How Your Home Can Make You Healthier


Move over LEED, the next level of sustainable building has arrived. New York-based Delos Living recently finished construction on its first residential building in the West Village where the "WELL Certified" (modeled after LEED) condos boast a variety of health-promoting elements like lighting designed to mimic the timing, intensity and color of natural light so as to deliver vitamin D light therapy, showers that pump out aloe and vitamin C, ergonomic flooring, melatonin-enhancing blackout shades and kitchens with top-of-the-line appliances and products that make steaming, blending and juicing foods easier. Unfortunately, unless you're in the market to spend $14 million or more, you're probably out of luck when it comes to living in the swanky building. Not all is lost however. Here's a look at some easy changes you can make in your home in an effort to promote more healthful living.

  • Color choices are important. If you're looking to reduce stress, opt for neutrals and soft shades. Studies have also shown that colors can affect our eating patterns; when eating off of blue plates, people tend to consume less, but when eating off of white plates (as is the case in most restaurants), people tend to over-eat.

  • Air temperature is a key factor when it comes to getting a good night's sleep. Studies have shown that for most people, the optimal temperature for restful sleep is between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Air temperature can also be important when it comes to weight loss. When you’re cold, body fat becomes activated to help generate body heat and kickstart your metabolism so, by simply lowering your thermostat, you can help reduce your body fat mass.

  • Studies have shown that a 13-watt compact white fluorescent bulb is optimal to regulate weight. Lighting that is too dim may cause over-eating, while lighting that is too bright may raise cortisol levels thereby increasing fat storage.

  • Keep your toilet lid down. A Feng Shui basic tip, not only is it unappealing to have the toilet seat up, the toilet is seen as a drain, so by leaving it open you allow good energy to go down the toilet.

  • Reorganize your space so that you are never sitting with your back to a door. This is another Feng Shui tip and is meant to prevent "sneak attacks" while empowering openness.

  • Be careful how you position your mirrors. Mirrors are often referred to as the aspirin of Feng Shui, but how you place them is critical (read more details here).

  • Opt for candles. If you're looking to boost sleep and relaxation, lavender and sandalwood have been shown to do the trick, while peppermint has been shown to work as a natural appetite suppressant.