Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Avoid pollutants - and other tips to breathe easier

Breathing fresh air and other
tips to feel relief
Breathing should be easy, but for a variety of reasons millions of people suffer from respiratory diseases.

WebMD recently published a list of tips for people affected by COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), but many of these tips apply to the general public and promote an overall healthy lifestyle, so here is an abbreviated version:

Stop smoking
Smoking and secondhand smoke has been linked to a myriad of health effects and can be especially dangerous for infants and young children. Ban smoking from your indoor space.

Stay at a healthy weight
Shedding extra pounds can improve breathing if you are already overweight.

Avoid pollutants
Many people are affected by environmental pollutants -- including fumes, strong perfumes, pollen, dust, secondhand smoke, air pollution and construction sites. These can cause or aggravate breathing problems. The experts cited in the article suggest avoiding bad air as much as possible. "Using air filters in the house or air conditioning when allergens are prevalent can be helpful," the article states.

Stay healthy
A healthy lifestyle can help you feel better and breathe easier. Avoid people who are sick and build up your immune system as much as possible.

Sleep well
Better sleep is associated with a wide range of benefits, but many people have problems getting a good night's rest. Ask your healthcare professional about sleep disorders and take steps to improve the indoor air quality in your bedroom. A portable air purifier can remove airborne particles, chemicals and other pollutants and add some soothing white noise to help you through the night.

Try breathing exercises and relaxation methods
The article suggests pursed-lip breathing and diaphragm breathing to regulate breathing. Keep stress to a minimum and try different relaxation exercises.

Stay active
Getting exercise, even if it is just walking for a few minutes, is important. Don't overdo it, but keep with it. Eventually, the body will get stronger.

Get more information
If you have a breathing disorder, you need to know what you can or cannot do and talk to your healthcare provider. Most of these tips are common sense, but they may not be suitable for everyone. 

Please note: The information contained herein is not meant to diagnose, mitigate, prevent, treat or cure a disease or condition. It may be necessary to consult a physician.

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