This seems to be the new Sydney normal. Spectacular sunrises and sunsets, the red rays of the sun diffused through the pink of an ever-present smoke which lingers all day and all night long.
We are told to stay inside where there will be less particulates in the air. Like a scene out of Star Wars, city workers wear face masks. To start with, we coughed, we choked, our eyes ran, we sneezed, we got depressed but slowly we are adapting to an air quality ranked amongst the lowest in the world.
The human body is amazingly resilient and constantly repairs. When the clean air returns as it will, regeneration will occur.
The fact is however that this pollution is currently adversely affecting every cell in our body. If you are feeling achy, tired, almost flu like symptoms, it is possible that you are having a systemic inflammatory response as your body works to rid itself of the toxins.
Our bodies are brilliantly designed machines with protective coatings, filter systems, mucous membranes, a wonderful immune system and army of pathogen fighting bacteria. But when faced with daily immunocompromising stressors such as pollution, our bodies may need a little extra help, and there is help at hand.
Healthy Heights is offering a plethora of “Christmas” herbs. Frankincense (Boswellia), myrrh and gold (saffron) offer anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties whilst bitter herbs such as thyme offer support for the mucous membranes, which attract and collect pathogens as they enter our body. Keeping the airways open and drainage systems flowing is the key so ditch that deodorant and let yourself sweat it out.
Krys Lojek (Krys Lojek Nutrition) recommends supporting the immune system with fresh fruit and vegetables to make the body more resilient. Foods containing Vitamin A and Beta Carotene also support the mucous membranes and fermented foods aid the all-important gut bacteria.
Amanda Wiart from YogiSpirit yoga wear suggests that yogis can employ various routines targetted at pollution affected organs such as inversions or restorative poses such as legs up the wall. This will also aid perspective and positive attitude. Alternatively you can receive lymphatic drainage from a massage therapist and Ayuvedic medicine encourages a daily practice of cleaning our filters involving nasal irrigation, vegetable oil applied inside the nostril and gargling with salty water to clear the throat.
Exercise is probably the biggest challenge. The options seem to be: stay inside in the gym (where you are regularly sprayed with anti-bacterial potions), stop exercising or ignore the warnings and keep heading out. Many of us are choosing the latter so the advice would be to check the wind forecasts, head out early morning or late evening, keep intensity at lower levels, keep hydrated plus take inhalers if required.
I have been unable to substantiate this on any scientific level, but as the ocean produces 70% of our oxygen and the trees produce the remaining 30%, it seems like our local parks and beaches are a logical place to exercise which is great news for Chocolate Fitness sessions.
As a message of Christmas cheer, Chocolate lovers will be heartened to know that 70% plus is a wonderful source of antioxidants and to go with it try
the most antioxidant rich French Red in the world called Madiran, grape variety Tannin (thanks for the tip Franck).
So this year, From Chocolate Fitness, I wish you all a very Airy Christmas!
Thanks to contributors:
Belinda Eady, Chocolate Fitness, chocolatefitness.com.au, 0413 120 768
Maxine Haigh-White, Healthy Heights, Balgowlah Heights, www.healthyheights.com.au, 9948 6600
Krys Lojek, Krys Lojek Nutrition,kryslojeknutrition.com, 0416 111 331
Amanda Wiart, YogiSpirit, www.yogispirit.com.au, 0450 157 603