Breathe Easy: Tips for Lung Health
Lungs are our internal tree of life. Really! If you have never seen a picture of the internal workings of this amazing organ, go take a look. We typically breathe between 12-20 times per minute; and yet we ignore our lungs unless there is a problem with them. One of the measures of lung health is Vital Capacity, that term alone should lead us to want to pay more attention to our lungs.
Wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, shallow breathing, lung congestion, are all signs that our lungs could use some help. Maybe it is from a pathogen, or smoke, or allergies, or pollution, or stress. Here are some ideas for giving our lungs a little love.
Environment: Open the windows-Air out your home, unless the air outside is smoky, polluted or allergy filled. If it is, use an indoor air purifier with a HEPA filter. There are innumerable options, find the right one for your home size and budget.
Dust your space and keep it mold free-Clean your space regularly and check moist areas for mold.
Nutrition: Mediterranean Diet-This is a varied, whole food, fresh diet focused on mostly eating vegetables. It is full of fiber, antioxidants, and is naturally anti-inflammatory.
Vitamin D-Those with low vitamin D are more vulnerable to respiratory tract infections
Vitamin C-Lowers inflammation in the lungs
Vitamin E-A great antioxidant for lung health
Osha and Chaparral Tincture-Both are antimicrobial and increase circulation to the lungs
Exercise: Move your body-Whatever this looks like for you. Get at least 30 minutes of movement a day.
Breathe through your nose-It moistens and filters the air entering your lungs.
Diaphragmatic breathing-Breathe into your belly. Exercise your lungs by using their full capacity. When I am retraining someone how to breathe properly, this is one of my favorite exercises: Lay on the floor with a heavyish book placed on your belly button, inhale for a count of 4-6 pushing the book to the ceiling and filling the lower part of the lungs before the upper part in your chest, pause and hold for 1 count, then exhale for 4-6 count allowing the book to sink into your abdomen toward your spine, hold for 1 count, then repeat for 5 minutes. Practice 1-2 times a day.
Breath trainers-These are hand held tools to strengthen your lungs. There are lots of options available.
Breathe well, be well.
*Always consult with your physician before changing your self care and nutrition routine.