Coughs and colds are back. And there is COVID too. During a cold, you may experience a cough. Usually a cough clears within 2 weeks. If you are still suffering with a cough after 3 weeks, herbal medicine and acupuncture can help. A chronic cough lasting longer or bringing up fluid/phlegm should be monitored by your health professional.
Here are some steps you can take to improve the health of your lungs both before and after illness.
- Cleaner air
We have many pollutants both inside and outside our homes. These can irritate the lungs.
You can get air purifiers for your home.
Avoid artificial scents and incense. (Including air fresheners, candles, wax scents, household cleaners).
Reduce the amount of time spent in areas with traffic, smoke, dust etc.
Change/clean the filters in your air-con.
2. Spend more time outside
Fresh air is good! Monitor the quality of air in your area first.
3. Breathing exercises
Abdominal breathing helps more air reach all of your lungs. Sitting up straight, slowly filling your lungs (4 secs) by expanding your abdomen (not your chest), then taking longer (6 secs) to completely empty your lungs by squeezing your abdominal muscles. With practice you can increase the length of your breath by some seconds. This is slow and controlled breathing.
4. Improve your diet
Increasing anti-inflammatory foods and Vitamin D may help. Foods like green tea, broccoli, salmon, sardines, eggs, turmeric. Avoid sugars and other inflammatory foods.
Keep your bowel moving. Chinese Medicine recognises a strong link between the lungs and large intestine. A diet high in fibre and drinking sufficient water. Walnuts and avocado are just two foods that might help.
5. Aerobic Exercise
Even a few minutes of high heart rate exercise will start to get your lungs in shape. Check with your Dr before starting new exercise regime if you suffer from diagnosed heart or lung conditions like COPD, asthma, cystic fibrosis.