A “Deep” Impact – The Effects Of Better Lungs On Your Life

 

A “Deep” Impact – The Effects Of Better Lungs On Your Life

The battle to keep healthy is a never-ending one in the modern world, we are forever trying to find ways to make sure that we are running at optimum health. And there are more things out there that is proving to be bad for us. From artificial light to heavy metals, to eating the wrong types of foods, we’ve got so many different concerns to keep track of to make sure we are functioning as best we can. And when you think about it, the one vital thing we need to make sure that we do function properly is air. Our bodies are able to go for weeks without food, days without water, but not long without air and oxygen in our lungs! We need to keep our lungs at peak physical performance because the more we let into our bodies, the more it oxygenates the cells, and the better we are able to process toxins and generally cleanse our bodies. In the modern world, with the rise in air pollution and various allergies being more commonplace now than they were 50 years ago, we need to find ways to make sure we are tackling the issue of breathing more effectively and coping with the allergies of today’s world much better. So let’s tackle the issue.

Looking At Your Home Environment

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This is the best place to start. While most people think about outdoor air pollution as a major contributing factor to breathing problems, in fact, there are many hidden dangers within our own home too. From the cleaning products we use every day that contains chemicals with toxic fumes, there is also a lot of indoor contamination with common problems like mold and mildew, which can be further compounded if you have a pet, as pet hair can stick to the carpets. It’s also important to note that in the last 30 years, the improvements in home construction means that homes are becoming far more airtight and less drafty. And while this may mean that we are far less likely to suffer from exterior problems, these types of walls and materials will trap pollutants. It’s important to have adequate airflow in your home, regardless of the time of year. So you need to think about investing in an air purification system or suitable HVAC systems. But not just this, you need to make sure that if you do invest in good quality air purification systems that these are cleaned on a regular basis. Much like the pollutants that get trapped in our home, the same applies to these devices.

Clearing Out Our Chest

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A lot of cultures naturally have foods as part of their dietary makeup that’s incredibly beneficial at clearing out their chest. A very prominent example is asian communities, they eat lots of spicy foods. Spicy foods are very good at treating congestion, and they are always recommended if you have a cold. And not only that, there are specific herbs that help you to secrete mucus, so you breathe easier. Ginger is a good example, but there are also alternative methods which raise a few eyebrows, one of which is medical marijuana. Many medical marijuana doctors will attest that marijuana is good at alleviating symptoms of pain, but it’s also been shown to be a bronchodilator by clearing out your chest of any excess mucus, meaning you’ll breathe easier. There are also other foods that you can use to increase your lung function such as cayenne pepper, which is another space, as well as plantain leaf or pistachios. Pistachios, in particular, contain something called gamma-tocopherol which is a type of vitamin E that has been believed to reduce the risk of lung cancer. And it’s important to note that it’s your diet which is a vital component of generally being well, and not just your lung function. But with every alternative mode of therapy, a lot of spicy foods seem to be the one constant when it comes to treating minor ailments. So if you are looking for a simple way to address breathing problems in your day-to-day life, your diet is quite likely a suitable solution. In the western world, we tend to consume a lot of mucus producing foods, from dairy to a high amount of sugar. And by addressing these the common foodstuffs and cutting down on them where necessary, you should see a dramatic reduction in breathing problems. In addition to these, there is research on how caffeine may help improve your airway function modestly.

Breathing

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You may consider this to be completely irrelevant, as you are breathing right now while reading this article! But we don’t breathe as deep as we should. A lot of us are prone to so-called shallow breathing rather than breathing deeply and from our diaphragms. Deep diaphragmatic breathing is a fundamental part of many eastern practices, from yoga to meditation, but a lot of people are quite dismissive of these practices due to the “hippie-esque” nature of them. But it’s been shown that by breathing deeper, it’s not just had a positive impact on our ability to take in and hold oxygen more effectively, but the overall impact on our body to be able to do this has a profound effect on our nervous system. As a result of breathing deeply, this relaxes us and improves our lymphatic system and increases our body’s ability to oxygenate every cell and to push out toxins from our body. You can find numerous resources on how to breathe deeper, and in fact, there are many courses you can access online. But the fact is that all you need to do is to develop an ability to breathe in deeper than you normally do. If you find you are breathing through your chest, you are not breathing as deep as someone who is breathing through their diaphragm. Once you perfect this method you could move on to more sophisticated breathing techniques, but even you will notice a huge difference by just breathing through your diaphragm, you will be able to hold in more oxygen you will feel more relaxed, and you will breathe easier.

Lifestyle Choices

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The elephant in the room with that we don’t like to address in these circumstances is our own lifestyle choices. Ultimately, it’s poor lifestyle choices that lead to bad diet, and therefore general issues with our breathing. And it isn’t just the common external effects like pollution, smoking, and an excessive amount of sugar which will dampen our immune system. But also something like stress is linked to our overall well-being, especially if we are prone to anxiety attacks. What happens when we have panic attacks? We hyperventilate and breathe shallowly. So if we can begin to tackle our stress levels by implementing breathing techniques, it will give us numerous benefits in both ways. The irony is that stress can affect your breathing and vice versa. Our lifestyle is something that we don’t tend to address because we think we are doing everything in moderation, or within our best interests. Or we know we have something to excess, such as alcohol or a poor diet, but we choose not to deal with the problem until we have a major health scare. The fact of the matter is that addressing our lifestyle will have an overall positive effect on our lives. One such issue we might not even think about is sleeping. If you find you are waking up feeling not very rested it’ may be worth addressing your sleeping lifestyle, as well as your waking one! More and more of us are finding we are complaining of a lack of sleep and whether this is due to self-inflicted issues like box set binging, the way we sleep can also have a profound impact on our health. It’s important to look at how you sleep because, when you think about, it if you are obstructing your breathing for 8 hours a night, you’re not taking in as much oxygen as you should! And with healthy lifestyle choices comes the all important E-word: exercise. It’s been spoken of countless times, but the fact is that if you want to increase your lung capacity, you have to do exercises that help with this. Whether it is swimming, running, weight training, or gentle exercises like yoga and pilates, they are all beneficial to helping you breathe better.

If we cannot take in enough oxygen, it has a detrimental effect on the whole of our body. And so if you tend to find you are suffering from persistent allergies or you are even feeling sluggish or lacking in energy, it’s surprising that a lot of these problems are down to shallow breathing. A lot of people would go to the doctor at a moment’s notice. But it may be beneficial to find ways to help you take in more oxygen such as the 4-7-8 breathing technique which you can do before bedtime. The Wim Hof breathing method is another one, or even learning how to breathe through your diaphragm will have a massive impact on common ailments you may have. If you can evaluate your lifestyle and start to find ways to clear out your chest, improve your home environment, or just breathe better overall, you will just see many positive impacts in your everyday breathing. But you will also find you have more energy, more focus, and generally feel invigorated. So, take a deep breath in…