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How To Breathe Better? Remedies To Clear A Stuffy Nose

How To Breathe Better? Remedies To Clear A Stuffy Nose

There is nothing fun about having a stuffy nose. It’s drippy, annoying, and you can’t do anything without having to breathe through your mouth. Physical activity becomes tough, you can’t talk or eat without breathing heavy. This is not to mention the constant blowing, the red irritated skin around your nostrils, and (this is the worst) losing all sense of taste. Let’s face it, stuffy noses are miserable.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that stuffy noses are not actually caused by mucus buildup. This is hard to believe, especially when in the midst of a cold when you have what seems to be the never ending supply of mucus. In truth, a stuffy nose is a result of inflamed blood vessels. The three most common causes of stuffy noses are as follows:

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  1. The Common Cold/Flu/Or Virus

  2. Sinus Infection

  3. Allergies (hay fever)

Although, stuffy nose symptoms will, as a general rule, dissipate on their own within a week (or two), that doesn’t help relieve discomfort in the moment. Here are some remedies that you can use to help clear the sinuses and reduce inflammation.

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Eucalyptus

There’s a reason I put this one first. This is my favorite remedy to relieve stuffy nose symptoms. Studies have shown that eucalyptus oils have extreme health benefits, including increased circulation, decreased bacterial cells, and being a decongestant for the stuffy nose. The University of Maryland Medical Centre explains that oil from the eucalyptus tree are often found in over the counter remedies such as cough syrup, vapor rubs, and other such cold products designed to relieve congestions.

There are many ways to use this essential oil to relieve your stuffy nose. An aromatic diffuser is extremely helpful. A diffuser is similar to a humidifier, but it works a little different. I like to put a few drops of Eucalyptus oil in my diffuser and let it do its thing. The diffuser creates a fine mist of essential oils. Aromatherapy also has a lot of health benefits besides relieving your stuffy nose as does the eucalyptus, so no matter how you look at it, it’s a good practice. You can also use the essential oil to create a facial steam or simply set it beside your bed and let it sooth you to sleep. Although, the latter two methods may not be as effective as the aroma diffuser for your stuffy nose, it certainly does help.

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Ginger with honey and lemon

Here again is another natural remedy to help ease your stuffy nose. Ginger is an amazing natural herb that can help clear your nasal passages. Ginger is incredible, everyone should eat it. Did you know that ginger has cancer fighting properties? Because ginger is packed full with antioxidants that ward off free radicals, it will work hard to rid your viral infection. You can either use freshly grated ginger or you can buy a ginger tea. Both methods are equally effective, although I prefer the fresh. When paired with honey and lemon (both of which are also very good at relieving stuffy noses) it’s an unbeatable task force. Oh, and one more thing: try adding a touch of cinnamon. It might not rid your stuffy nose, but is sure does taste good. Oh! And it helps lower blood sugar too.

Mint

I love mint. It smells so good and it’s super easy to grow. You might wonder how it helps a stuffy nose? Mint is another one of those herbs that has many benefits, however, the most notable here is that mint clears the nasal passages, reduces inflammation within the respiratory tract, and eases symptoms of asthma resulting in relaxed breathing. There are many ways to use mint to relieve a stuffy nose. Here are just a few ideas.

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  1. Boil water and pour it into a bowl with crushed mint leaves. Create a tent over your head with a towel and breathe in the steam.
  2. Pour a cup of water and add mint leaves and let them simmer with blueberries (another great antioxidant). Let the fumes caress your nostrils. Again, as with ginger, you can add honey and lemon to the water to help relieve your stuffy nose even more.
  3. Sleep with a mint plant on your bedside table.

The poet Giovanni Papini said, “Breathing is the greatest pleasure in life.” When you have a stuffy nose it robs you of this pleasure. If you find yourself suffering from stuffy nose symptoms, try one of the above natural remedies. In the long term, remember rest is key to fighting off any problem in the body. Eat healthy, stay hydrated, and create a relaxing and stress free environment. When your body speaks to you, you know it’s time to take special care.

Featured photo credit: BY VIKTOR HANACEK/https://picjumbo.com via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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