I believe strongly in preparedness and prevention. While it certainly doesn’t guarantee I won’t get sick, I choose to control the things I can to make the things I can’t a little less stressful. That’s why I’m making sure my lungs are as healthy as they can be right now. It’s why I’m exercising daily, doing more yoga and focusing on my breath, drinking bronchial support herbal tea and eating my fruits and veggies.
Important for all aspects of our health, exercise helps the lungs release mucus and bacteria and function optimally. If you experience shortness of breath during exercise, interval training may be a better option for you than prolonged cardio.
Reduce exposure to pollutants
- Smoking reduces lung function and increases complications from respiratory illness. It’s a good time to cut back or cut it out completely.
- Spend more time in nature and less in traffic or on busy city streets. Breathe in the fresh air!
- We’re spending a lot of time inside…get some indoor plants that help cleanse the air such as English Ivy or Peace Lily.
Learn how to breathe. Seriously. There are hundreds of tutorials online!
- Belly breathing – engages your diaphragm and helps deepen your breath allowing for the full release of stale air
- Pursed lip breathing – helps us slow down our breath and get more air into the lungs
- Alternate nostril breathing – is great for relaxation and a healthy nervous system
Tone your bronchial system
- Mullein – is an antispasmodic and expectorant that helps soothe a sore throat and calm coughing. It tones and soothes irritated lungs and speeds healing of damaged tissues.
- Nettle – is a tonic herb that is anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, and diuretic. It reduces sinus inflammation and is a powerful antioxidant.
- Thyme – is a powerful antiseptic, expectorant, and anti-spasmodic that supports the bronchial system. It is also strongly antioxidant.
Antioxidants – get more of them in your diet!
- Found in so many fruits and vegetables, antioxidants inhibit damage to cells caused by free radicals or harmful molecules produced by the body in reaction to environmental pressures.
- Green tea contains antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation in the lungs. Other herbs high in antioxidants include burdock, ginkgo, milk thistle, turmeric and oregano.
- Good food sources of antioxidants include garlic, all berries, dark chocolate, pecans, brazil nuts, red beans, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, grapes, pomegranates, peppers, leafy greens, oranges, and whole grains.
- Steam adds warmth and moisture to the lungs and airways, which helps loosen mucus and improve breathing. It can provide immediate relief if you are super congested.
- Eucalyptus is a powerful antiseptic and expectorant and my favorite herb to add to a steam bath to help open up the airways.
- It’s simple: put 1 teaspoon of herb into a small pot with water, cover and bring to just boiling. Remove from heat. Cover head and pot with a towel, close the eyes, and breathe in the steam until the water begins to cool. I find this particularly useful before going to bed at night.
Drink More Water
There is a thin lining of mucus coating your lungs. When you get enough water, this lining stays thin and makes it easier to cough up excess mucus in your lungs. This is especially important right now if you are suffering from seasonal allergies.
Not only is laughter great for your stomach muscles, it helps increase the amount of air your lungs can take in. Much like exercise, laughing helps release stale air and bacteria from your lungs while bringing in new, fresh air. Laughter is also really good for your mood and general state of mind, so get on it! 😉
Wishing you all health, peace, and wellness during this stressful time.
Information contained in this blog has not been evaluated by the FDA. Not intended to diagnose, treat, nor cure.