Winter approaching; don’t slack off on your preventative care just because you’ll be staying home more than normal. The last thing you want is to be ill during the holidays!
Humidity is Your Friend
Dry air can wreck havoc on your respiratory system. Like every other part of your body, your respiratory tract needs moisture to function at full capacity. Dry air can dry out your passages, creating an increase in mucus and increasing your chances of catching a virus. If you live in a particularly arid climate, ensure your house has a humidifier to keep your air moist. Follow the cleaning directions quite closely, and clean it properly to avoid growing and spreading mold and mildew. If you’re on oxygen therapy, check your humidifying device on your oxygen machine to see if it’s working well and it’s being cleaned as often as your respiratory therapist recommends.
Take Cold Air Precautions
Cold air can be uncomfortable to breathe in regardless of your respiratory health. When you go out into the cold, breathe in through your nose. This will warm the air before it hits your lungs. Wrapping a scarf around your nose and mouth will also help warm the air and prevent a coughing spell. Experts recommend taking a few short breaths when you first step outside to ward off any irritation and prevent coughing.
Staying indoors the majority of the time, running a furnace, or burning a fire can all lead to an increased amount of dust particles. Before winter starts, replace the filter in your furnace and check it regularly to make sure it isn’t getting too dirty. Keep up on your regular cleaning, but also make sure you’re doing non-routine things regularly like dry cleaning drapes, vacuuming your mattresses and furniture, and change your vacuum’s filters and bags on a frequent basis.
Unless your doctor has contraindicated any physical activity, don’t let the fall and winter months stop you from enjoying exercise! The sun provides vitamin D, which helps prevent depression and boosts your immune system. If you’re at a higher risk for catching a cold or flu, then perhaps avoid group classes or the gym until the virus season passes.
Take Care of Your Nose
Believe it or not, having a nose that isn’t properly flushed out can lead to an increase in respiratory illnesses. Doctors recommend blowing your nose frequently. If you have a tickle or feel the need to sniffle, remember that “out is better than in” and make an effort to blow your nose whenever you feel like you need to. Your nasal passages store a lot of junk, and it’s that junk that helps those nasty viruses flourish in your body.
While the rest of the world is battling yet another case of the sniffles, it’s important for you to avoid these viruses. Your chronic respiratory ailment can turn even a simple cold into a dangerous ordeal. Take care of yourself this winter so you can enjoy everything wonderful the season has to offer.
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