Contributed by: Rachana Arya
Surviving the infection is just half of the fight for several COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital. When a patient is declared virus-free and able to return home, the long road to recovery begins, which includes restoring lung capacity and overall respiratory health.
In this blog, we cover some steps that you may take today — and every day —to regain the health of your lungs post-covid-19.
Deep breathing, even for a few minutes, has been shown to be beneficial to the lungs in studies. It aids in the clearing of the lungs as well as a complete oxygen exchange. According to a small study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, simple deep breathing exercises and meditative postures for 2 to 5 minutes can substantially help to increase blood flow to the lungs and chest passageways.
Increase your lung capacity and enhance your breathing by lengthening your inhalations and exhalations, which increases the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide and, as a result, improves lung capacity. When lying on your back, taking deep breaths helps to help increase the oxygen supply. Pranayama has also been lauded as a miraculous technique.
Experts advise patients to engage in mild or brisk physical activities or sports that can increase heart rate and blood flow. Exercises that increase your breathing rate are a safe way to restore lung capacity and function. Physical activity increases the flow of oxygen in your bloodstream, which results in more oxygen reaching your muscles, heart, and lungs.
To improve lung health, 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days per week is recommended. Cardio exercises such as speed walking, jumping rope, stationary bike riding, or running can help increase lung capacity. Likewise, aerobic exercises that help you breathe faster is also recommended. That said, it is advised to consult your doctor before starting any new exercise.
The effects of COVID-19 can persist in the lungs even after recovery. Excess liquids must be taken to aid recovery. Hydration keeps your lungs lubricated, allowing irritants and mucus to thin out. Drink eight to ten glasses of water each day, and include soups, broths, herbal sauna teas, lemon water, kadha, coconut water, and other hydrating beverages in your diet. Make sure that you discuss your personal hydration requirements with your doctor.
Maintain Good Dental Care
It is important to preserve your teeth, gums, and tongue in order to better protect your lungs. Brush and floss your teeth twice a day to avoid plaque accumulation and bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria could spread from your mouth to your lungs, impairing their ability to function properly.
Reduced Pollution, Allergens & Irritants Exposure
People who have recently recovered from COVID-19 should avoid excessive exposure to smoke, unhealthy conditions, and any activity that may impair their ability to function. The more your lungs are irritated by outside sources, the more inflamed they get. Reduce your exposure to aerosols and sprays, such as cleaners and hairsprays, and pollens as much as possible. Remember, pollutants can increase the risk of re-infection by exposing you to carcinogens, and other potentially dangerous irritants that can lodge in your lungs and make breathing difficult.
Smoking not only increases your chances of contracting and transmitting COVID, but it’s also one of the worst things you can do to your already fragile lungs. Tobacco places additional strain on the vital organs and impairs the capacity of the lungs to transport oxygen into the bloodstream. Evidence indicates that smoking is related to increased seriousness of illness and death in COVID-19 patients hospitalized, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Consume Lung Capacity Boosting Foods
COVID-19 can cause lasting lung damage should all be included in your diet to ensure that you get all of the nutrients you need to remain healthy and active. To promote further healing of lungs after Covid, the British Lung Foundation recommends eating a well-balanced diet that includes five main food groups – fruits and vegetables, starchy carbohydrates, protein, dairy foods, and oils. A high-protein diet can aid in the repair of the lungs’ damaged tissues.
It compensates for muscle loss and fatigue caused by the Covid infection while also boosting the immune system. It is generally recommended to avoid eating too many processed and refined foods. Seasonal produce such as beets, green tea, blueberries, tomatoes, nuts, and seeds may help to improve lung ability. Garlic and turmeric are high in antioxidants and are thought to have antiviral effects. Be sure to consume a variety of Omega-3-rich foods.
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