How to Get More Oxygen into Your Blood and Body

How to Get More Oxygen into Your Blood and Body

The flow of oxygen to all parts of your body is a matter of life and death. Sufficient oxygen in your blood means that red blood cells are 95 to 100 percent saturated with oxygen, according to Harvard Health Publications. The blood oxygen level is easily estimated by a pulse oximeter, which clips on your finger. The arterial gas test, which requires taking a small amount of blood from an artery, not a vein, is a more accurate way to measure oxygen saturation. You can increase your oxygen saturation level.

Exercise increases the amount of oxygen in your blood and body by increasing your heart rate and lung capacity. Regular exercise improves cardiac function and muscle tone, which enhances circulation and delivery of oxygen to all parts of your body. Even people who suffer from low oxygen saturation because of chronic diseases such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) can increase their blood oxygen levels with exercise. Patients on oxygen therapy will be able to reduce the amount of oxygen needed.

Deep Breathing
Deep breathing exercises increase blood oxygen levels. Inhale slowly, holding your breath for as long as you can. Expand your lungs and also use your abdomen when you inhale. Exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat the procedure for at least several minutes. Perform daily breathing exercises while standing, sitting or lying down.

Oxygen-Rich Air
Getting outdoors is a great way to increase your blood oxygen level. Trees and plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Avoid carbon-dioxide-rich air and second-hand smoke-polluted air. Increase the amount of fresh air in your home, office and car for better blood oxygenation.

Oxygen binds to the hemoglobin in red blood cells. Anything that promotes or increases hemoglobin or red cell production may increase oxygen levels. Vitamin B12, folic acid and vitamin C are required for red blood cell production. Deficiency or lower-than-normal amounts of these vitamins leads to anemia, low red blood cell concentration. Anemia is characterized by pale or yellowish skin, shortness of breath and lack of well-being. Deficiency of vitamins C, B12 or folic acid occurs if your diet is deficient in these vitamins or if your body is unable to absorb them as occurs in intestinal disorders and other diseases. Some prescription medications may cause vitamin deficiencies, and smoking interferes with vitamin C absorption.

Oxygen Therapy
When blood oxygen levels are too low due to disease, you may need oxygen therapy. During oxygen therapy, you obtain your oxygen with nasal tubes or a face mask from a metal or other type of container. If you have a chronic condition such as COPD, you can use oxygen therapy at home. Oxygen therapy decreases fatigue, improves sleep and shortness of breath. Portable oxygen therapy units allow you to go on with most of your daily activities.