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3 Tips to Help YOU Breathe Easier

1. Take Eating Seriously

A diet rich in fruit, vegetables, fish, and whole-grain foods offers protection against chronic lung disease, as well as a lot of other aging-related diseases.

2. Take Supplements

Magnesium, a mineral that relaxes the bronchial tubes, can help with asthma and other lung conditions.

Take 400 milligrams a day. If you routinely produce mucus from your lungs (you cough it up rather than mucus coming out when you blow your nose, which is usually from a sinus condition), consider N-acetyl-cysteine.

It's a substance that loosens mucus and boosts production of one of your natural antioxidant scavengers called glutathione, which helps prevent damage in lung tissue. We recommend 600 milligrams daily.

Even caffeine can help people with asthma; it seems to stabilize and shrink the lining of the airways and dilate bronchial tubes, which help make breathing easier.

Read how magnesium also can protect against metabolic syndrome and heart disease.

3. Take 10

Lie on your back, flat on the floor, with one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest. Take a deep breath in -- slowly. Because if you stand up, you're more likely to fake a deep breath by doing an exaggerated chest extension, rather than letting it fill up naturally. Imagine your lungs filling with air; it should take about 5 seconds to inhale. As your diaphragm pulls down your chest cavity, your belly button should move away from your spine as you fill with air. Your chest will also widen, and it may rise ever so slightly as you inhale. When your lungs feel full, exhale slowly -- taking about 7 seconds to let all the air out. Our recommendation: Take 10 deep breaths in the morning, 10 at night, and as many as you need in between to help relieve stress.

RealAge Benefits

Discover other strategies to help you sap stress.

July, 2009