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Air pollution is one of the biggest concerns in modern times affecting our physical and mental health. Every day the Air Quality Index numbers are enough to make anyone anxious and sick. Not just Delhi or even the National Capital Region (NCR) but the neighboring states wake up every day to a brown haze that blocks out the sun and doesn’t settle easily. Throat and sinus problems are becoming more and more common while the number of viral cases is increasing every year. People with breathing problems can’t seem to make it through at all. We must learn to adapt.
Some steps have been taken by the government in the past like odd-even vehicle days and now turning off the cars at the traffic signal have made a difference but it’s not nearly enough. Several people, children and adults alike, are admitted every year and diagnosed with irreparable lung problems. Plus, the festive season usually ends with a week of AQI numbers going through the roof. We need to be able to build resistance by changing some of the ways of life. Eating nutritious food and exercising regularly is necessary to keep your body functioning well and your immunity strong. Check out FITPASS services to stay healthy and fit wherever, whenever.
A face mask is essential these days since it reduces the chances of contracting COVID-19. But that’s not the only thing it does. The most harmful particles in the polluted air are PM 2.5 besides PM 10. You should wear an N-95 mask or better whenever you’re outside. Even when you go out on the terrace on a particularly polluted day, it is best to wear a good mask. However, some research suggests that masks with air valves can prevent the contraction of COVID-19 for the one wearing it but it might not for others since they let out air through the valves. Therefore, double or triple ply cloth masks or N-95 masks without valves are more suitable to protect yourself from pollution as well as COVID-19. You may wear a mask with a valve at home but not in crowded places.
Air quality is beyond hazardous, especially during the Diwali week and after. And being indoors doesn’t really completely protect you from the pollution. According to the experts, some of the pollutants do seep in and that’s why installing an air purifier might be a good idea. Visit a nearby store or check online and buy an air purifier online that filters the most harmful pollutants like PM 2.5 and PM 10. Some devices filter UV pollutants as well.
Food cannot protect you directly from air pollution. Or can it? Well, it can certainly help you. Basically, the harmful gasses in the air and other pollutants increase free radicals in your system which leads to inflammation. A congested nose is the simplest and most common example of that. Therefore, having anti-inflammatory foods can enable your body parts to deal with the adverse effects of air pollution. Foods rich in Vitamins B, C, D, and E along with polyunsaturated fatty acids are good sources of antioxidants. Have fish, fish oil, leafy greens, avocados, berries and other citrus fruits every day to reduce the effects of pollution. For that matter, jaggery is known to purify the lungs. Having some every day before sleeping can help you breathe better during months of pollution.
Plants and trees are the ultimate allies against pollution. They not only filter the air but reduce carbon emissions as well, keeping your surroundings cleaner. Plants and trees are responsible for giving out oxygen, which is much needed in times like these. Some studies show that green areas have much better air quality even during the days of heavy pollution. Keep aloe vera, spider plant, snakes plant, etc. in your room since they clear out the air very well. They are natural air filters and especially good for people with breathing problems.
Exercising keeps the body active and enables it to handle pollutants much better. That being said, do not exercise outdoors or with your windows open. This is not the best time to get up early and go for a run or a bicycle ride either. Avoid early morning or late evening walks as they will only turn out to be counterproductive. Let an air purifier work in your exercise/workout room for sometime before you start your routine. While performing exercises, the body needs more oxygen, so avoid rooms overlooking busy roads. You can also keep plants in your workout room to make it easier to breathe. Cardiovascular exercises keep the heart strong and improve lung capacity, so don’t miss out on your daily indoor exercise. Get FITCOACH and access customized home workouts to stay fit wherever you are.