As we go into the winter months, it’s important to be as healthy as possible.
This includes ensuring that we have healthy lungs to help protect against infections.
Read our tips to keep lungs healthy, including practising breathing exercises, staying hydrated and using a pulse oximeter to know your oxygen saturation.
Of course, breathing is something that we do without thinking too hard. But there are certain breathing techniques that you can learn to help keep your lungs in great condition.
They are especially helpful if you experience problems with your lungs related to:
- Chronic bronchitis
- Long COVID
Try diaphragmatic breathing. This involves being aware of your diaphragm — the main muscle used in breathing — which is located at the base of the chest and separates it from the abdomen. Exercising your lungs in this way will mean that you get a deeper inhale and increase your lung capacity.
You can try simple deep breathing exercises to help your lung capacity too. This is a great technique to achieve a state of calm, so it’s also recommended for your overall wellbeing.
Any moderate to intense exercise or physical activity is going to be great for your lungs.
Try to incorporate at least 20 minutes of moderate activity into your daily routine. You could try:
- Brisk walking
There are other positive side effects to exercising regularly too. Your heart health will also improve, you will find it easier to maintain a healthy weight, and you will benefit from enhanced mood, thanks to the hormones known as endorphins, which are released when you get active.
Staying hydrated can help keep the lining of your lungs healthy and thus prevent the infections that are so common in winter.
The government recommends that men drink around 10 cups of fluids a day while women should aim for eight cups, with each cup holding 250ml.
Water, fruit juice and cordials are good options. You can also include tea and coffee in your daily cups. Avoid drinks loaded with sugar that can damage your teeth and alcoholic beverages, which can have a dehydrating effect.
Follow a healthy diet
Did you know there is a link between healthy lungs and food? Eat a nutrient-rich diet and you will be rewarded with better health and stronger lungs.
There are lots of foods that have a protective effect on your body, especially if they are high in antioxidants, which help prevent cell damage that can lead to disease.
Foods particularly high in antioxidants include:
- Dark chocolate
- Pecan nuts
- Goji berries
- Red cabbage
Include some of these items in your daily diet to get a dose of health-promoting antioxidants.
Know your oxygen saturation
If you are prone to lung infections, it’s wise to keep a pulse oximeter at home. This device will show you the oxygen saturation level of your blood — in other words, how efficiently your blood is carrying oxygen all around your body.
It’s easy to use — simply place your finger on the device and wait for the reading to appear.
A pulse oximeter reading of 95-100% means that your oxygen saturation levels are healthy. If you have a chronic condition, you might regularly see a reading of 95%. If your reading drops below 95%, you should seek medical attention.
Also know what to avoid
As well as knowing what keeps your lung healthy, you should be aware of what you should avoid.
This includes smoking, drinking too much alcohol and spending time in polluted environments.
Reach out to your doctor if you would like help in cutting down on your alcohol consumption or quitting smoking.
If you can’t avoid being in a polluted environment, wear a face mask to protect you from contaminants.
Shop for your pulse oximeter Australia here!
Now that you’ve read our tips, you should be well prepared to face the coming winter.
These simple self-care activities will help keep your lungs in tip-top condition and ward off infection and illness.
You can also invest in a pulse oximeter from FeverMates' range of health and wellbeing products.
We’re all about keeping you well, so you’ll find many other items in our collection to complement your healthy lifestyle.
It’s good to know that we’re right by your side when it comes to taking care of your and your family’s health.