Many of you may know this already, but I have asthma. I didn’t grow up with it and honestly had no idea I had it until I was in college and living in Boston.
I was sitting on my bed in my dorm room working on an assignment that wasn’t due for a few weeks when I suddenly found myself hyperventilating and shaking. I texted my boyfriend at the time who was on his way back to the dorms from a band rehearsal and went and sat with his roommate in their room until he got back. We went to the ER but after hours sitting around not being seen by a doctor and with an early class the next day, we made our way back home. At this point I wasn’t shaking and my breathing was back to normal.
It took a repeat situation a few months later and a couple different doctors before someone realized what was happening – asthma.
Over the years, my symptoms seemed to get worse. My rescue inhaler was used more often and I was put on daily medications which we kept changing in an attempt to find the one that would get my symptoms under control.
It wasn’t until I took my health in my own hands, that I found the combination that best works for me.
With October being National Healthy Lung Month, I figured there was no better time than now to share how I keep my lungs healthy, my asthma at bay and have been able to leave the inhaler to expire in a drawer for the last 2 years. I present to you, my 5 Natural Ways To Keep Your Lungs Healthy.
-Don’t Smoke and Avoid Second-hand Smoke when possible
The smoking part is EASY for me…I don’t do it! Sometimes it’s hard to avoid second hand smoke especially if you’re out at a big event, but I find the more you surround yourself with like minded people, the less of an issue this is. If you don’t smoke and they don’t smoke, then you’re not bothering one another. (Obviously you can’t help walking through large groups or outside a bar, etc but do your best.)
While it may seem counter-intuitive at first for someone with asthma to start running, I had a friend who started running as a kid when he found out he had asthma. His dad didn’t really give him an option and while he carried an inhaler in his car, just in case, he couldn’t tell me the last time he needed it. I took the advice and tried it for myself and felt my lungs get stronger and stronger.
-Control Your Symptoms Naturally With Chiropractic Care
I’m not kidding! My chiropractors have been a HUGE support in getting my asthma under control. Since I started seeing them about 2 ½ years ago, I’m off all asthma medications and haven’t used my inhaler in 2 years. I know the work they do to keep my body in alignment paired with all of the other steps I’ve taken helped get me where I am today.
-Get Indoor Plants to Improve Indoor Air
If you know me, you probably know I don’t have a green thumb but it’s important to improve your air indoors. Since I usually kill plants too quickly, I try to open my windows when possible to keep the clean, fresh air coming into my room! If I could keep some plants alive, then I know I would be breathing even better air.
Another thing to keep in mind is any toxins that may be in your home (and therefore in your air) that can be extremely dangerous like radon or asbestos, which is known to cause an aggressive cancer, mesothelioma through exposure.
-Practice Slow Deep Breathing
When I do find that I’m having a hard time with my breath, I take a moment and just focus on slow deep breaths. I find stress or a really tough workout can set me off and I just need to remind myself that no matter what I’m doing, it’s okay to slow down and focus on my breath.
heaThanks to my friends at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance for reaching out and inspiring this post.
How do you keep your lungs healthy?