As most of us know by now, the Coronavirus–the illness that everyone has been running scared from for the past four months or so–tends to attack our lungs more intensely than any other aspect of our health. This is why I would like to focus this article on 9 natural ways to improve lung health.
It really is important more than ever right now to consider the condition of our lungs, and what we could do to improve their functioning. That way we are ready to fight the illness off effectively in the increasingly likely chance that we contract it.
Obviously those of us dealing with chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma have are at a bit of a disadvantage, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still ways in which we can improve our lung health. Following is a video explaining just how the Coronavirus goes about attacking our lungs.
Now that you better understand the role of COVID-19 in going after the health of our respiratory system, here are the nine natural ways to improve lung health, as promised.
1. Download a Breathing App
There is a variety of apps out there specifically focused on helping you improve your lung capacity.
Apnea diver is geared toward freedivers, but can help anyone hold their breath longer.
Breathing App is focused on improving one’s breathing rhythm as well as teaching low frequency breathing for better overall health.
Wim Hof Method uses a very unique breathing exercise technique created by extreme athlete, Wim Hoff, otherwise known as “The Iceman.”
2. Drink Green Tea
Green tea has been found to have so many health benefits, one of them being its potential to increase lung functionality. The beverage contains a high content of antioxidants that results in counteracting inflammation in the lungs. Drink up!
3. Get Your Exercise
Lung capacity can be improved by approximately 10% through the practice of aerobic exercise. Regular exercise can also both improve endurance and reduce breathlessness. There are so many benefits, both mental and physical, so get moving!
4. Consume Anti-inflammatory Foods
There are certain foods that have been found to have such an anti-inflammatory effect on the lungs that leaves them worth mentioning. They include the following:
- Berries of all kinds
- Fatty fish (Sardines, Mackerel, Anchovies, Salmon, Herring)
- Olive oil
- Dark chocolate/cocoa
5. Filter Your Indoor Air
Emissions of siloxane, a common ingredient in shampoos, lotions, and deodorants, are comparable in magnitude to the emissions of major components of vehicle exhaust, such as benzene, from rush-hour traffic in Boulder, Colorado, according to a new CIRES and NOAA study.Science Daily
The concentration of pollutants in our indoor air tends to be at least twice the levels of pollution in our outdoor air, and these levels often measure much higher. The quality of air we are taking into our lungs, deeply effects our lung health. Following are some of the sources that are most responsible:
- Candles – when burned, paraffin candles can release benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and acrolein, as well as black soot, into the air.
- Personal care products – volatile organic compounds (vocs) are emitted from many of your commercial shampoos, lotions, deoderants,etc, as mentioned above.
- Household cleaning products – unless focus has been placed on using only non-toxic ingredients, this is a strong source of indoor air VOCs as well. The worst offenders include chlorine bleach, ammonia-based cleaning sprays, floor and furniture polish and chemical spray cleaners.
- Dry-cleaned clothing – carcinogenic VOC, perchloroethelyne, has been found to linger in the air for days after pickup.
- Air Fresheners – less than 10% of the ingredients are typically disclosed and recent research has even discovered that combining those ingredients with the ozone results in formaldehyde.
- Carpeting – this popular type of flooring has been found to release ethylbenzene, styrene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and other hazardous VOCs for up to 5 years. Older carpeting is a frequent source of mold, pet dander and dust.
- Plywood/Particleboard – furniture and other products made from these cheaper materials tend to off-gas formaldehyde at extreme levels.
- Painted walls – this is a prime source of VOCs , especially the fresher it is; opt for low-VOC alternatives
Options for Air Purification
Fortunately, with all these sources of VOCS in our homes, there are several ways to filter them out.
- Invest in a high-performing air filter–I highly recommend IQ Air and Austin Air.
- Open the windows! It’s such a simple, budget-friendly move and can do so much.
- Fill your home with air-filtering plants such as these.
6. Plenty of Belly Laughs
Who doesn’t love to laugh? Bonus–a good laugh boosts lung health.
7. Don’t Vape
Vaping is so popular with the teens and millenials right now. It is marketed as a fun and safer way to smoke, yet it still involves inhaling chemicals into our lungs and is highly addictive.
8. Practice Yoga or Meditation
Sometimes we forget how to breathe. Life is busy and also very stressful right now. Both yoga and meditation are centered around deep breathing. By building a practice of even 20 minutes into your morning routine, you can improve your lung health.
9. Sit up Straight
This may not be one that generally comes to mind, but when you slouch you are cramping your lung space. Practice your posture and you will increase your ability to breathe deeply and thoroughly.
What are you doing to keep your lungs healthy right now?
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