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Open Airways co-founder to Rotarians: Do not take fresh air for granted

An asthma expert reminded the public to take time to think about their breathing — and what they are breathing.

Liz Boden, co-founder of asthma charity Open Airways, said: “If you just look at the posture of people and you look at their breathing, they are not breathing deeply.

“It feels so good really when you're really filling your lungs with air and good oxygen. That is what is going to be pumped around your body. It's going to go to your brain, your brain is going to work better, all of your organs are going to work better, everything is going to feel better.”

Ms Boden was speaking at Hamilton Rotarians on Tuesday about the importance of being aware of how people breathe.

She added: “There are two types of breathing — voluntary and involuntary. Of course, involuntary, it happens 24 hours a day. Even if you are in a traffic queue, instead of being tense about being stuck in the queue, just relax and do some deep breathing. Think about the air really getting to the bottom of your lungs.”

She said her message was about “breathing more effectively but also what are you breathing” and urged people to take note of their environment.

Ms Boden said: “People are spending 97 per cent of their time indoors. It's not like in the past when we had to do much more just to do the laundry, to do the dishes.

“People used to hang clothes on the washing lines so their lungs were getting a nice bit of exercise. But now everything is done by machines basically.”

She added that people spend a lot of time in front of the TV or the computer. “You're sitting there slumped and not breathing effectively.”

Ms Boden said rising crime rates had led to people locking up their houses and aluminium windows meant houses were even more air tight. She added: “So the home environment is actually a lot more dangerous than it was forty, fifty years ago because the mould, the mildew and the dust mites are having an absolute blast.

“Windows need to be open every day, get the fresh oxygen in, get the ventilation moving to cut down on the amount of mould and dust mites we have and get rid of the chemicals.”

Ms Boden explained that the chemicals in cleaning products could trigger asthma and encouraged people to clean with a microfibre cloth instead.

She also repeated the importance of people replacing their pillows regularly. Ms Boden said: “Ten per cent of the weight of a two-year-old pillow is dust mites, dust mite droppings, dead skin, bacteria and mould.

“For anybody who has sinus allergies or asthma, replacing your pillow every year is a very simple thing to do.”

But she added that many people in Bermuda also have low vitamin D levels because they are not getting enough sunshine.

Ms Boden explained: “That is known to affect your immune system, and actually make you potentially more likely to have asthma and allergies.”

For more information, visit www.openairways.com

Liz Boden, of Open Airways, speaking at City Hall during World Asthma Day (File photograph)

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Published June 22, 2018 at 9:00 am (Updated June 22, 2018 at 12:45 am)

Open Airways co-founder to Rotarians: Do not take fresh air for granted

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