A clean sweep
Air, the stuff you breathe, is taking its toll on your health in a big way. The latest research, from Imperial College London, found that pollution in city centres negates the positive effects of exercise on the lungs and heart. There go your health gains. And you’re not off the hook once you walk through your front door – chemicals, gases and bacteria get trapped in buildings, meaning the air can be up to five times more polluted than it is outside, according to the World Health Organization. Particularly problematic if you work out at home, because you inhale more air through your mouth than your nose when you exercise and the former is unable to filter out larger pollutants before they reach your lungs.
So it was inevitable that air quality would infiltrate wellness. Pinterest searches for air-purifying plants have grown by 270% in the past year. ‘Plants are a really effective way of reducing levels of toxic compounds to create a cleaner environment,’ says Freddie Blackett, founder of Patch – like Deliveroo, but for plants. He recommends aloe vera, which produces oxygen at night, and golden pothos, which can remove the common household pollutants formaldehyde and benzene from the air.
If you’re the kind of person who can’t keep a cactus alive, you’re better off bringing in some tech support. Those clever folk at Dyson have turned their attention from visible dust to the invisible kind with the Dyson Pure Cool Link (£349.99) – an air-purifying fan. You can also buy anti-pollution sleep masks, which contain disposable carbon sheets that attract and filter out invisible particles (£35, holisticsilk.com).
You might want to warn your bedfellow, though – nothing says ravish me like a mouth mask.