

Health benefits of cycling

Many fitness experts agree that cycling is one of the best exercises, particularly for individuals who are interested in a cardio workout. This very fact inspired the invention of the exercise bike. People who are not willing to go out on the road can use an exercise bike to gain the same benefits as cycling. Knowing what you are gaining from your workout can go a long way to provide the motivation you need. This article highlights some of the best benefits of cycling exercise.

1. Improved mental well-being

Based on a study carried out by YMCA, people who live an active lifestyle had a higher wellbeing score and were actually happier than inactive people. Many other studies have demonstrated the importance of exercise for boosting mood. It triggers the release of adrenalin as well as endorphins, plus leads to increased confidence from the understanding that you are achieving new things.

2. Supports weight loss

Cycling is one of the best workouts for people who are trying to lose weight. The basic concept for losing weight is to burn more calories than you are taking in. With cycling, you can burn between 500 and 1000 calories each hour, which makes it very effective. Keep in mind that for your weight loss efforts to be successful, you need to stick to the cycling regimen as well as watch what you eat. Most people who use cycling as an avenue for losing weight find the activity very enjoyable.

3. Strengthens muscle groups

Cycling is a resistance workout. This means that it is a great fit for people who are looking to build and strengthen their muscles. Fitness experts recommend cycling for strengthening the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Individuals who have more muscles tend to burn more calories even when they are sedentary. Keep in mind that you will need consistency and focus in your cycling in order to achieve a toned derriere.

4. Reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer

Cycling is a cardio workout. It gets your heart to work harder in order to pump blood throughout your body. In addition to reducing your risk of being overweight (which can increase the prevalence of heart disease), this also lowers blood pressure (another risk factor for heart disease). Studies have shown that people who cycle to work have a significantly lower risk of adverse health. A study by the University of Glasgow also found that cycling reduced the risk of cancer by half.

5. Improve respiratory health

While it may seem counterintuive, individuals who go to work by bike are exposed to less dangerous fumes compared to those who go by car. In fact, a study carried out by the Healthy Air Campaign showed that vehicle drivers were exposed to five times more air pollution compared to cyclists. This means that in addition to all the other awesome health benefits, cycling also has the potential to protect your lung health.

All you need to get fit and healthier is a bike. And even if you are not a big fan of cycling, get yourself a home exercise bike so you can catch your workout sessions from the convenience of your house.

How to prevent indoor air pollution

People spend so much of their time indoors. Every day after you get out of work, you go to your house to relax and spend time with your family. It is absolutely important that you prevent any pollution that can damage the quality of air in your home. This article offers simple, easy-to-follow tips that will help keep air pollutants out of your home.

1. Make your home smoke free

Health experts recommend against smoking because it increases your risk of respiratory disease. But millions of people around the world are active smokers – whether trying to quit or not. Smoking is the number one indoor air pollutant that can make your home an unhealthy abode for your spouse and children. The residual particles from cigarettes pose health hazards, especially in rooms with lots of fabric such as carpeting. This risk can be even higher for children, who are likely to breathe in these particles. If you are a smoker, make sure you do it far from your home.

2. Use natural cleaning products

Many household cleaning products that are in the market right now are laden with harsh chemicals that can irritate your mouth, nose, lungs, and skin. The effects can be even worse for people with sensitive upper airways and lungs. For example, individuals who have chronic sinusitis and asthma. Even for healthy people, fumes emitted from cleaning products can cause inflammation or trigger allergies. To alleviate this concern, many health experts recommend using natural cleaners and elbow grease.

3. Minimize the use of pollutants around your home

Some products that we use on a daily basis in our homes can pollute indoor air and cause health concerns. Some good examples include irritating perfumes, particulates from incense and candles, office supplies such as toner ink and glue, fumes emitted by dry cleaned clothing, and wood-burning stoves and fireplaces. Make sure that you make healthy choices when using anything that could damage indoor air quality and make your home an unhealthy place.

4. Ensure proper ventilation

Proper ventilation in your home is crucial to great indoor air quality. Ventilation helps reduce the amount of moisture in your home, cooking odors, smoke, and other indoor pollutants. This is even more important if you are using gas stoves that may increase exposure to carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and formaldehyde. A good tip for ensuring proper ventilation entails using exhaust fans to draw from a specific area of your home and vent it outside. Going natural can also go a long way to ensure that you maintain the best air quality. Open windows to let fresh air in at every chance.

5. Use an air filter

While opening windows in your home, office, or car can be a great way to ensure proper ventilation, it is not always possible due to extreme temperatures and allergies. In this case, air filter products can go a long way to ensure that you maintain optimal indoor air quality. Also, make sure that your HVAC system is checked regularly to ensure that it is working optimally. Stay away from air purifiers and aromatherapy because these can worsen indoor air quality rather than improve it.

When it comes to maintaining a healthy home for yourself and your family, it is the simple things that matter. Start by consistently following the tips above and your home air quality will improve dramatically.

5 recycling tips for a better world

Our planet is a unique place in the cosmos. It offers the air we need to breathe, the protection we need from natural radiation, and the environmental conditions we need to produce food and thrive. All of us have a unique obligation to prevent pollution and take care of our planet in the best way we can. Recycling is key to this goal because it protects mother nature from waste that can have a huge negative impact on the environment. In this article, we look at 5 recycling tips that everyone can adopt to facilitate a better world four ourselves and our future generations.

1.Reduce, reuse, and recycle

The first step towards your recycling journey is to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Reduce the amount you consume, and make conscious choices when consuming products and services. It also helps to ‘reuse’ waste materials from products that you have already consumed. If something is broken, then it may make more sense to fix it rather than replace it. Some producers allow consumers to return products to them so they can recycle them on an industrial scale. Think about the reduce, reuse, and recycle paradigm when using anything from electronics to water bottles.

2. Know what to recycle

You can’t recycle effectively if you don’t know what can be recycled. Start by checking out recycling rules in your local area to see what can be processed and what can’t. Different cities have different guidelines when it comes to this. Examples of items that can be recycled include plastic bottles, paper and cardboard products, metals such as aluminum and steel cans, as well as glass such as food jars and wine/liquor bottles. Examples of items that may not be recycled include loose plastic bags, polystyrene foam cups (e.g. egg cartons), soiled food items, and fast-food packaging.

3. Get a recycling bin in each room

Getting a bin in each room is a simple but often understated recycling tip. Many recycling families just put a bin in the kitchen and forget the other rooms. This results in a lot of otherwise recyclable materials going to the trash. Keep a bin in the bathroom to collect toilet paper rolls, pill bottles, empty containers, and packaging. Make sure that you have a bin in your craft room or office where you can collect old files, printer paper, flyers, bottles, and pamphlets. A bin in the garage will be a repository for bottles, jars, project waste, etc. You get the point!

4. Recycle electronics products

The technology revolution of the last 50 years has resulted in landfills that are full of cellular phones, printers, computers, TVs, and more. Rather than throwing your old appliances and obsolete tech gadgets in the trash, get in touch with your local electronics provider to see if they have a recycling option. Even if the local store does not have a recycling service itself, it’ll likely connect you with companies that can help. Keep in mind that many electronics products are dangerous when discarded in the trash.

5. Recycle water at every chance

Water is a fantastic resource. Before you pour more down the drain, find ways to recycle it in your home. For instance, wastewater from the kitchen could be used to water the flower bed. Think about how any water you collect after washing clothes, bathing, or cleaning dishes can be used to keep your lean and landscape greener and fresher. There is simply no limit to how you can recycle water in your home if you are determined to.

In addition to these recycling tips, it may also help to buy recycled products, recycle food in a do-it-yourself bin, as well as rinse and repeat used of containers before putting them in your recycling bin.

Top 3 Reasons to Start a Blog

Over the course of time, writing has gone through different types of platforms. Some write through classic journals, while some write through huge print publications such as broadsheets and magazines.

However, more than anything else, the simple act of writing has many different benefits itself—it is a form of self-expression.

Today, with the advent of blogs, almost anyone can be a writer. Blogs have changed the landscape of the internet, paving the way for different writers and experts to pour out their own stories in different types of topics ranging from personal to those related to their fields of expertise and hobbies.

Blogging has become so popular that it has created different personalities in the blogosphere, creating careers and a source of income to many. In fact, it has is reported that there are over 156 million public blogs in existence.

Truly, the emergence of blogs has made a significant impact on the lives of many. However, one question remains: Should you join the blogosphere?

Look at this list to help you make your decision about blogging.

1. Blogs allow you to become a writer

As an open source for information and entertainment, blog gives you the freedom to be a writer. The core element of blogs is writing through an effective communication, which does not require you to be an expert in the field of grammar, syntax, and whatever that comes with it.

Through blogs, you are the character of your own self. There are countless bloggers today have no experience of becoming a writer and this includes blog personalities such as Perez Hilton who focuses on Hollywood entertainment, Josh Fruhlinger who does critical analysis of newspaper comics, and Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks who runs comedy fashion blog.

Like them, you can shape your own identity through a weblog whatever your profession is, whether you are in the field of law, medicine, advertising, marketing, or just basically whatever.

As an online writing platform, blogging is all about just recording your thoughts and compelling your readers to agree to it. It is a craft that gives a completely new perspective in the art of writing. It allows you to express yourself in the best way possible.

2. Blogs hold important career benefits

Becoming a blogger does not require you to become a better writer. However, becoming a good blog writer can give you important benefits as it creates opportunities for you to display your skills through effective writing communication, which is an essential element in finding a job.

Among these opportunities may lie on your field of expertise. Say, you are doctor, blog creates a platform for you to be able to express and share your knowledge about the medical field by posting articles, which you may think is useful for people who are in search of information.

As more readers keep on reading your blog, the more opportunities there are for you because your blog may serve as an open portfolio for companies to check into. It builds credibility to your name. It is a way to keep your presence active not just in the field you are working into, but as well as in the online community.

As people search for information over the internet, the chances of them going to your blog is endless. This way, you can provide them valuable information through topics that you want to share to them.

3. Blogs make you “Think”

More than anything else, one of the greatest benefits of blogging is how it makes you think. Blogging involves the same process as to writing through a journal or a publication—it makes you think deeper. It helps you develop the way you analyze things in accord to what you want to convey to your readers, whether it is about life, sports, entertainment or just a public opinion.

It is a platform that develops your critical thinking on what kind of blog you want to create or perhaps on how you can keep your readers engaged to your blog.

Fantasy vs. Reality in Long Term Care Insurance Planning

In my adult years I have noticed a great shift occurring in the American psyche. And the shift could best be described as accepting theories for facts. In my youth I noticed that people were more skeptical towards hare-brained ideas and schemes. The old adage, “I’m from Missouri, show me!” illustrated the caution that folks had toward new ideas—especially those that threatened the old, accepted ways of doing things. But in recent years, with the expansion and ease of information dissemination, people now are quicker to jump on any information bandwagon that has emotional appeal to them.

There seems to be less concern for the facts than there used to be. If I am correct in this assumption (and it’s only a theory), we have to wonder about the causes. The “information explosion” is one possibility, whereby knowledge in any field doubles in a 3 to 7 year period! This means that much of what you learned in school as a youth is now outdated and needs to be modified. And to keep up with this new knowledge means you must spend an inordinate amount of time doing it, leaving you less time for such mundane activities, such as parenting, recreation, resting and the like. And, of course most of this new “knowledge” is theory. And theories await proof, which requires observation, experimentation, replication and critical thinking. But who’s got time for all that!

Life is short and we’ve got to keep moving. Besides, proving theories is for the experts, and isn’t that what we pay them for? So most of us just “surrender” our critical thinking to the so called experts, while accepting whatever pops into our heads as reality. But the danger is that even the experts, or scientists, are becoming overwhelmed, as are average people. A case in point is the nation’s current economic crisis. It’s obvious that most of the so-called experts don’t know what to do.

A stockbroker friend of mine calls the way we’re currently going about things the Indian medicine man solution, whereby he tosses the bones into the air, and depending on the way they fall, he will act accordingly. He goes on to say if economists were bones, and you tossed them into the air with the expectation that you could predict things depending on the way they landed, they’d all point in a different direction!

The stockbroker further states that, since economics are so complex, and stockbrokers really have trouble predicting what will happen on Wall Street, that they generally run on theories and emotion, rarely reality! Another reason we avoid reality and rely on fantasy is that most of us don’t have the expertise to do otherwise. So we seek help from experts who fail us often as not, leading us to erroneously generalize that all the experts are crazy or incompetent. But don’t mistake my drift here; there are experts who are rational and reality oriented, who make every effort to seek reality.

You just need to cautious in evaluating who to trust. Have you ever stopped to wonder why long term care insurance is becoming so popular—when such insurance didn’t even exist before 1974? That’s when Genworth Long Term Care Insurance began offering such insurance. The question becomes, “Why would they, and other Long Term Care Insurance soon to follow, do something so innovative, when no one had done it before?” The answer is that they had experts—actuaries and statisticians—who knew what they were doing and had a good grasp on insurance reality. And they saw they could make money doing it. No fantasies or theories here—just reality. And what were—and still are—those realities. Number one, the population is aging.

The average life expectancy from 1900 to the present has gone from the 40’s to the 70’s. In the old days people simply died before they could develop many disabling conditions that medical science can now successfully address and improve. Also in 1900 most of America worked on the farm, lived near their families, who assisted in their old age if needed. Nowadays that extended family is almost non-existent, families are spread out all over the country, so other resources developed to care for us when needed. We now have nursing homes, rehabilitation professionals and facilities, rudimentary government programs and various Long Term Care Insurance options that we can use.

It is tragic, but a fact, the family alone can no longer do the job it used to do, primarily because of the high divorce rate and the increase in single parenthood. But a plus side is that people now have more income and thus more financial options. They can purchase long term care insurance to augment the empty holes that might occur in their need for nursing care as they enjoy increasing life spans. And one reality—not fantasy—is that 50% of the people who attain the age of 65 will need some sort of long term care at some time. That is a fact and you can look it up!