Air pollution is something one cannot avoid being all-time at home. At some point of time, we might have to venture out and this has been an alarming issue in the past few years in Delhi and other major metros of India. This pollution is very high during the Diwali celebrations. This is the time one could experience a rise in AQI which might result in worst air quality and visibility.
Currently, we are ina stage where the cold air gets trapped by a layer of warm air which results in this type of worst AQI. In this process, the air pollutants get trapped to form something called SMOG. We have been hearing this new term very frequently in the last few years.
What is Smog?
Smog is a mixture of SMOKE and FOG which combine to form SMOG. This smog has resulted in 10 million deaths in children below five years of age which a recent study quoted. Breathing air with worst AQI might result in serious respiratory illnesses. It is high time that we protect ourselves and be healthy during this particular season of the year. I would like to suggest a few tips to keep yourself away from being affected by this smog or air pollution:
1. Check the Air Quality Through Electronic Media or Print Media
- The best and easiest way is to check the air quality before you venture out. You may constantly check on print or electronic media to keep yourself updated on the real status of the situation.
- Try to venture out if only and when needed. Nowadays every smartphone gives a handy update on the same. You may download some applications to keep yourself updated on the real-time situation. It is best to check the AQI status before venturing out.
- Try to avoid exercising or walking or jogging during this situation as this could be harmful to your respiratory system. Young children and elderly people are the most affected during their play or taking a walk or sitting in the parks.
2. Wear a Mask While Going Out
- It would be a wise decision to wear a mask which stops 0.3 micron-sized particulate entering into your respiratory system.
- Wearing a mask could ensure that you get least affected by the respiratory disorders and this could easily prevent from getting affected by some conditions such as allergic conditions of the upper respiratory tract and also ensure that you are breathing better qualitative air.
3. Grow Indoor Plants at Home and Work
- Some pollutants such as Ammonia, Carbon monoxide, Benzene, Formaldehyde etc try to linger around at home.
- The simplest method to be safe from the ill effects of the pollutants is to make a habit of growing some simple indoor plants at home or work. Plants namely such as Aloe Vera, Peace Lily, Golden Pothos, Weeping Fig, Warneck Dracaena and Heartleaf help in increasing the oxygen levels at home and decrease the levels of the air pollutants in the house.
4. Practice Yoga
- Yoga exercises like Asanas and Pranayamakeep your respiratory system in a healthy condition. If one practice each set for atleast two minutes each, it could have a tremendous health benefit on your respiratory system.
- Asanas like Bhujanghasana, Matsyasana, Padahastasana and Ardha Chakrasana could enhance the functioning of your lungs.
- Paranyamas like kapalabhati and anuloma viloma pranayama are useful in increasing your respiratory functions. It might be suggested that you practice these asanas or pranayama under a trained yoga therapist.
4. Naturopathy Treatments
- Whenever you find some slight symptoms like sneezing or nose blocks, it is suggested that you take some steam inhalations with some eucalyptus or basil oil which eliminates the pollutants that irritate your respiratory tract.
- Steam inhalation with tulsi leaves also benefits in this case.
- If you have access to a naturopathy hospital even it might be suggested you could avail steam baths or saunas baths which help in the cleaning of the respiratory tract.
5. Diet Tips
- The basic tip is to avoid too oily or spicy diet which could increase the mucus in your respiratory tract which causes troubles when combined with the pollution during winter.
- A simple bland diet which is warm in nature and temperature could be a basic tip.
- Avoiding non-vegetarian diet, alcohol and smoking would be an added advantage to your preventive aspects.
- Tulsi leaves ( 5-6 ) boiled in a container of water along with some dried ginger and palm jaggery actually work as a great drink substituting your coffee or tea during the winters. Tulsi, dried ginger and palm jaggery have their own health benefits. This decoction could also enhance your immunity
- Tulsi with some black salt, lemon and honey could also help in the congested respiratory tract. It helps in clearing your respiratory tract and facilitate in breathing normally and better.
- Eat foods those rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C and Vitamin E and Omega- 3 fatty acids which help in enhancing your immunity levels.
- Eating the green leafy vegetables of the season, preferably grown in an organic way may be a better choice. It is suggested that you boil water with cumin seeds or dried ginger and allow it to cool and then consume at frequent intervals.
Air pollution is something that can’t be avoided if you are living in this part of the country. It is always a better way to follow some simple steps to keep ourselves safe which could help us to keep our respiratory systems in an optimum state of health.
(About Dr. Sangeeth Somanadhapai is a Naturopath, academician and stress management trainer with 20 years of experience at various levels, private and government projects).
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