With the impending arrival of spring, cold and flu season are on their way out with allergy season following not too far behind. Subsequently, April showers bring May flowers — and a whole heap of pollen. So, it’s no wonder our respiratory health takes top priority this time of year due to the need for preventing illnesses and battling against allergens.

Thus, considering the important role our lungs play in keeping us healthy, we offer you some tips for boosting your respiratory wellbeing that relate to:

  • Exercise
  • Incorporating plant-based supplements or ingredients into your diet
  • Taking a probiotic complex

After all, your respiratory system brings valuable oxygen to the bloodstream and to all the body’s cells.

The Importance of Exercise

First of all, daily exercise plays a key role in respiratory health by working the lungs and boosting the immune system. Therefore, a 30-minute session of aerobic exercise, even low-impact, does wonders for strengthening the lungs since physical activity prompts them to work harder to take in more oxygen.

Along with an aerobic routine, you can also perform exercises that focus specifically on the muscles that facilitate breathing. There are different types of exercises that can help strengthen your chest, diaphragm, and neck muscles which are vital to optimal respiratory health.

Here are a few for you to try:

Pursed Lips Breathing

If you are a beginner to deep breathing exercises in general, it is best to start with the pursed lips breathing exercise.

To start off, you will inhale slowly through your nostrils. Then, purse your lips as if you are about to blow something and breathe out as slowly as possible, keeping your lips close together but not shut completely. The aim of pursed-lips breathing is to keep your airways open longer, thus optimizing the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the lungs.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing, of course, engages the diaphragm through ‘belly breathing’. This exercise strengthens the muscles of the diaphragm and is best done in a prostrate position.

To perform the exercise, lie down and relax your shoulders. Place one of your hands on your abdomen and the other on your chest. Then inhale through the nose for two seconds and breathe out through your mouth for two seconds while pressing your abdomen. Try to make sure that your stomach moves more than your chest.

How a Probiotic Complex Affects your Respiratory System

In addition to deep breathing and physical activity, you can also take a probiotic complex, such as this probiotic complex from Hey Nutrition.

Probiotics contain bacteria that contribute to an overall state of well-being. For example, bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria tend to be the most common types that we hear about. They are consumed in fermented foods, like yogurt, or as dietary supplements as a means of maintaining a high level of the ‘good’ bacteria in the digestive tract.

The main benefit to using a probiotic complex is to support a healthy gut, which in turn, also contributes to healthy lungs which can have a life-improving effect for anyone who lives with allergies or even a condition like asthma.

You might wonder how these two are connected. When your surroundings put your respiratory health at a higher risk of contracting an infection, your immune system prepares itself for battle against viruses and bacteria, and your microbiome (the environment in the intestines) plays a key role because it contains 80% of all of your body’s immune cells.

Furthermore, a probiotic complex also helps to prevent a situation called ‘leaky gut’, where the intestinal lining becomes compromised, thus preventing nutrients from being properly absorbed. When your body finds itself in the state of not getting adequate nutrition, the immune system (among other systems) doesn’t function at its peak level. This is why your immune system, specifically the flora that’s housed in the digestive tract, becomes the top priority.

Basically, a probiotic complex provides a double benefit — strengthening the immune system and ensuring nutrients are completely digested.

Plants that Promote Immunity

Likewise, certain foods and herbs also work effectively to build up your immunity and protect you against respiratory infections. Here are a few to start with:

The Horehound Leaf

The Horehound Leaf is best known as an ingredient in cough drops and cough syrups that are derived from natural remedies. It eases spasms and loosens mucus associated with wet coughs.


The extract from this leaf prevents bronchitis flare-ups. As a matter of fact, an effective method for easing sinus and chest congestion involves simply adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a bowl of boiling water. The next step is to place a towel over your head and to slowly breathe in the vapours for 10 minutes.

The eucalyptus oil also contains antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties, which explains why most cough drops contain extract from the eucalyptus plant.


An apple a day may keep lung problems at bay. Quercetin, an antioxidant found in apples, helps to protect the lungs against smoke and other pollutants. Furthermore, this substance promotes good digestive health which also facilitates respiratory wellness.

Wild Black Cherry

Cherry bark effectively calms dry coughs and to alleviates irritation that’s caused by smoke and fire. It calms the spasms that occur as a result of exposure to these irritants and helps open the lungs.

Mullein Leaf

The mullein leaf helps to open the pathways of the lungs while easing spasms, tightness, and cough. It also soothes irritation and dryness.

Whether you are dealing with a respiratory infection, or you suffer from chronic respiratory issues, you can breathe more easily with these natural foods and herbs that will ease inflammation and protect your lungs from harmful pollution.

The Take-away

All in all, incorporating all of these tips into your lifestyle will greatly protect your respiratory health. While exercising more often, eating a balanced diet that includes foods with plenty of antioxidants, and taking herbal supplements will help, you can also include a probiotic complex that boosts your immune system and maintains prime intestinal well-being which also gives additional protection against respiratory illnesses.