Don’t forget to breathe!
This advice from Accredited Home Care goes beyond centering yourself and having a nice pause from the busy world around you.
If you’re already trying to find opportunities to breathe better, figuratively at least, by all means continue your efforts. Health experts say focusing on your breathing, such as in a meditative state, can improve blood circulation, and help you simply feel better.
Deeper breathing can reduce stress and let you focus outward while focusing inward, which both can be calming and help you find balance and pretty much recharge your batteries.
But as beneficial as advanced breathing exercises can be, some people have a tough time drawing even a single breath due to various health conditions. They may not have the ability to breathe deep, or have the possibility of severe coughs. Asthma is increasingly common, as are other respiratory diseases.
Some people have been battling chronic respiratory and pulmonary conditions most of their lives and know their limits, while others may have only recently been diagnosed due to lung damage that has slowly built up over the years.
There also may be environment factors that can further aggravate health conditions and impact breathing, such as dust and pollen. Smoke in the air from fires can also affect people’s breathing and lungs, which can be a legitimate health concern to Californians and other states. Even though the recent fires have been in the wine country to the north, there’s still a possibility of unhealthy air working its way south.
November is a perfect time to learn more about local and global threats to good lung health and raise awareness of people suffering from them. Besides various national promotions that advocate lung health, extra attention is given to efforts to stamp out ongoing threats, such as smoking.
Some upcoming programs include:
- The Great American Smokeout. The American Cancer Society dedicates the third Thursday in November to a national push to get people to break their nicotine habit. Even though more than 36.5 million people smoke nationwide, some feel they don’t have the willpower to quit. For the Nov. 16 event, the ACS invites all smokers to at least quit for one day. Perhaps it will lead to more consecutive days of quitting, or at least the satisfaction to know that quitting can be possible one day at a time for a future attempt. The more time that passes, the stronger your body heals.
- World Pneumonia Day. People may know that pneumonia is a dangerous lung-related disease, but what’s less known that it’s the most infectious disease for children under 5 worldwide. A global initiative called Stop Pneumonia is designed to spread the word about programs to reduce this high death rate, raise funds, educate all ages about the risks of pneumonia and promote solutions. Nov. 12 has been declared a day for people to pledge to get involved at a local or global level.
- National COPD Awareness Month. The COPD Foundation is partnering with various respiratory health organizations around the world to discuss current and future needed assistance for people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. All through November, people with COPD or health care providers/specialists are encouraged to support each other and get excited about helpful tools. This even includes pre-written text that people can share on their social media pages.
Lung Cancer Awareness Month. The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer encourages people to wear white ribbons and help share the stories of others suffering from lung cancer. Hopefully this effort can generate funds and awareness for this ailment that affects 27 percent of all types of cancer.
People living or working in or near the fire zones in the West are understandably cautious about the impact to their health. They may have inhaled all sorts of unhealthy particulates from the ash, plus other toxins from items that burned, from crops to homes and businesses.
A CNN report said the amount of particulates released in a week totaled as much air pollution that was generated by California cars in an entire year.
Another report from Time said it’s common for smoke and particulates to drift hundreds of miles and these can cause various respiratory problems, from shortness of breath to higher blood pressure. They also can aggravate existing health conditions such as asthma or a weak immune system.
People concerned about their exposure to California fires of any size or any other threat to lung health can minimize their exposure by staying inside when possible; running the AC instead of opening windows; and trying to find breath masks designed especially for smaller particulates instead of a general mask or bandanna.
We can help
Accredited Home Care has helped thousands of patients for 35 years. We consider ourselves experts on helping clients with their health needs based on their current condition or possible environmental factors. Because of our history of helping fellow Californians, we’re glad to continue advising clients about ways to minimize exposure to smog, ash, smoke or other environmental threats. Be kind to your lungs!