The Healing Power of Oxygen: Benefits of Recreation & Spending More Time Outdoors
Oxygen is an essential element of life on earth. It is also one of the most abundant elements found on earth constituting about 20% of the world’s atmosphere, and our bodies comprise 65% of it. While you could survive a couple of weeks without water, you can only last a few minutes after being deprived of oxygen. The reason that we need a continuous supply of oxygen is because oxygen is a necessary component in the metabolic functions of each and every cell within our bodies. So, in all, it can be said that oxygen is undeniably one of the most critical aspects of all living things.
Importance of Oxygen in Our Bodies
Our brains, of course, require a constant flow of oxygen since they are made of cells and as a result, without oxygen, our ability to think, eat, feel, sleep, or even talk, would be compromised as all of these functions are regulated by the brain. Likewise, the rest of the body's tissues and organs, all being made of cells, require energy and thus, need oxygen for the metabolism that provides that energy.
Aside from metabolism, oxygen is also the only element with the capability of combining with almost any other element and because of that, plays a significant role in the maintaining and forming of functional, structural and biochemical protein molecules, along with hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen.
Oxygen As A Healing Agent
Oxygen is not just imperative for our very existence. It’s also crucial for healing our bodies from various conditions and illnesses.
Illnesses such as fungal infections and candida have efficiently been treated with oxygen therapy which is designed to increase cellular oxygen levels ultimately. Additionally, it's been demonstrated that cancer cells cannot survive in an oxygen rich environment so ensuring that your cells always have plenty of oxygen might potentially help in keeping cancer at bay.
People with low oxygen levels often suffer from chronic fatigue, general weakness, muscle aches, poor digestion and circulation issues. Other symptoms of inadequate oxygenation within the body can also include dizziness, acidosis, breathing problems, mood disorders, poor memory, behavior problems, and irritability. It's no surprise then that insufficient oxygen can negatively impact the immune system increasing the body's susceptibility to viral, bacterial and other dangerous infections.
Getting Enough Oxygen
There are several ways to not only safely increase your oxygen levels, but also help those suffering from inadequate oxygen exposure, all in an effort to ensure the optimal oxygenation of the body's cells. Oxygen therapy is used in medical practices to deliver oxygen to patients through the nose, using a mask and in some instances, a tube may even be placed in the windpipe. While this is usually limited to extreme cases, it is often used when an individual is suffering from severe oxygen shortage in their body due to certain illnesses or acute health conditions. Although, a treatment that has recently been growing in popularity is "hyperbaric oxygen therapy" which utilizes a pressurized oxygen chamber for safely increasing oxygen levels and designed so that the patient can lie inside for a designated period of time while they rest and breathe in the abundant oxygen. While this might seem like a different method of helping resolve health issues, it may hold promise as many people have reported positive results.
Ultimately, for many people who are not currently dealing with a health concern, increasing vital exposure to oxygen can be as easy as spending more time outdoors, utilizing houseplants throughout your home, or engaging in a fun form of physical activity. In this write-up, we'll be highlighting some practical ways that you can start getting more oxygen to your body's cells and feeling great in the process.
1. Deep Breathing Exercises
This is one of the easiest ways to allow more oxygen in your body and enjoy good health while at it. It’s appropriate for all people of all ages. All you have to do is sit or lie down. Place one hand over your belly and as you inhale you should feel your hand move up and outward. Hold at the top of your breath and then slowly exhale. As you exhale feel as if your belly button is moving inwards towards the back. The idea is to allow as much air as possible to get into your lungs at once. You could start by doing breathing exercises five minutes every day and as it gets easier build it up to fifteen minutes a day. It’s a very effective way of boosting oxygen levels in your blood and body cells.
2. Utilize House Plants
Green plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Having plants in your room or around the home can help increase the amount of oxygen available in the atmosphere for you. Some great plants to consider include heartleaf philodendron, English ivy, and spider plants. NASA have been known to use such plants so as to produce more oxygen and filter toxins out of their space station. Be cautious about the night time though because during the night, due to lack of sunlight which facilitates photosynthesis, plants absorb oxygen and give out carbon dioxide. You should, therefore, avoid having plants in your bedroom as you will compete for oxygen with them in the night.
3. Air Your Surrounding
It’s impossible to get enough oxygen when you’re constantly cooped up in your room or office with windows closed. Open your windows and let air freely circulate in and out of your living space. If you live in an area that is polluted with fumes and smog, consider having a filtration system installed so that you can have fresh air freely moving in your home.
4. Use the Pace System
It’s possible to be getting enough oxygen into your blood but this doesn’t mean that you’re getting enough in your cells and tissues. Over 90% of the oxygen in your blood is found in hemoglobin molecules. When at rest, hemoglobin pushes about 25% of the oxygen into your tissues with the rest of the oxygen staying in your bloodstream. But during exercise and after, more oxygen is released into the tissues. While light workouts such as aerobics can help pump more oxygen into your tissues, you require more intense exercise for optimal performance.
PACE pumps blood rich in oxygen to the blood 18 times more than simple exercises such as walking and aerobics would. When you use PACE, you get more than 400% oxygen into your lungs, over 1700% into your muscles, 331% more into the heart, and nearly double the normal amount into your brain.
5. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo Biloba is a supplement and one of the most popular herbal medicines. It is extracted from dried leaves of Ginkgo Biloba plant. About 100mg of the supplement three times a day can help pump more oxygen into your body. That is why it’s often administered to individuals who have blood circulation problems that affect the ability of blood to sufficiently move into limbs thus leading to weakness and pain. Herbal supplement Ginkgo Biloba, in this case, is used to ensure that more oxygen gets to all the extremities.
Exercise & Oxygen Levels
A pulse oximeter device is used for measuring the levels of oxygen in your blood. It can be bought separately from a medical supplier or pharmacy, or you could have it added to an app to your smartphone. Ideally, a healthy adult should have between 94% and 98% oxygen saturation in the blood.
When working out, your body’s ability to adequately exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen flowing into your blood becomes restricted thus causing a drop in oxygen levels. As your fitness level improves, so does your lung capacity and circulation which help in maintaining more oxygen levels during exercise. In fact, your oxygen levels during a workout will be largely determined by how fit you are. Regular workouts will get you to your desired fitness level.
So what happens to your body during exercise?
The body stores glucose and ATP (adenosine triphosphate) for energy needed in the body for contraction of muscles and movement. Once used up, your body requires more oxygen to help create ATP. When exercising, more blood is pumped into your muscles and consequently more oxygen which then helps in the formation of the needed ATP.
Exercise helps improve your lung capacity. This is because your body requires up to 15 times more oxygen during exercise. Maximum oxygen capacity is referred to as VO2 max and the higher it is, the more fit you will be.
During exercises, the heart rate goes up so as to circulate adequate amounts of oxygen through blood to all your body parts. The more you work out, the better your heart gets at circulating blood and oxygen throughout your entire body. Exercise also encourages the growth of blood vessels which helps in lowering blood pressure.
When working out, there is an increase in blood flow to all parts of the body including the brain. This means that you will also get more oxygen to the brain. When you have more oxygen in the brain, its functions are enhanced. You will feel more alert, more focused and in tune afterward. A surge of neurotransmitters will be triggered producing many great benefits to not just your brain but the rest of the body.
Recreation & Outdoor Activities That Promote Boosting Oxygen Levels
The gym is not ideal for everyone and there is no exercise routine that is ideal for everyone. There is a wide variety of activity that you can engage in to help keep you healthy, fit, and boost your oxygen levels for optimal health.
1) Cycling - this is a great way to get that oxygen flowing. You will find a variety of outdoor and mountain bicycles to choose from on Amazon such as the Cyrusher FR100 Mountain bike now retailing at$695 down from $798. Get one now and save big on your purchase. You can also buy the other cycling paraphernalia including a helmet, knee pads, cycling gloves and cycling pants, all from Amazon.
2) Hiking - It’s a great workout that will help you shed some extra pounds, tone and get that oxygen pumping into your cells. In addition, the surrounding trees associated with hiking through the forest provide a delightfully clean atmosphere that is not only saturated with fresh oxygen, but can help boost mood and immune function simply as a result of the pleasant environment.
3) Rollerblading - This is definitely not for everyone but if you’re young at heart and up to the challenge, roller blading pumps your blood and oxygen but it’s important to be safe and that’s why you’ll need protective knee, wrist and elbow pads all available on Amazon. You can actually get some incredible customized roller blades from Amazon as well; all at very affordable prices.
4) Walking your pet - Most people across the United States live with a pet. Why not give the dog walker a break and take the dog for a walk yourself. Depending on your pet, you could incorporate a bit of running or jogging in the walk just to pump some more oxygen into your body tissues. Get amazing pet leashes guaranteed to give your pet comfort and keep them secure on Amazon. On Amazon, you’ll find a wide variety of leashes for all sorts of pets from the simply functional to bedazzled. Whatever you desire, Amazon has it in stock.
5) Camping - This is a great outdoor activity with family or a group of friends. Camping usually gives an opportunity for some hiking, as well as other outdoor adventures such as fishing. If you’re not keen on spending the night in a tent pitched into the ground, then get your very own Smittybilt 2783 Folded car top tent on Amazon. it comes with overland folded bedding as well as a 12V socket. Currently retailing at $899.99, this is a must have for all campers.
6) Basketball - Playing basketball is a great way to get the blood pumping and oxygen flowing. You don’t have to be a pro to enjoy basketball or need a professional basketball court. All you need is a basketball hoop strategically positioned in your driveway. Get the Pro Dunk Gold basketball hoop on Amazon today. It’s the bestselling driveway basketball goal hoop with high-performance 60-inch glass backboard. It can also be effortlessly adjusted down to an industry low of 5 feet.
7) Tennis - When playing tennis you have to use your arms and legs, and run all over the court pumping oxygen into your blood. Get your very own Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 Strung tennis racket from Amazon today. It’s extremely light weight for all round control and feel, and comes with an oversize frame, which delivers explosive power.
8) Golfing - A sport commonly associated with affluence, not only does golf provide a great workout for everyone but can be an effective way to challenge your focus and athleticism while spending valuable time outdoors in an oxygen-rich environment. Individuals new to golf can purchase a beginner set of Callaway golf clubs on Amazon for a reasonable price and get started playing this awesome sport right away!
9) Bocce - This is a fun outdoor leisure-game that's perfect to play with family and friends. Get Trademark Games Bocce ball set with carrying case from amazon for $40.99 only. It comes with a heavy duty carrying bag and standard sized balls which can be played on almost any surface.
10) Croquet - Get the Baden Deluxe Series Croquet set from Amazon at $59.79 only and save $35.20. The set comes with six hardwood mallets, six colored poy-resin balls, nine steel wickets, two hardwood end posts and detailed instructions.
"With so many activities to choose from, there is no excuse not to get outside, get moving and get more oxygen circulating throughout your body."
Oxygen is free and all around us. It is the most critical element of our being; without it, we’d only last a few minutes. As seen in this article, oxygen is not just important for keeping us alive but provides many health benefits which ensure that you don’t just stay alive, but enjoy a quality life.
In order for your body to make use of oxygen for optimal health, exercise and engaging in outdoor activities are key. Oxygen is already there for you, all you need to do is take full advantage of it and heal yourself as you strengthen your body.
Make a deliberate choice to get out more often. Take the dog for a walk or go on a hike with family and friends. Look for opportunities to be outdoor engaging in fun activities that will help you exercise while providing the perfect way to have a good time and take a break from life’s stresses and demands.
Engaging in outdoor activities is not only great for your health but an incredible way to nurture relationships with those you care about. So get off that couch, or off that computer, switch off the television and start being the best version of yourself by optimizing the power of oxygen outdoors.