Kisar Dhillon was diagnosed with asthma around the age of two. His asthma symptoms were treated with prescriptions as a child. As he grew older, he became more and more interested in fitness and health and was tired of putting drugs in his body to control his asthma symptoms. He started doing his own research on home remedies for asthma and found eight that he uses and recommends to his personal training clients in Portland, Oregon.
1. Drink Coffee
Kisar, like other asthmatics I have spoken with, find coffee or espresso a quick and easy way to reduce tightness in their chest and difficulty breathing. Physicians at a young age recommended Kisar drink coffee if he was having asthma symptoms. Coffee’s natural epinephrine acts like adrenaline in the body and can as Kisar says, “can be a quick and effective home remedy for asthma.”
2. Thank your Mother
Kisar attributes much of his ability to control his asthma throughout his life to how his mom handled it when he was younger. “My mom would never freak me out. She would never be like, ‘Do you have your inhaler? Did you bring your inhaler?’ If a kid with asthma has a parent that freaks out it can make the asthma worse. I believe my mom always staying calm helped me stay calm and probably helped eliminate a lot of asthma attacks as a child.”
3. Don’t think about it
Kisar believes that, “once you start to think about it, you will create your own asthma attack.” He says that he sees this, “happen time and time again. I am old enough now to know a lot of my asthma is in my head.” To combat this if he feels like his mind is playing too strong a role in his health he will, “put on classical or spa music and take deep breaths in through his nose and out through his mouth,” until he feels his breathing goes back to normal.
4. Remove yourself from the environment
Avoiding asthma symptoms has everything to do with avoiding asthma triggers. Asthma triggers can vary greatly from person to person. Some are deeply impacted by external factors such as air quality, smoke, pet dander, perfume and pollution, whereas other’s asthma symptoms are triggered from diet, stress and/or emotional issues.
Kisar’s asthma symptoms can be triggered by smoke. He said to avoid unnecessary asthma symptoms, “when at a party if someone lights up a cigar, I just go inside. I know if I stay around the smoke I will have problems. I have learned too many times the hard way.”
5. Do 90 minutes of cardio a week
Not surprisingly, as a personal trainer Kisar is a big advocate for cardiovascular exercises. He finds this especially important as a natural asthma treatment. “One thing that will keep your immune system strong and your asthma at bay is to keep your cardio system strong. If I do not keep on my cardio I can feel it in my lungs in a week. I have to stay in shape for my business, but I also have to stay in shape for my lungs.”
Kisar recommends doing cardio exercises three times a week for at least 30 minutes at a time. He says it does not have to be anything too strenuous (hooray!) but something where you break a sweat and get your heart rate up to the point where you could still have a simple conversation. Kisar recommends challenging yourself with a walk that has a couple of hills. Although bad news for the dog, Kisar says the dog needs to stay home for your 90 weekly minutes of cardio as the stopping and starting does not make allow for the cardio activity you need to maintain optimal health.
6. Take a break from exercise
Exercise induced asthma can be extremely frustrating. You are exercising to help your asthma and yet the exercise seems to be exacerbating it. If you get exercise induced asthma Kisar recommends you slow down or stop if necessary and then start again once you have your breathing under control. Kisar reminds us, “you will never get better if you don’t build up your heart rate and your endurance.”
7. Go to a Sauna
If you are lucky enough to have a sauna near where you live or work out, Kisar finds putting Vicks Vapor Rub on your chest and back and then going into a sauna can be a great and relaxing home remedy for asthma and opening up your chest.
8. Eat spicy food
According to Kisar eating spicy foods has multiple purposes. One, it naturally increases your metabolism (yay!) and it also is a great asthma home remedy in opening up your airways. Kisar recommends using chiles, hot sauce and spicy seasonsings in your meals as much as possible.
When Kisar is feeling stuffed up he finds, “cooking up a habanero with some eggs or eating chiles will open me right up. Spicy foods are natural decongestant.”
Learn more about Kisar and his Portland, Oregon personal training facility at: http://www.kisardhillon.com