What Do You Breathe In?
James McKeown Amoah
In 1875, three scientists in Paris, the capital of France, had worked for over two years toward this day, and now they were ready. Carefully, they climbed into the gondola of the balloon known as “Zenith,” while thousands around them watched. Determined to set a new altitude record, they wanted to go higher than man had ever risen above the earth. And they did just that, but at what cost?
Slowly the large balloon rose into the air, with its human cargo of three men in a basket-shaped gondola swinging just beneath it. All seemed well as they were well on their way toward the goal of climbing higher than any man had ever gone. Then at 24,430 feet something happened; they could not breathe and suddenly lost consciousness. They had attained a height of 8,600 meters (approximately 28,000 feet)—but two of the scientists lay dead in the gondola of the balloon. Yes, they had conquered the heights, but before it was done, the heights had conquered them.
There was not enough air, with its precious lifegiving oxygen, to sustain life at that great altitude. Air is the most vital element for man and animals, without which man and animals will die. One may live for weeks without food, or for days without water, but deprived of air he will perish within minutes. Millions of people suffer from a wide variety of ailments that are partly caused by an insufficient supply of oxygen. The problem is that most people do not breathe correctly, and this continually weakens their health, their happiness, and their hold on life itself. Every cell of your body must receive a constant supply of oxygen, or else they will weaken and die. When you breathe stale or polluted air, the supply of oxygen becomes insufficient to keep the cells strong and healthy.
It is of the highest consequence to your life, health, and happiness, that you keep fresh air in every room in your home, and especially in your sleeping rooms. You should open your windows to allow fresh air to circulate. In order to have good blood, we must breathe well. Full, deep inspirations of pure air, which fill the lungs with oxygen, purify the blood. They impart to it a bright red color and give it life, which then moves to every part of the body. A good respiration soothes the nerves, stimulates the appetite, and renders digestion more perfect. It also induces sound, refreshing sleep for the individual who breathes well. The healing of wounds takes place more quickly in the presence of fresh air and sunlight.
If you breathe in air that has an insufficient supply of oxygen, the blood moves sluggishly. The waste (poisonous matter) that should be thrown off in the exhalations from the lungs is retained, and the blood becomes impure. Not only the lungs, but the stomach, liver, and brain are affected. The skin becomes sallow, digestion is retarded, the heart is depressed, the brain clouded, the thoughts are confused, gloom settles upon the spirits, and the whole system becomes depressed and inactive, and peculiarly susceptible to disease. Many people sleep in the night and wake up feeling exhausted and feverish without knowing the cause. This is because they did not have a free circulation of pure air in their rooms through the night.
Many families suffer with sore throat, lung diseases, and liver complaints, brought upon them by their own course of action. Their sleeping-rooms are small, unfit to sleep in for one night, but they occupy the small apartments for weeks, and months, and years. They breathe the same air over and over, until it becomes impregnated with the poisonous impurities and waste matter thrown off from their bodies through the lungs and the pores of the skin. Those who thus abuse their health must suffer with disease.
The smog that envelops homes and offices in and near the large cities is now known to be quite harmful in its effects. This smog, which contains vaporized lead and sulfuric acid, is often seen during morning and evening rush hours when so much traffic is on the streets. Lead fumes, when inhaled into the body, cause the destruction of red blood cells. Sulfuric acid is such a powerful toxic agent. It has been found to be the primary reason why stone cathedrals and buildings are crumbling throughout Europe.
A very good way to start your morning when you wake up is to take several deep breaths, and then as you arise take several more. Before breakfast, go outof-doors and look on the things of nature and breathe deeply as you silently thank God for another day of life to work for Him. From time to time, throughout the day, repeat this deep-breathing practice. At times, take in very deep breaths of air, in order to expand your lungs. Shallow breathing is a habit easily developed, but harmful in its effects on the entire body.
Avoid stuffy people who like to sit in stuffy rooms all day talking or watching television. If you are not able to directly help them by word or action, then leave them to their misery and go where there is air. Scientific researchers now know that the cigarette smoke in a room can greatly injure adults, and especially children. To conclude, it is very important for every human being to make a conscious effort to breathe in pure air. That is the only way through which the body can get the needed oxygen to support life. Pure air is cheap indeed, but it can be an expensive commodity if your body deteriorates. Pure air is indeed important to life.