Why We All Need To Get Dirty

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This topic has been kicking around in my head for a while. The theory makes sense to me – the theory that getting dirty can keep you healthy. When we spend all of our time indoors, in a non-natural environment, we are depriving our systems of the microbes that our bodies need.

Why are there so many sicknesses during the winter months? Is it because it’s cold outside (that seems ridiculous as I write it), or is it that we are locked indoors most of the time?

What can you do to find the microbes your body needs?

Stop cleaning with bleach products

You don’t have to be filthy. Your house will be just as clean if you are using baking soda and vinegar to clean the surfaces in your house. Natural cleaners will kill off the bad and leave the good behind. The exception to this would be after using a surface for raw meat – hot water and soap will eradicate germs from those surfaces.

I’m not claiming that bleach or other harsh cleaners should never be used. I am suggesting that using them less often could have a beneficial effect on your health – by not killing off the good microbes in the environment you live in.

Open a window or two

Ahh, fresh air. It isn’t only something that can smell good or make you feel more alert. It also can carry in healthy bugs from the outside air.

Garden

Go ahead – garden without gloves, I dare you. Let those microbes soak into your skin. Breath in deep while you are out there. Don’t worry if some dirt gets flung onto your face and lands in your mouth. Dirt is full of healthy bugs and vitamins. Seriously.

Not only will you benefit from the soil, but you will also benefit from the food you harvest. Having a vegetable garden in your yard (that you don’t douse with pesticides) will ramp up your immune system. And many people claim that harvesting food from your own garden leaves you feeling satisfied and less stressed.

Exercise outside

Instead of going to the gym for your workout, try running, playing a sport, or hiking outside. Who wants to breathe in other people’s smells anyway? Life outside is beautiful and healthy.

Take your kids to the park

Not only can you grab a little slice of time to yourself to read a book or catch up on emails while your kids play – you will be out in the fresh air, and they will be getting some dirt therapy too. And the best part of all, they will use up some of that nearly endless energy. Everyone wins!

 

Sources:

https://www.naava.io/editorial/a-too-sterile-environment-is-harmful-for-your-immune-system/

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/20774622/ns/health-livescience/t/dirty-truth-you-can-be-too-clean/#.Wzj6sadKiUk

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/the_green_lantern/2009/03/do_green_kitchen_cleaners_work.html

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Liz Ward

Liz Ward is a running fanatic, avid reader, and amateur farmer. She lives on the Oregon Coast with her husband, three kids, and a small herd of animals.

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