One of the interesting developments in the last fifty years has been the rising awareness of air quality. Air quality includes a huge range of factors from temperature, moisture, barometric pressure, and of course the stuff nature did not put there itself. We all want to be able to take that deep breath without a lot carcinogens and toxins flowing in for the ride. Fortunately, this problem is tied to the major cities and industrial centers of the world. Unfortunately, that is also where most of us live! This year, the National Parks Service and the National Heritage Areas encourage you to check out your local conditions using this handy site that the NPS has created: http://www.nature.nps.gov/air/webcams/. It will give you all the details you could hope to have on the local conditions in several of the national parks throughout the United States. They update it every fifteen minutes, which means you get accurate information on the changing conditions for any plans you have. It might just be interesting to compare how different the air is in your area versus the parks that are so close to home.
So if you feel that you need to take a deep breath and get out there and visit one of the national parks or heritage sites in your area. Chances are you will be taking better quality breaths for every minute of that quality time you have taken for yourself, which only doubles the benefits of it all!