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Why Living In A Desert Can Be Good For Your Health
When thinking of a desert, many people think of unbearable heat and little water. There are actually many health benefits to living in a desert climate and UMI rounds up the top benefits.
While many people imagine their perfect “healthy living” location as a little cabin in the woods on the edge of a lake, or perhaps a bungalow near the beach in a tropical setting, there is actually a lot of benefit to taking up residence in the desert.
While living in the desert may make many people think of dried-out cow skulls, rattle snakes and unbearably hot temperatures, the reality of desert living is quite different: after all, a desert is merely a dry climate. In reality, a desert's average temperature is usually dictated by latitude, elevation, and the jet stream. In fact, deserts can be very cool for part or even the majority of the year.
No damp or mold
To begin, deserts can be a blessing for those who suffer from severe allergies or asthma. Desert climates rarely have enough water or humidity to harbor the sort of mold or bacteria that leads to respiratory irritations. Discomfort due to dampness and mold is much more common in humid, moist places.
Additionally, since native desert plants often do not go through the same bloom and leaf shedding cycles of most deciduous plants and trees in wetter locations, there is considerably less pollen and fewer flora-based dust particles present in the air. Without these irritants, allergy-sufferers may see fewer breathing problems or hay fever while living in a desert.
Low air pollution
In most cases, deserts also have much lower concentrations of air pollution. Because deserts tend to have a lower population density than just about any other geographical region, there are fewer automobiles and construction sites to contribute to poor air quality. About the only downside allergen-wise to living in the desert is the prevalence of common dust: deserts are arid most of the year, and dust and grit can be common.
Reduced healing time
Other benefits to the dry climate of the desert include reduced aches and pains for arthritis suffers, since humidity lends to making the cool weather feel colder and warm weather feel hotter, which can irritate the bones further. Warm, dry air also reduces healing times for wounds; with less moisture in the air, there is less chance of infection after a scrape or major surgery. This dry air can also reduce the likelihood of some skins diseases and rashes related to fungus and bacteria growth.
More Vitamin D
For some people, however, moving to the desert is not about air quality at all, but rather about an abundance of sunshine. Sunlight helps the body to synthesize vitamin D, an essential compound that contributes to good bone health, improved immunity, better mood and reduced symptoms of depression. This is often one of the reasons that many people living in cold cities choose to spend their winters in warmer desert climates.
For yet others, the biggest advantage of living in the desert is the ability to reduce their everyday stress level. Lower population density, reduced traffic and a typically slower pace of life all add up to a shorter list of what has to get done in an average day. What’s more, there are fewer people to compete with for space when racing around town and trying to get everything done. A slower pace means less reason to get stressed out. Stress has proven links with an increased occurrence of disease, and is one of the biggest factors that many blame for their unhappiness.
Finally, desert dwellers may enjoy the bigger emphasis upon nature and enjoying the surroundings. Activities such as hiking, skiing, golfing, mountain biking or simply picnicking in the great outdoors are often popular in cities with a desert climate. The increased exposure to fresh air and sunshine, not to mention opportunity for a bit more exercise, will have a positive effect on anyone's overall health.
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