Keep calm and shield your body against pollution
/content/maxbupa/in/en/bank,/content/maxbupa/en/in/digital/home/app-form2,/content/maxbupa/en/in/digital/home/thank-you1,partner.maxbupa.com
/content/maxbupa/in/en/agent
keep-calm-and-shield-your-body-against-pollution

Livewell: Health Insurance & Wellness Blogs | Max Bupa

KEEP CALM AND SHIELD YOUR BODY AGAINST POLLUTION

Dr. Prashant Saxena

10 September 2019

Blurb: It’s National Pollution Prevention Day. Carpool, do your bit for the environment and yourself! Here are 3 simple ways to build resistance and stay healthy, even when you can’t control the quality of air you breathe.
 

You use an air purifier at home and never forget your respirator mask when you step out. But still, your cough bothers you every night. Your cold allergy seems to be getting worse. The World Economic Forum -- citing research by the University of Chicago’s Air Quality Life Index -- describes air pollution as “the world's top killer, more deadly than war, smoking and TB.” India fares badly in the study, which estimates people in parts of the country could live 11 years less due to high levels of air pollution. We all agree something needs to be done to reduce the pollution levels in our cities. 

But each of us have another fight that we need to win individually. Beyond a point, we can’t control the quality of the air we breathe without making major life changes like moving locations. But it is possible to create a protective shield for your body, so it builds resilience and is stronger the next time you step out into the smog.
 

ADD NATURE’S ‘POWER FIGHTERS’ TO YOUR DIET
 
  • Go for Gold: Our grandmothers suggested it when we were going down with a cold or cough. ‘Golden lattes’ are a huge health fad in the West -- a trend that grew out of the many research findings on the benefits of Turmeric. With its proven anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, think of Haldi as a natural way to repair the damage to your body. The good news is, it’s available everywhere in India. In this season, you can also pick up the fresh root at your local vegetable market.
  • Spin the color wheel: Vitamins have a key role to play in protecting our bodies from air pollution. A study by the Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health found that B vitamins can lessen the impact of fine particle pollution on cardiovascular disease. Healthy non-smokers who upped their intake of vitamin B nearly reversed any negative effects on their cardiovascular and immune systems. Add a splash of color to your diet with dark green leafy vegetables. Enjoy the oranges and mosambi in season right now. Get your daily dose of amla. Give your body the micronutrients and vitamins it needs to counter pollution.
GET PLENTY OF EXERCISE, BUT DO IT RIGHT AND RIGHT NOW
 

Here’s a question we have all thought about in recent months while pollution levels were skyrocketing: Is exercising in polluted air worse than not exercising at all? While some studies suggest that the benefits of exercising still outweigh the risks, I would say, build your exercise regimen with some thought and care.

  • When to stay in: On days when air quality levels lean towards unhealthy or hazardous in your city, try power yoga, do strength and cardio exercises at home, climb the stairs and stay active as far as possible. Develop a regime that is flexible, with indoor and outdoor exercises.
  • Heading out: Steer clear of the main roads. Studies show taking a side street, or even one right behind a crowded road, can significantly reduce exposure to air pollution. Cut out exercising outside during rush hour. Check an air quality app like SAFAR-Air, to know the air quality forecast for your city, before you make a choice.
BREATHE BETTER, BREATHE EASIER INDOORS
 

Here’s a question we have all thought about in recent months while pollution levels were skyrocketing: Is exercising in polluted air worse than not exercising at all? While some studies suggest that the benefits of exercising still outweigh the risks, I would say, build your exercise regimen with some thought and care.

  • Give your lungs a break at home: An air purifier is an obvious choice, as long as you clean the filters regularly. Minimize dust magnets -- clutter, heavily upholstered furniture or curtains.
  • Think green: Plants are natural air purifiers, cleaning up the CO2 and replacing it with the oxygen your body needs. Indian environmentalist Kamal Meattle found three common green plants -- Areca Palm, Mother-in-Law's Tongue and Money Plant can significantly make the air you breathe purer.
PERSONALIZE YOUR FIGHT
 

Several diseases can be traced back to air pollution -- the World Health Organization lists reduced lung function, respiratory infections and aggravated asthma in children and adults among them. Heart disease and strokes are also linked to air pollution exposure.

  • Work with an expert who knows you: If you have a history of these diseases in your family, or suffer from regular health setbacks, it’s important to get the right medical advice, so you win this fight. Many of our patients have moved to a more personalized way of monitoring their health through the Max Bupa Health app, which tracks fitness data and health parameters in real time. But more importantly, customers are assigned a “personal health coach” who with insights from the patient’s data and their own regular assessment, can advice them at every step of their journey to better health.

It’s time to upgrade to better health with a coach by your side and a few changes to your diet and routine. Stay fit, stay healthy and keep pollution at bay.
 

ABOUT DR. PRASHANT SAXENA
Dr. Prashant Saxena , HoD (Pulmonology & Sleep Medicine) & Associate Director (Critical Care Medicine) Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital, Saket.

 

Trending Now