Why do we go to gyms? To get healthy. But what happens when the air we are breathing is hurting our health more than helping? Unfortunately, even with the benefits of exercise, this is too often true for gyms.
A study recently conducted by Building and Environment found that indoor fitness centers had dangerously high levels of carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This makes sense because carbon dioxide levels rise in enclosed spaces with many humans.
When we exercise, we naturally release more carbon dioxide, too. This is because of cellular respiration. During cellular respiration, your cells use oxygen to break down the food you eat into energy, which creates carbon dioxide as a waste product. And that is what we exhale.
Indoor Exercise vs. Outdoor Exercise
It is no secret that exercise, in general, has a number of health benefits. But is all exercise created equal? Depending on your goal, potentially, they are not equal.
While getting in whatever exercise you can is good, there are additional benefits to outdoor exercise. Working out outdoors can expose you to Vitamin D. This has a proven link to enhancing someone’s mood.
On top of Vitamin D, being outdoors can lower your cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone, so our ultimate goal is to always lower it. While working out in any capacity can lower cortisol levels, exercising outdoors can lower them even further.
But perhaps most importantly, exercising outdoors often leads to a better oxygen intake because the air is cleaner. Oxygen is the foundation of cellular respiration, which is how our bodies move and function. But moreover, improved oxygen intake has a myriad of health benefits .
Better oxygen intake improves brain function, lowers heart rate and blood pressure, increases circulation, cleans your lungs, and so much more. But let’s focus on how well fresh air cleans your lungs.
Breathing fresh air increases your lung’s dilation, which allows you to breathe in deeper and more oxygen. When you exhale, your body is better able to release toxins. Those stronger lungs improve the efficiency and effectiveness of exercise.
At the end of the day, exercising is good, but are we doing damage by breathing in the polluted air of indoor facilities? Is there a way to improve that indoor air quality?
Can You Bring The Outdoors Inside?
While we know exercising outdoors is not always an option, the improved air quality can be brought inside.
Open Windows And Doors
Some gyms, such as Urban Fit in Southern Oregon, have built their infrastructure around bringing the outdoors in. When the weather is good outdoors, they open large, garage-style doors to allow for outdoor exercise in a traditional gym space.
In many gyms, this might require a major renovation. But a simpler option is to leave all possible doors open. If you can, invest in windows that can be opened, that is another option.
However, there is one small problem with this option: outdoor air quality. If the gym is located in a city with high levels of air pollution or in an area that is seasonally affected by poor air quality, such as wildfire smoke on the West Coast, opening your gym to the outdoors could cause more harm than good.
Bring Plants Into Your Gym
So if you can’t bring the outdoors in by opening up your gym, how can you improve indoor air quality? You can bring true elements of the outdoors into your gym with plants! Plants transform carbon dioxide into oxygen. Since humans are constantly breathing out carbon dioxide and even moreso when exercising, this is a valid option to decrease toxins in your gym’s air.
With plants, you are reaping the benefits of outdoor exercise without massively changing the infrastructure of your space. Plants come with maintenance, but they are an affordable and aesthetically appealing option to improve indoor air quality.
There are a number of plant options, like the Snake Plant, ZZ Plant, or a Moss Wall, that fits a number of aesthetics and requires minimal maintenance.
But are plants enough? The reality is that plants can definitely improve your air quality and create a fresh feeling space, but some indoor plants alone won’t be enough to drastically change the air quality.
Conduct Regular Thorough Cleaning
If you want to prevent particles and contamination from getting in the air, you need to conduct regular cleaning to get rid of said particles and contaminants. That being said, it is not just visible surfaces that need to be thoroughly cleaned. Any kind of ventilation system should be regularly cleaned, as well.
At the end of the day, though, cleaning can only go so far. The concentration of people sweating and breathing out carbon dioxide and other toxins in a confined space will still produce toxins that a rag can wipe away.
Use A Cleanroom Grade Air Purifier
What is the ultimate solution to indoor air quality in a gym? How can you truly embrace outdoor exercise benefits inside a traditional gym space without spending tens of thousands of dollars on changes to infrastructure?
A cleanroom-grade air purifier designed specifically for that purpose.
A cleanroom is a space that has been sectioned off and only gets air through specific sources that are highly filtered. These filters take out even the tiniest of particles and leave air supremely clean. Now, turning your gym into a true cleanroom is probably not feasible for most gym owners…
But bringing a cleanroom-grade air purifier into your space is.
The Filtr Revolution is an air filter specifically designed to produce cleanroom results outside of a cleanroom. With a total system efficiency of 99.995%, the Revolution has a removal efficiency of 99.78%, down to 0.023 microns.
What does that mean for you? You get all the mental and physical benefits of outdoor exercise inside your gym.
If you want to find out if the Revolution is right for you, contact us today.