Whether you've lived in the desert for many years or are considering a move there, you're aware that there are certain advantages to the lifestyle, but did you know there are some aspects of living in the desert that are great for your health? Back in the 19th century, before modern medicine existed, people of means would often move to different countries in order to take advantage of entirely different climates, particularly ones that were warm and dry. While they certainly didn't know quite as much about how the body worked as we do now, there was definite wisdom in choosing an arid climate to promote health. Here are five ways that desert living can help keep you healthy.
Living the Dry Life
The lack of moisture in the air means that there's a lot less mold in the desert. Mold can be a major cause of respiratory infections. Additionally, moisture in the air can be a major irritant for people who suffer from arthritis. The dry air has an additional benefit as well: it causes us to sweat more, which releases toxins in the air. It's a detox sauna you don't have to schedule.
High Air Quality
Deserts tend to have a much lower population density than other areas, meaning that there's less air pollution. Also, because desert plants don't follow the same seasonal cycles of other areas, they tend not to release allergy-causing pollen into the air at the same rate. Allergy sufferers don't have to undergo the same spring trials that they would in other climates.
Reduced Time to Heal
That dry air means that when you have a wound there's less likelihood of infection and the growth of bacteria.
There's a reason that countless songs associate sunny days with happiness. Sunshine puts us in a good mood, just as grey skies can put a damper on how we're feeling. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a diagnosable medical condition that happens in the darker, colder seasons. People will become depressed and the treatment is to sit in front of a light that mimics the effects of sunshine. The sun also provides vitamin D simply by shining down on us. Vitamin D decreases the chance of SAD and is also an integral part of absorbing calcium, leading to stronger bones and teeth. Vitamin D also helps with better eyesight.
That lower population density alone has some real benefits. There's less traffic and it is less crowded. Desert life also tends to happen at a slower rate of pace. All of this means less stress and as stress is one of the greatest hidden barriers to good health, that's not only good news for your mood, but also your overall well-being.
Plus, who can ignore the beauty of the sun setting over the desert or the incredible colors of a desert morning? That beauty is a balm to your mood and helps lower stress. The lack of rain also means that many more opportunities to go outside and hike. Exercise is one of the best ways to keep stress low. Combine the exercise with an appreciation of natural beauty and you have a winning combination!