The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Looking to take things a little easier this Thanksgiving? Here are some easy tips for managing lung disease during the holidays.
The Meal That Never Ends
Let’s be honest for a moment. Thanksgiving is around the corner, and whether we like it or not, there’s a good chance we’ll all be eating a bit more than we should this holiday season. Although the food of Thanksgiving is mainly to foster family and friendships, it can also be the source of heartburn, indigestion, or for those suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), flare-ups. With your well-being in mind, the Lung Institute has crafted a short list of helpful tips to managing lung disease during the holidays without harming your health.
Ask for Help
Between traveling to the store and cooking, it’s easy to see how someone could become fatigued. And for people with lung disease, that fatigue could make breathing all the more difficult. So why go it alone? When planning grocery store visits and cooking, include someone you care about and split the load. With less physical activity and more teamwork, you’ll be healthier and building stronger bonds with the ones you love.
Open a Window
Managing lung disease during the holidays can be as easy as opening a window. Opening up a window can bring great relief for those with COPD. Not only does it stimulate clean airflow into a room, but when cooking, it can release smoke and steam that may cause symptom flare-ups. As an added bonus, the fresh air will bring more oxygen into your home naturally. Remember to check the outdoor air quality before opening your windows.
Remember Your Diet and Eat in Moderation
When eating during the holidays, your health is more important than the casseroles, desserts or juiciest turkey. We’ve mentioned a few healthy recipes here and here that you may want to give a try this Thanksgiving, but if you’d rather stick to the traditional staples, remember to eat in moderation and smaller proportions. Because overeating can worsen COPD symptoms, smaller portions of your favorite holiday foods allow you to enjoy the tasty treats without discomfort to you and your lungs. Instead of a green bean casserole or fried turkey, consider steamed vegetables and oven baked turkey.
Perhaps equal to the problem of overeating during the holiday season is eating too quickly. When the turkey is browned and hand-delivered to the center of the table, it is often surrounded by a feast of sides and stuffing. Although Thanksgiving etiquette may require us to grab a handful of everything and return for seconds, take your time. Eating too quickly can cause discomfort and make it easier to eat too much. So, pace yourself and drink plenty of water to keep those airways clear.
Take a Walk
The first instinct after eating a Thanksgiving meal is to plop down on the couch and watch football. Although this is a fine pastime, eating big meals is known to cause lethargy, which often means slower and more labored breathing. At halftime or before the game, try taking a 15-minute walk down the block with a loved one. It’s a great opportunity to get a breath of fresh air as well as some exercise to work off that meal!
With these tips for managing lung disease during the holidays, you’ll be able to enjoy every bit of the festivities, meals and family fun.
If you’re interested in learning about more options to treat COPD, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis or another chronic lung disease, contact us at (800) 729-3065 to learn how your own stem cells can promote healing within your lungs through stem cell therapy.
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