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5 Ways to Fight Asthma in your Home

5 Ways to Fight Asthma in your Home

One of the most common diseases in first-world countries with symptoms often beginning in early childhood, asthma is a foe to be respected but not to be feared. This article is useful for those who have asthma and those who are reading to prevent it. Since it attacks children and is generally developed in our homes, there are a few things you need to know about asthma.

Asthma is a prevalent inflammatory disease of the airways that was known as long ago as ancient China and Egypt. Symptoms come in episodes distinctive for asthma and most commonly feature coughing, shortness of breath and overall tightness in the chest area. Asthma is a serious disease if left untreated and can lead to death.

If you or anyone you know have these symptoms, please contact your GP as soon as possible.

Because of the rising air pollution and lowered allergens resistances, asthma is on the rise especially in the USA and other developed countries. In 2014, around 24,000,000 people had asthma in the USA alone. Furthermore, the number of asthma diagnoses has increased by almost 60,000,000 cases in the period between 1990 and 2013 along with asthma being the underlying cause for around 490,000 deaths worldwide.

As you all probably know, asthma does not have a cure, but the symptoms can be dealt with, and it can be somewhat prevented. For those that do have asthma, it is imperative to use the inhaler correctly and to take any prescriptions your physician has prescribed for you regularly.

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However, the causes of asthma are both genetic and environmental meaning that are ways to improve the quality of life for those who have asthma as well as a chance to prevent it from occurring in our children. I have been battling with asthma almost my entire life, and I think it is safe to say that the key is to improve the air in your home, the overall cleanliness and to avoid known allergens.

Try the following tips to improve the air in your home:

1. Get rid of the dust

vacuuming

    Dust makes breathing difficult even for a healthy person so getting rid of it should be your first step. I am not implying that you should develop an overprotective cleaning disorder or that you will ever be able to clean all the dust. For visible results try to vacuum and dust your home as often as you feel it should be done but no less than once a week.

    Vacuuming is especially important if your floors are covered with rugs or carpets. Dust in its own right is not as dangerous as the dust mites, tiny insects that primarily live in the dust. They are known to be found in bed sheets and pillow casings so you wash them on the highest temperature settings every few weeks. In kid’s rooms, try to have as few as stuffed animals as possible as they collect dust quite rapidly. A strong and quality vacuum cleaner is an absolute necessity for asthma patients; here’s a guide to best vacuum cleaners for your home.

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    2. Air conditioning

    air-conditioning

      Air filtering is one of the most important factors you need to consider when dealing with asthma. Air conditioning units filter the air as a part of their basic operational methods. This is something that is clearly visible if you have ever washed the filters on your AC unit. The dark colors mainly come from dust particles and nicotine smoke.

      Be careful, however, with overcooling a room in the summer. Extreme changes in the temperature are known catalysts for asthma attacks. Also, use the kitchen and bathroom exhaust systems because odors such as those from cleaners and other chemicals are an asthma hazard. Proper maintenance of all venting units in your home is a must and probably best left to be done by a professional.

      3. Be careful with opened windows

      opened-window

        Even though your instinct tells you that keeping an open window will increase the flow of air, the truth is that you are best off keeping your windows shut and relying solely on the AC unit. As I have mentioned earlier, the main triggers for asthma are air pollution and known allergens, such as pollen. Keeping the windows open is basically inviting the allergens in your home. Regularly check the air quality index, as it will tell you how likely your allergies are about to be triggered.

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        Since asthma can be purely genetic, some people do not suffer from pollen allergies and in that case it is advisable to leave a window open. The nights, being naturally colder, are an excellent time to keep an open window since a decreased temperature in the bedroom means there is a higher chance of getting a good night sleep. I have had some pretty severe night-time asthma attacks and have realized that if I keep the bedroom temperature at around 16-18C, I can mainly prevent them (asthma is a subjective disease, and this might not work for you).

        4. Humidity

        humidifer

          With winter approaching, humidity becomes an issue in most homes. Cold air does not sustain humidity very well, and after warming up a room, the humidity drops as low as 10%. Dry air is quite hazardous for the respiratory system, especially one that is already battling with asthma. The best choice of action is to use a humidifier, preferably one with a monitoring system that tells you the exact level of humidity in a room.

          On the other hand, too much humidity creates an even bigger problem for those who have asthma. Too much humidity creates a very habitable place for mold, a known allergen and a cause of asthma. In damp areas, such as basements, I recommend using a dehumidifier, as well as getting rid of any existing mold. For the optimum settings, humidity should be kept at around 30% to 50% (here is where the humidity monitoring system comes in handy).

          5. Avoid any kind of smoke

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          no-smoking

            If you have asthma, smoking  is out of the question, but passive smoking can be as equally as dangerous. If you have asthma or someone else has it in your household, try to throw out the nicotine smoke completely. Not only will it make for a much better environment for the asthma patient but it also might convince the smoker to stop.

            Furthermore, any kind of smoke is dangerous when you have asthma. This means that if you have the option of choosing, you should avoid heating your house with wood or coal stoves and furnaces. The carbon monoxide that is being produced from the exhaust pipe is not only lethal in high doses but very unpleasant coupled with asthma even in small doses.

            Living with asthma

            I know that living with asthma doesn’t seem very fair, and you probably feel excluded from normal life activities, but it’s really not the end of the world. If you are careful and you follow your physician’s instructions, your attacks could become very rare. Try to live your life as healthy as possible and your friends and family, whom you should definitely inform, are the only ones that are going to know you have asthma.

            Do not let asthma run your life, feel free to enjoy some recreational sports, try a walk in the park (outside of the pollen season, of course) and breathe freely as if you own the entire world.

            Featured photo credit: www.sbs.com.au via sbs.com.au

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            Dejan Kvrgic

            Blogger, Writer

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            Last Updated on October 5, 2020

            Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

            Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

            Intermittent fasting weight loss is a type of diet that’s rapidly growing in popularity and becoming the way to lose weight. Scientists and nutrition experts like it, too. New books and articles on the topic are being published daily. Intermittent fasting is also popular with followers of the Paleo diet since our ancestors appear to have eaten this way for thousands of years.

            I’ve been following this type of diet myself for 2 years. Doing so helped me lose and keep off 70 pounds without ever having to count calories, limit carbohydrates, or eat 6 to 7 meals a day.

            This article teaches you all about intermittent fasting weight loss and details why it is one of the best weight loss diet hacks around. Once you finish, you will be able to implement into your diet and experience the benefits it offers almost immediately.

            What Is Intermittent Fasting?

            As you may have figured from its name, intermittent fasting weight loss is a diet plan where you set fasting periods during the day. This is usually between 16-20 consecutive hours, but it can be as little as 12 hours or as much as 24 hours (or even 36 hours).

            While fasting you can eat and drink low calorie or calorie-free foods. Think coffee, tea, water, and vegetables.

            The more time you spend fasting every day, the better your results. You can do these fasts as often as you like. Again, the more often you do so, the better[1].

            Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting

            Following this diet plan is super simple. All you have to do is choose a period of time during the day that you will fast. This should be between 16-20 hours.

            The longer you fast each day, the better. Don’t worry about calorie restriction or measuring carbohydrates. Just focus on going about your day until it’s time to eat.

            It’s best to choose a set period of time to conduct your fast. I like to fast from 8 PM to 4 PM the following afternoon. I’ll then have my first meal of the day and a snack or two a few hours later. Once 8 o’clock rolls around, it’s back to fasting.

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            My experience with intermittent fasting is that it’s best to start with a 16 hour fast (i.e. 8PM one evening to 12PM the next day) for the first 1-2 weeks. Once you are comfortable with this schedule, you can increase the amount of time you spend fasting. Do this by adding 30 minutes to each fast until you get to where you are fasting for 20 hours at a time.

            You don’t have to fast every day in the beginning either. You may be more comfortable breaking in slowly with 2 or 3 days per week, or trying alternate day fasting. Add additional days of intermittent fasting as you become more comfortable with this style of eating.

            Tips To Make Intermittent Fasting Easier

            1. Drink Plenty of Water

            Squeeze a little lemon or lime juice into your water to help get rid of any cravings you experience. You can also drink coffee, tea, or other calorie-free beverages. After a few weeks, you will find that intermittent fasting keeps you from craving sugar entirely.

            2. Take in Caffeine in the Morning and Early Afternoon

            The caffeine in coffee and tea may actually make intermittent fasting weight loss a little easier since it’s good for curbing your appetite. Be careful not to overindulge as this may lead to you feeling a little too wired. I also recommend these natural energy boosting tips to keep you going during the day.

            3. Avoid Artificially Flavored Drinks

            One type of calorie-free drink that should be avoided are diet sodas and other beverages that use artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Sweet & Low. Studies show that the can actually stimulate your appetite[2] like a drink that contains sugar and cause you to overeat.

            4. Don’t Gorge at Your First Meal

            The first meal after your fast should be the amount of food you typically eat. Binging will only make you feel awful and diminish the benefits you get from the fast.

            To avoid this, try creating meal plans, at least for the first few weeks. This will help you get into the rhythm of eating regularly portioned meals during your eating window.

            5. Minimize Processed Carbohydrates and Sugars

            While intermittent fasting does make it possible to eat a little looser than normal, you should still eat as little bread, pasta, rice, etc. as possible.

            Focus instead on eating protein from beef, fish, or pork, carbohydrates from vegetables, fruit, and sweet potatoes, and healthy fats from foods like almonds, avocados, fish, and olive oil.

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            You can find some carb sources that will aid your weight loss journey here.

            How Intermittent Fasting Helps You Lose Weight

            Eating this way has many benefits with regard to weight loss. The first is that when you’re fasting, your body will be forced to use its stored body fat for energy. Burning calories this way, instead of from the food you’re eating throughout the day, will help you experience significant weight loss, but specifically lose weight from any excess body fat you’re carrying.

            This means that you won’t just be thinner, but you will also look better and be much healthier than if you lose weight the old-fashioned way[3].

            Intermittent fasting can help optimize the release of the key fat-burning hormones in your body. This is especially true for the two most important hormones: human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin.

            Human growth hormone plays a key role in turning on your body’s fat-burning furnace so that it gets the calories you need to work and play from stored body fat. Studies show that fasting can significantly increase the production of HGH[4].

            The influence intermittent fasting weight loss has on insulin is just as impressive and possibly more important. Keeping your insulin levels low and steady is key to losing excess fat and keeping it off.

            Diets that are rich in processed carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice) and simple sugars (candy, cookies, and soda) have the opposite effect. They cause your insulin levels to rapidly spike and then crash every time you eat one of these foods. The net result of this phenomenon is that your body will store more of what you eat as excess body fat instead of burning it off as energy.

            Chronically elevating your insulin levels like this can also lead to the development of type II diabetes, obesity, and other chronic health problems. Intermittent fasting easily solves this problem.

            One study found that men who participated in intermittent fasting had “dramatically lower insulin levels and significantly improved insulin sensitivity”[5].

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            This happens because you’re not giving your body food, so it will not produce insulin, allowing insulin levels to balance out until you eat again. This helps your body stay in a calorie and fa-burning state. You’ll also find that it gives you more energy throughout the day.

            Another great weight loss benefit of intermittent fasting is that hunger pangs and cravings that may normally plague you throughout the day will be reduced, if not altogether eliminated. This is probably due to its ability to balance your insulin and blood sugar levels and, in turn, help correct other hormonal imbalances.

            Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss FAQs

            Now that you know what intermittent fasting is and how to get started, it’s time to answer your other questions.

            Below are answers to the questions frequently asked about intermittent fasting. These answers should help you and make getting started a lot easier.

            How Much Weight Will I Lose?

            The amount of weight you lose with fasting is determined by how often and long your fasts are, what you eat afterward, and other factors. Fasting for 16-20 hours a day can help you safely lose 2-3 pounds of fat every week.

            While losing this much weight every week is great, it’s how it makes it happen that’s really cool. Losing weight with intermittent fasting means that you will never have to count calories or plan and prepare several meals a day.

            Can I Work out While Fasting?

            Yes, you can. In fact, doing the right type of workout while fasting will help you lose weight faster and even build muscle.

            The best workouts to do while fasting for weight loss are 3-4 intense strength training workouts weekly. This means anything from standard strength training to kettlebell or body weight workouts.

            Focus on doing 3-4 total body exercises per workout with as little rest as possible between sets. Doing this will help you burn more calories during and after your workout. You’ll also build muscle, which will help you look and feel better as the weight comes off.

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            Won’t I Lose Muscle When I Fast?

            First of all, you aren’t fasting long enough for your body to start breaking down muscle for energy. You have, perhaps, hundreds of thousands of calories from your stored body fat to use before that will begin to happen. Studies actually show that even after fasting for 3 days, no muscle is lost.

            Is Fasting Safe?

            As long as you are healthy, not pregnant, and aren’t taking medications, fasting is safe. Like all diets, you should discuss it with your doctor before beginning an intermittent fasting style of dieting.

            I also feel that it may not be smart to follow this type of diet when you’re especially stressed. Since this diet can be a little stress-inducing at first, doing so when your ability to be relatively stress-free and rested probably isn’t a good idea.

            Are There Any Supplements I Can Take to Make Fasting Easier?

            As with any other weight loss plan, it’s a good idea to take a few nutritional supplements to ensure that your daily requirements are met. This includes a once or twice daily multi-vitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D.

            I’ve also found taking 10 grams of branch chain amino acids before and after my workouts really helps, too. They’re great for giving you more energy during your workout and decreasing post-workout muscle soreness.

            For supplements to specifically help with digestion, check out this article.

            Conclusion

            Now you know what intermittent fasting is and how it can help you lose weight quickly, safely, and pretty much effortlessly.

            If you want to give it a try, find a fasting schedule that fits with you lifestyle and give it a go.

            More About Intermittent Fasting

            Featured photo credit: Toa Heftiba via unsplash.com

            Reference

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