“Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in divine power—these are the true remedies.”
The Ministry of Healing, 127
Consider the health benefits of breathing pure, fresh air.
“Air, air, the precious boon of heaven, which all may have, will bless you with its invigorating influence if you will not refuse its entrance. Welcome it, cultivate a love for it, and it will prove precious … .” Healthful Living, 203
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7
The story of creation clearly depicts power in the breath of life. It proves vital to the lives of all living creatures on Earth. In turn, pure, fresh air proves vital to our health and has the same health benefits today as in Mrs. White’s day.
“… Its influence tends to invigorate the system and soothe the nerves. It purifies the blood and promotes a good circulation; it gives a healthful stimulus to the appetite and renders the digestion more perfect; and it induces sound, refreshing sleep. The pure, sweet air does its part toward making the body strong and healthy, and its influence is no less decidedly beneficial upon the mind, imparting to it tone and clearness, as well as a degree of composure and serenity.” Manuscript 58, 1890
The lungs are a part of a multi-organ respiratory system that allows the body to take in air while performing gas waste exchange. When we breathe in, air enters the lungs and moves through the blood stream where it is dispensed throughout the organs and tissues of the body. Air is vital to the life of each cell. Each cell exchanges air for gas waste which is then moved back through the bloodstream, into the lungs, and expelled as carbon dioxide when we exhale. Additionally, the respiratory system adapts the air breathed in to the appropriate body temperature and humidity level, prevents harmful substances from thriving, and supports the sense of smell.
The lungs are one of the largest organs in the body. Maximum lung capacity is about 1.5 gallons. Maturing by the age of 25, the lungs begin to decline in function after age 35; diaphragm muscles weaken, lung tissue loses elasticity, and rib cage bones get smaller. Slight breathing changes are normal. However, sudden breathing difficulties and shortness of breath indicate the need for a medical assessment.
In valuing the precious gift of fresh air, we must dedicate ourselves to spending as much time as possible outdoors. We do have to be careful because today we must deal with the harmful effects of air pollution, but this just increases our anticipation of the time when we will breathe in the crisp, refreshing air in the Garden of Eden.
“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!” Psalm 150:6
|Tips for improving breathing habits|
1. Correct posture increases lung expansion and capacity.
2. Wear non-restrictive clothing.
3. Sleep in a well, ventilated room that has been thoroughly aired during the day.
4. Practice breathing exercises and breathing from the diaphragm.
|Tips for improving efforts to obtain pure, fresh air|
1. Enjoy the sunshine.
2. Spend time outside when the sky is overcast or in the cool of the evening.
3. Enjoy the beauty of a sunset.
4. Open the curtains and windows. Let in the sunshine and fresh air. This will eliminate stale air, germs, and allergens that cause illness.
Sources: American Lung Association (ALA) – Staff, STL Air Pamphlet – Jack Kendall, Vanderbilt Heath/My Southern Health Staff; lung.org/lung-health-diseases/wellness/breathing-exercises; mysouthernhealth.com/4-outdoor-activities-to-bring-some-fresh-air-into-your-life/