How to Improve Blood Oxygen Levels

How to Improve Blood Oxygen Levels

Improving Low Blood Oxygen Levels in 5 Simple Steps 

Better breathing in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive lung disease affecting over 600 million worldwide. Unfortunately, the bottom line of this disease can mean an extreme difficulty in gaining oxygen. The dominant question that can come to the mind of those with lung disease is simply, “How do I get more oxygen?

Although you may suffer COPD fatigue, flare-ups, and coughing, one of the biggest issues can just be getting enough oxygen. However, for those looking to improve their oxygen intake, it may take addressing low blood oxygen levels directly.

With your health in mind, we’re here to give you five simple steps to improving your blood oxygen levels. To start…

5. Quit Smoking 

Smoking is one of the worst — yet preventable — health choices you can make. Damaging your lungs, brain and body as soon as you take your first puff, it is critical to stop this activity immediately in order to avoid making COPD symptoms even worse.

Although smoking can be incredibly damaging to your health, health can improve immediately after quitting, with heart rates dropping within 20 minutes of your last cigarette.

4. Get Up and Exercise

It can’t be understated just how important exercise is to respiratory health. Not only can exercise improve your lung capacity, but it can also lead to weight loss and a healthier heart.

According to the scientific journal Respirology, the best way to get started is through aerobic exercise, and one of the best, low-impact exercises out there is simply walking. After researchers examined 543 COPD patients, they found that among those who walked, hospitalizations were less frequent. All it took was 30 minutes of walking a day.


3. Change Your Diet 

Diet is often more important than exercise when it comes to health. Your body requires a variety of vital nutrients and vitamins in order to function properly, so it’s critical to your health to give every organ the exact balance of chemicals it needs.

To build oxygen within the body, focus on antioxidants — these help the body use oxygen more efficiently so it enters the bloodstream in the proper amounts. For good antioxidants, try adding blueberries, cranberries, red kidney beans, artichoke hearts, strawberries, plums and blackberries to your diet.

2. Change the Way You Breathe

It may sound strange, but in general, most people don’t know how to breathe properly. Whether it’s in running, meditation, weightlifting or even childbirth, we often need to be instructed, “Remember to breathe.”

In fact, improper breathing may lead to a reduction in blood oxygen levels by about 20 percent. To combat this, try the practice of deep breathing, which serves to create energy, cleanse the lungs and increase the amount of oxygen in the blood.

To adjust your breathing, simply lie down and take a normal breath, followed by a deep breath. Breathe in slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Rinse and repeat.

1. Better Your Air Quality

Once you’ve made the changes to your own behavior, it’s time to look outside yourself and address the air quality around you.

It should come as no surprise that poor air quality can have a detrimental effect on oxygen intake. A variety of methods are available when addressing poor indoor air quality factors (such as smoke or other airborne particulates), from oxygen producing plants to natural air purifiers. By using natural remedies and innovations such as these, it’s possible to improve quality of life around the house.


Why Quit (Stop Smoking Recovery Timetable)

Wiley Online Library (Influence of changes in physical activity on frequency of hospitalization in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

Harvard Health Publications (Relaxation techniques: Breath control helps quell errant stress response)

Active Forever (The Oxygen Cure)

Cameron KennerlyCameron Kennerly

Cameron Kennerly serves as a senior technical writer at the Lung Institute, where they believe regenerative medicine is the future of treatment for those suffering from COPD and other lung diseases. For other work by Cameron Kennerly, read his most recent white paper on the effects of autologous stem cells on COPD.

Sep 13, 2016
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