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A Quick Guide to Respiratory Health

Prepared by Nutritionist Chen Yin


 

Respiratory health is a top concern globally at this time as one of the most common symptoms that people who experience Post-COVID conditions (PCC) report is cough or respiratory symptoms. Weakened respiratory system may make a huge toll on overall health and well-being. Here is some Do’s and Don’ts for keeping your respiratory system healthy.

 

Do’s

  • Improve indoor air quality by adding indoor plants as well as cleaning and vacuuming regularly to reduce pollutants and particulates in the air
  • Workout is a great way to improve lung health. Building strong and healthy lungs through workout helps to better resist aging and disease.
  • Deep breathing can make your lungs more efficient. Sit somewhere quietly, and slowly breathe in through your nose alone. Then breathe out at least twice as long through your mouth. It may help to count your breaths (eg. count 1 to 4 when inhale while count 1 to 8 when exhale).
  • Keep yourself hydrated is a great way to help keep your lungs healthy.
  • Maintain good hygiene level by washing hands, sheets and pillow cases on a regular basis to avoid infections.

Don’ts

  • Quit smoking. Smoking causes inhalation of thousands of chemicals into the lungs which increase mucus, make it more difficult for the lungs to clean themselves, and irritate and inflame tissues. Eventually making it harder to breathe due to narrowed airways.
  • Avoid lung irritants, such as air pollution, chemical fumes, dusts, and secondhand smoke.
  • Avoid exercising near heavy traffic, as you can inhale the exhaust.
  • Avoid or limit alcohol. You should also avoid recreational drugs.

References

  1. https://books.google.com.sg/books?id=51yQ9ori8mAC
  2. Zahra, I., Liaqat, M. and Qadeer, U. 2020. Effects of Breathing Exercises on Lung Volumes and Capacities Among Smokers. International Islamic Medical Journal. 2, 1 (Dec. 2020), 35–39. DOI:https://doi.org/10.33086/iimj.v2i1.1829.
  3. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/respiratory-failure/living-with

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