The idea of having a supply of pure oxygen at home may conjure up images of elderly people struggling to breathe, but you will discover it has plenty of other uses. In fact, everyone can benefit from taking in more oxygen, so even if you are super-fit, you should consider how you could use it.
Medically pure oxygen can now be bought in a number of forms, ranging from cans with inhaler caps small enough to fit into a car glove box or handbag to 110 litre bottles with face masks. That means it is simple enough to be used by almost anyone in their own home.
The science behind oxygen therapy is straightforward and goes a long way towards explaining why it is beneficial in so many different ways. Most people get all the oxygen they need by breathing air, but even a small deficit will lead to headaches, tiredness, irritability and stress.
In contrast, increasing the amount of oxygen that enters the lungs and is then absorbed into the bloodstream is known to give an almost immediate energy boost and improve concentration levels and alertness. It also has valuable medical benefits, such as slowing the cell-ageing process, bolstering the immune system and helping to deal with breathlessness.
Studies have shown inhaling ten breaths of pure oxygen raises the oxygen content of the blood by 15 - 20 per cent, so you can expect a positive effect almost straightaway. The only thing you need to decide is what to use it for.
Perhaps the most obvious way in which to use oxygen at home is as a general pick-me-up as you cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life. Everyone gets tired after a hard day at work and tackling housework, so you are sure to appreciate anything that alleviates fatigue.
A few breaths of pure oxygen from a can will give you a handy energy boost and improve your concentration levels, as well as help to make you feel less stressed and bad tempered. You will find this is particularly effective in hot weather, when the air quality drops and it is more difficult to take on all the oxygen your body needs, or if you have spent the day sitting in a warm or poorly-ventilated office.
Keep fit routines
Many professional sportsmen use pure oxygen as part of their training programmes, as studies have shown it can help them to get the most out of their routines. One of the key benefits is that it speeds up the recovery time after exercise, which allows athletes to do more reps and sets.
At an amateur level, you probably won't want to extend your workout, but will enjoy the fact your body gets rid of lactic acid more quickly, meaning you will not feel as sore afterwards. Tests have also shown inhaling pure oxygen during and after exercise can help to improve weight loss, which is a real bonus.
The only certain way to avoid a hangover is to ensure you do not drink too much alcohol, but if you have overindulged, you will discover a few breaths of pure oxygen will help to deal with the after effects. It helps to speed up the metabolic rate and clear the toxins from your body more quickly, so inhaling it before you go to bed or when you wake up should help you get rid of the headache and tiredness caused by too much booze.
The use of oxygen therapy in hospitals is commonplace, as it can alleviate the symptoms of respiratory conditions, such as asthma and bronchitis, and improve the energy levels of people recovering from serious illnesses. You can also benefit from this at home by inhaling pure oxygen to help cope with breathlessness and fatigue, but you should check with your doctor before you start using it.