A Move to Improve - 4: Shifting Phlegm
With the recent cold change to remind us winter is not far away, now is a great time to talk phlegm.
One of the most annoying side-effects of a cold is the over production of mucous in your lungs. This does a wonderful job at catching and destroying potential infections but in doing so takes up valuable space in your lungs, and as it dries out it becomes thick and heavier - making it harder to move and cough out.
If the mucous is down in your lungs for too long it can block the smaller air passages; trapping air. This air then goes stale and without fresh air coming in, nasties such as bacteria and fungus can start to grow leading to a chest infection.
The good news is: to help prevent this all you need to do is routinely change all the air in your lungs, especially right down the bottom. The best way to do this is through deep breathing exercises.
Sit up tall - the more vertical you are the easier it is for the air to reach the bottom of your lungs
Take a SLOW breath in - feel your lower ribs move out to the side
Relax your air back out
Repeat 5 times
Deep breath in, the same as 'Step 1' but this time hold your breath for 5sec before releasing your air out.
This gives the air time to move around blockages in the airway.
Deep breath in to fill you lungs just like 'Step 1.'
This time the focus is on the exhale.
Open your mouth wide and like you are going to fog up a mirror sigh most of your air out in one big push.
Repeat steps 1-3.
This needs to be done at least with every meal.
If you are productive of more than 2 teaspoons of phlegm in the day you should do these exercises every hour - especially the huffing.
This will aid in the recovery of your lung function during sickness and help prevent complication of lung infection so you can return to your active lifestyle.
Life is too short to worry about phlegm.