If there is anything 2020 will be remembered for, it will be the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus outbreak that occurred in a Chinese province in December last year has aggravated into the worst pandemic ever since the 1918 influenza pandemic. Virologists, pathologists, and other medical researchers all over the world have been trying to find a cure and vaccine for the virus. The virus is mutating continuously, making it challenging for researchers to understand the full extent of COVID-19’s effects.
However, the patient data and clinical research in the last 10 months have confirmed one thing about the coronavirus, i.e., its detrimental effects on the respiratory system. Difficulty in breathing and the consequent drop in the blood oxygen levels are two major symptoms found in people who contracted the coronavirus. It has also been observed and studied that even the recovered COVID-19 patients continue to feel the virus’s effects on their respiratory system.
Recovery after COVID-19 is crucial for getting the affected respiratory system back on track. In this post, we will discuss some measures everyone should consider for reducing COVID-19’s effects. With these measures, you will be able to speed up the recovery process and protect yourself from the potential long-term effects of the virus.
Be Mindful of What You Are Eating
Many people take the effects of what they eat on their lungs too lightly. Just like some foods are not good for your cardiovascular health, certain food items are not considered good for respiratory health. You need to be very selective about the foods you eat, especially when you are recovering from the coronavirus. Eating the right foods and avoiding bad ones will diminish the COVID-19 effects.
What to Avoid
- Avoid eating spicy foods, citrus fruits, and sauces. These foods can cause acid reflux, which also takes a toll on the lungs recovering from the coronavirus. Also, reduce your coffee consumption since it also causes acid reflux.
- Cured meats like ham, hotdog, and bacon usually contain nitrates as additives for extended shelf life and color treatment. Nitrates have been studied for their detrimental effects on the lungs. So, avoid cured meat when you are recovering from COVID-19.
- Also, try to avoid food that causes gas and bloating that further worsens your condition when you are already experiencing difficulty in breathing. Bloating pushes the diaphragm upward, which makes it difficult to breathe for the full lung volume. Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and radish are known for causing bloating and gas. Fried food can also cause these gastric issues.
Also, avoid carbonated drinks and edibles with excessive salt if you don’t want to spoil your COVID-19 recovery with your careless dietary habits.
What to Eat
Add pumpkins, blueberries, Swiss chards, beetroots, and turmeric to your dietary consumption. All these items have been studied for their beneficial effects on the lungs. You can consume these good foods in several creative ways. Make pumpkin pies and add a dash of turmeric in your smoothies. Beetroot and Swiss chards can make great salads, and there are endless ways of consuming the delicious blueberries.
Train Your Respiratory Muscles
Besides sorting out your diet, you also need to work on your respiratory muscles to reduce COVID-19 effects. Cardio exercises can help train respiratory muscles with their intense physical activity. However, we can’t recommend them to people recovering from a virus because those exercises take a considerable toll on the body.
For COVID-19 patients, breathing exercises are a great alternative to train their respiratory muscles without undergoing a high-endurance physical workout. They can do them within a couple of minutes while sitting or lying down in the same position.
These are the two Respiratory Muscle Training (RMT) exercises that you need to consider for reducing COVID-19 effects.
Train through Breathing Devices
You can use easy-to-use breathing devices for COVID-19 to train your respiratory muscles. These breathing devices let you breathe at various difficulty levels through pressure adjustments. When you breathe in a low-pressure environment, you need to use all your respiratory muscles. This regular utilization of respiratory muscles for forceful breathing eventually strengthens them. A simple breathing device for COVID-19 consists of a mouthpiece, valve(s), and nose clamp.
- Put the nose clamp on, and clasp the mouthpiece from lips.
- Adjust the air pressure through the valves.
- The difficulty level of breathing increases as you decrease the pressure on the valve.
- Inhale and exhale through the nozzle and complete a set of 10 reps.
Start from 3 10-rep sets in the morning and evening each and gradually increase the number of reps.
Diaphragmatic or belly breathing is a muscle training exercise that activates and strengthens the diaphragm, a muscle layer between the chest and the abdomen. When a person has an activated diaphragm, they can easily take deep breaths that help neutralize COVID-19’s effects.
You can do this breathing exercise with these easy steps
- Lie down in a comfortable position on an even surface.
- Put one hand on the abdomen and the other on the chest.
- Breathe in from the nose and feel the belly moving against the hand.
- Take out the air through pursed lips and press your stomach gently so that diaphragm can exhale more air.
- Try to keep your hand on the chest as still as possible.
For the respiratory muscle training mentioned above, consider getting Orygen Dual Valve or Orygen Inspiratory Valve. The regular use of these devices will strengthen your inspiratory and expiratory muscles. Subsequently, strengthened respiratory muscles can reduce breathing problems and lessen COVID-19’s effects.