Winter is nearly upon us! The upcoming winter promises chilly evenings and coziness but along with this, it also proves to be very distressing for some. Winter may bring along with it the never-ending smog, and sometimes very frigid and harsh conditions that many do not eagerly wait for.
Of all the issues people usually face in winter, your lungs seem to suffer the most. From breathlessness to congested chests, the flu, the cough that does not seem to go away, to some serious complications like wheezing and pneumonia.
To fend off these concerns, any Pulmonologist in Islamabad may tell you that it is vital that you boost your immunity i.e. the natural system that helps you fight off diseases; as well as protect your lungs, to help you enjoy the upcoming season instead of dreading it.
Let me list a few ways that can help you boat your immunity and protect your lungs in order to be better prepared for those icy days:
Good Hydration is key!
Many people are of the opinion that drinking water has nothing to do with the lungs. Water is essential for almost all body organs to work properly. The lungs are no exception.
Your lungs have mucosal linings. These linings need to remain thin for the lungs to function better. Intake of good quantities of water throughout the day ensures these linings remain thin. It is usually observed that most people tend to reduce their water consumption as winter approaches. This is wrong!
You may end up with clogged airways when you do this, leading to respiratory problems you simply don’t want to have. What you can do is inhale steam from time to time to clear your airways and minimize complications.
Keep your house clean
It is adamant that you keep your environment and house as clean as possible, especially the carpets and fabrics. All surfaces must be wiped regularly with a disinfectant. This will help clean any contaminants near you.
Keeping your house clean and dust-free will help remove any bacteria that you may contract, leading to fewer to no infections.
Wear a mask
The smog wreaks havoc on the lungs. Avoid going out at times when smog is the heaviest. But if you have to, always wear a mask.
This will prevent any pollutants and harmful particles from going directly into your lungs, saving you from the harmful effects of smog.
Avoid processed foods
When you ingest junk food and other processed food, your body, specifically your immune system, has an inflammatory response to it. In case of inflammation in the body, it is unable to fight off infections. Thus, this makes you more prone to contracting diseases.
Taking foods rich in antioxidants, such as beetroot and peppers can help protect you from viruses and flu, not just in the winter, but throughout the year. Avoid excessive sugar and gluten intake, and if you must, add bone broth to your diet. It will definitely do wonders to build up your strength.
Use eucalyptus oil
If you want to see some fabulous results where your lungs are concerned, try using a few drops of eucalyptus oil. Rubbing a few drops of this oil on your chest sometimes can help relieve you of congestion, and excess amounts of mucus in your lungs and clear up those airways in no time!
It is common to adopt a sedentary lifestyle when extreme weather conditions make it hard to move around. In these harsh conditions, it is necessary to at least adopt a few general exercise routines in order to avoid gaining unwanted weight as well as to not slouch.
The more weight you gain or the more you slouch, the more effort your lungs have to put in. Exercise will help you get rid of these problems, as well as boost your immunity. Walking for 20-30 minutes each day is a good way to start off. You may also practice deep breathing to help your lungs do better in winter.
Take those supplements!
While naturally boosting your immunity is important, it is also necessary to take on a few supplements to help your body fight off infections faster and recover that strength of yours in case you do contract one. Here are a few vitamins and minerals that can help you in the long run:
- Vitamin C – Where immunity is concerned, the first thing that comes to mind is Vitamin C. It is an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. You may find vitamin C in kiwi, broccoli, citrus fruits, and pineapple. If you believe your dietary intake of Vitamin C is low, you may take a supplement of adequate dosing as well
- Zinc – Zinc is shown to shorten the time period of your viral infections once you have contracted them. It does wonders for your immunity. Easily found in red meat and seafood, you may also take a supplement of 25mg of inc every day in case you do not ingest both of these nearly as much.
- Vitamin D – When we think of vitamin D, we think of bones. However, research has shown that adequate intake of Vitamin D supplementation can help protect people from respiratory problems, the common cold, and the flu. You may aim for 1000 IU of vitamin D daily.
Here are some other supplements to boost that immunity:
- B complex vitamins
By taking some protective measures, intake of a few necessary supplements, and following simple measures, you can finally enjoy the upcoming winter, rather than hate it while simultaneously suffering from infections. Happy Winters!