There is a vital link between the conditions in which you live and your health and wellbeing, yet the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that indoor air quality in many American homes is between two to five times worse than it is outside. Poor air quality is linked to a host of health conditions that can interfere with your ability and goals as a cyclist – including respiratory, cardiovascular, and allergy-related problems. It can also affect your mental health. Air quality, however, is just one aspect of home life that is related to your ability to practice and enjoy various sports like cycling.
Household mold and depression
A study by researchers at Brown University has found that there is a connection between damp, moldy home interiors and depression. Toxic black mold is particularly dangerous, as it can cause everything from troubled breathing to vomiting, fatigue, and cognitive impairment. The study, which involved almost 6,000 adults, found that toxic mold can affect the nervous system or immune system or hamper the functioning of the part of the brain involved in problem-solving, memory, impulse control, and more.
It is easy to see how a problem with the immune system, in particular, can leave cyclists more vulnerable to illness – including seasonal colds and cases of flu. Ensure your home is clean, dry, and mold-free, engaging the help of a mold specialist if you have symptoms of mold intoxication but cannot find the mold yourself. Mold can sometimes hide in pipes, HVAC systems, and other hidden areas.
Clutter and falls
Something as seemingly insignificant as a misplaced rug, low-lying furniture, or simple clutter in a home increases fall rates significantly, causing possible fractures and trauma. Falls are usually discussed in conjunction with senior health, yet as the CDC reports, one out of five falls causes a serious injury among people. These injuries include broken bones and head injuries. The latter can prevent you from cycling for weeks or even months, depending on the severity of the injury. To avoid this type of accident, ensure your home is free of clutter and give loose, small rugs a miss as they are often more trouble than one bargain for.
Temperatures that are too high or low can interfere with your physical performance or your ability to withstand long rides in many ways. It is known, for instance, those cool, dark interiors are conducive to quality sleep, which you need the night before you are undertaking a long, grueling ride.
Whether that is too hot or cold, meanwhile can interfere with your body’s moisture levels, since the optimum temperature for hydration is one of ‘thermoneutrality’. This is when your body is in equilibrium with your home interiors and there is, therefore, no need to sweat and lose vital hydration.
There are many ways in which your living conditions can interfere with your ability to give your best as a cyclist. Poor indoor air quality, for instance, can lead to respiratory problems and lead to illnesses that cause fatigue. Two additional considerations to bear in mind are the layout of your home, and its temperature. Keep your home free of clutter and at the right temperature to enable you to enjoy a good night’s sleep every night.
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