Take a deep breath…now let’s get started.
For anyone suffering from a chronic lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis or emphysema, a common concern is typically: how can I get more oxygen?
Between flare-ups, fits of coughing and general fatigue, just getting enough oxygen can be a constant source of stress for those living with lung disease.
However, when looking to increase oxygen intake, the first step is improving low blood oxygen levels.
With your health in mind, the Lung Institute is here to give you 5 Simple Tips for Improving Low Blood Oxygen Levels.
5. Fix Your Posture
Poor posture can have a significant effect on breathing and oxygen intake.
Although naturally, we tend to shrink a bit on our posture, simple adjustments can lead to an increase in lung capacity by roughly 5%.
When making these adjustments, remember to stand straight, roll back the shoulders, puff out your chest, squeeze your shoulder blades and keep your chin up.
4. Get Up and Exercise
As we’ve mentioned before it can’t be understated just how important exercise is to respiratory health. Not only can exercise improve one’s lung capacity, but it can also lead to weight loss and a healthier heart.
The best way to get started is through aerobic exercise, and one of the best, low-impact exercises out there is simply walking. All it takes are 30 minutes a day.
3. Change Your Diet
Diet is often more important than exercise when it comes to health.
Your body requires a variety of vital nutrients and vitamins in order to function properly, so it’s critical to your health to give every organ the exact balance of chemicals that it needs.
To build oxygen within the body, focus on antioxidants. These help the body to use oxygen more efficiently so that it enters the bloodstream in the proper amounts.
For good antioxidants, try adding blueberries, cranberries, red kidney beans, artichoke hearts, strawberries, plums and blackberries to your diet.
2. Change the Way You Breathe
It may sound strange, but in general, most people don’t know how to properly breathe.
Whether it’s in running, meditation, weightlifting or even childbirth, we often need to be instructed: “hey remember to breathe”.
In fact, improper breathing may lead to a reduction in blood oxygen levels by about 20 percent.
To combat this, try the practice of deep breathing, which serves to create energy, cleanse the lungs and increase the amount of oxygen in the blood.
1. Better Your Air Quality
Once you’ve made the changes to your own behavior, it’s time to look outside yourself. It’s time to address the air quality around you. It should come as no surprise that poor air quality can have a detrimental effect on oxygen intake.
In addressing poor indoor air quality factors such as smoke or other airborne particulates, a variety of methods are available from oxygen-producing plants to natural air purifiers.
By using natural remedies and innovations such as these, it’s possible to improve quality of life around the house.
Christine Kingsley, APRN is the Health and Wellness Director at the Lung Institute where she focuses on providing helpful online resources for people looking for information on various lung diseases, breathing exercises, and healthy lifestyle choices. She advocates for holistic care that involves working with your doctor to explore all options including traditional and alternative care while focusing on diet and exercise as proactive measures.