The Microbiome in the Air We Breathe

You may have heard Zach Bush, MD, talk about the importance of breathing in as many different environments as we can. In my basic understanding, each environment has its own unique blend of microorganisms and by breathing in the air we can increase the diversity of the microbiome living within us.

I have thought about this quite a bit. I haven’t been traveling at all in the past 4 years. I have been feeling tender and have wanted to be home and alone for most of my non-work hours. My vision of breathing in a variety of environments is to travel and to experience different climates, beaches, lakes and forests that aren’t local to me.

But this morning, I woke up thinking about making a list of areas a short distance from me. Even if I am not traveling, I can still make an intentional effort to breathe in more environments than I am currently.

So here is my list. I am going to list the actual places so I have this to come back to. And if you live in the area, here is a list all ready for you.

Whatcom Falls Park (trees and water)
Tide Pools at Larrabee
Tennant Lake Boardwalk
Birch Bay
Padilla Bay
Chuckanut Mountain Trails
Farmers Market
Visit an organic vegetable farm.
Spend time with a horse.
Spend time with a dog or cat.
Sit beside a lake or at the beach.
Walk the boardwalk of a wetland.
Swim in a lake or ocean.
Walk in a stream.
Find a spot where fish are migrating upstream.
Visit a bird sanctuary.
Hike to a higher altitude. With and without snow.
Stick your face in some moss.
Smell any flowers you see.
Breathe in the scent of fall leaves.

I feel like I am spending so much time indoors these days, in only a handful of different environments. I know I’m not alone with this.

What’s on your list? Visit some new places or see how many different environments you can breathe this week. Make it easy. Make it a game. I hope I have inspired you. This is important on so many levels, not just for your own microbiome. The exploration will connect you and ground you in with your own natural environment where you live. Breathe deeply. Let your body relax. I think this makes everything better. And say hi to the trees from me.