pneumonia: 10 things that can improve the outcome

So, things got awfully real lately, and we’re hearing about coronavirus everywhere. Many of us begin wondering, can anything be done to improve the outcome of this infection. Yes, there are ways to improve the course of this infection.

First of all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That’s why we already discussed the supplements and health hacks that can help strengthen the immune system. In today’s post, we will focus on reducing the specific risks brought on by covid-19.

The main concern with the current virus is severe pneumonia, where the patient’s lungs begin to fill up with fluid in response to inflammation. That becomes a serious problem, if the patient’s organism has trouble clearing excess phlegm. The main goal in this case is to recover without the help of ventilators, which are in short supply at the hospital.

Severe cases of pneumonia mostly develop due to preexisting conditions, like asthma and COPD. Other risk factors include smoking/vaping, and poor self-care.
When it comes to self-care during an infection, most people tend to take a passive approach, rather than working to actively improve their condition.
So, what can one do to improve the outcome of a coronavirus infection, or any acute respiratory infection for that matter?

1. Hydrate

It is important to understand that with any inflammatory process, especially pneumonia, hydration is vital. This includes receiving adequate amounts of electrolytes (just water is not sufficient for proper hydration, especially during excessive sweating or digestive issues like diarrhea or vomiting.) With proper hydration, any secretions in bronchi or lungs will be easier to expectorate (cough up.) This could mean a difference between needing a ventilator and not.

Make sure the fluids you consume are very warm and don’t contain caffeine. It’s important to sip your drinks every 15 minutes, instead of chugging down large amounts at once. If you are not used to consuming a lot of fluids, don’t overwhelm your body by suddenly flooding it with gallons of water. Begin adding more liquid gradually, 1-2 additional cups every day until you work up to the optimal level.

How much water do you need a day? According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, it’s 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) for men and 11.5 – for women.

Steam inhalations are also a good way to support your respiratory system. I have to caution, however, that is it easy to receive burns to your skin or airways with excessive heat, so moderation is important. Make sure that you are not too close to the source of steam and if you feel too much heat, take breaks.

Another tool worth mentioning is a humidifier. We tend to exhale a lot of water, and if the air we breathe is dry, we will get increasingly dehydrated.

2. Sleep more

This suggestion is obvious. Our organism does its best work at repairing and restoring health during deep sleep. To that end, make sure you stop taking your fluids a couple hours before your bedtime.

3. Move it

Another important step is to encourage the circulation of the lymph. Our lymphatic system works relentlessly to carry toxins out of the organism. But, unlike our cardiovascular system, the lymphatic system does not have its own heart to push it around: it entirely relies on the position and movement of the body.

That’s why, if you feel well enough, make sure to regularly get up and do some walking or gentle exercises, moving as many muscles as you can. If you don’t feel up to that, try to constantly alternate between sitting and laying down in various positions, including tilted and slightly inverted, as in Postural Drainage (see below.)

4. Eat right

One other way to help your lymphatic system is by avoiding foods that can clog it up with excess mucus: dairy, starchy foods, bananas, eggs and meat. By the same token, foods like lemon and apple cider vinegar cut mucus and help loosen the phlegm. You can find lists of foods to eat and avoid here.

Anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements like Omega3, turmeric, cayenne pepper, oil of oregano and others, can also help reduce the amount of secretions and streamline the work of the immune system.

To help your organism stay strong, avoid starving yourself or overeating. The latter may sound redundant, because typically pneumonia has an appetite-suppressing effect. But for what it’s worth, eat smaller, easy to digest meals, to reduce the load on your organism that is already strained by fighting off the infection.

One thing to take with caution are cough drugs. According to, studies failed to prove that common OTC medications like dextromethorphan and guaifenesin, help with cough. Besides adding unnecessary chemical load to your body, these drugs can cause unwanted side effects.

Instead of drugs, consider taking natural remedies, like honey, ginger, turmeric, sage, licorice, peppermint, ivy leaf, chicken soup, cayenne pepper, garlic and others.

5. Breathe!

Yes, you are encouraged to learn how to breathe! That might be an odd suggestion, but you can really aid your lungs and bronchi by training your respiratory system. Using deep, diaphragmatic breathing techniques can help expand your lungs and receive more oxygen.
Another way to improve lung function is aerobic exercise, which is best done as prevention – before you get sick. If your health allows, increase the intensity of your workout, until you reach the level of exertion where your breathing is labored and you can’t comfortably maintain a conversation.

While dealing with inflammation, you can practice Active Cycle of Breathing technique, which is aimed to clear excess mucus from lungs.

6. Gargle

Gargling helps remove any postnasal drip and sputum that causes irritation and additional coughing. For this purpose, you can use warm water with one of the following: lemon, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, a few drops of tea tree oil and or sage, chamomile and even olive oil, when your throat feels irritated.

7. Huff and puff

When trying to get rid of excess phlegm, remember that coughing can irritate airways and even cause damage to lungs. So, in essence, we need to be stingy with our coughs. What does that mean?

You can use special breathing and huffing techniques that help gradually move secretions from the bottom of the lungs upwards, and then expel them without excessive coughing. You can see a tutorial here.

8. Use good vibrations

Applying gentle percussion and vibration to the chest and back helps loosen and dislodge the sputum, making it easier to move it up and out. I will post more about this in the upcoming days.

9. Postural drainage

One of the oldies but goodies in pneumonia care is postural drainage. It is an easy practice of changing your body position to help the lungs to move phlegm upwards, from where it can be easily coughed up. Each posture needs to be held for a minimum of five minutes. You can find information about postural drainage on, and other professional websites.

10. Accentuate the positive

This is not just a well-wish. Experienced physicians know that patient’s recovery rate is increased when they feel emotionally comfortable and supported. Watch silly and funny videos, listen to pleasant music or audio books. Nothing heavy or very emotional, even if it’s cathartic.
Reach out for emotional support over the phone or video chat. If you feel lonely, there is a variety of free services and online groups that offer support and encouragement to people in distress caused by the pandemic.

So, take care of yourself, stay informed and stay positive!

With all this said – I hope you will keep away from all bugs out there and end up not needing the above advice!

Much love!

Tamara Eristavi is a wellness coach, based in Irvine, Califorina.

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was Jillian Michaels right in The Biggest Loser scandal?

As some of you might know, the famous personal trainer, Jillian Michaels was recently penalized for giving caffeine supplements to her members on The Biggest Loser show. Jillian’s comment was “I stand by my opinion: a caffeine supplement is significantly healthier than unlimited amounts of coffee. My only regret is that my team are the ones suffering the consequences of my professional opinion”. Later, Jillian hinted that the whole scandal might have been just a ploy aimed to bring a previously eliminated contestant,  Ruben Studdard, back into the show. Could she be right?

Where do I begin?

The Biggest Loser show is hugely popular, and its producers, no doubt, are ready to go an extra mile to keep the ratings up. But at what cost? The recent scandal once again brings up the issue of ethics and safety: two concepts that, in my opinion, are represented in the show quite loosely.

If you have been watching the show, you are aware of the variety of challenges faced by the contestants, from physical to emotional, some of which are downright humiliating and at times literally crippling. I will not go into further detail. Let me just say that as a fitness trainer, I’m appalled at the idea of putting severely overweight and deconditioned people through such a grueling regimen that is only aggravated by the pressures of time and publicity. This is against all professional ethics.

Granted, The Biggest Loser can serve as a great inspiration to those who are considering to adopt a healthy lifestyle. It can also become a big deceiver by building unreasonable expectations and putting people at risks of injuries, be it physical or emotional.

Those who have followed up on former contestants, know that many of the contestants actually lose all their “gains” after a while, regressing to their old ways. This puts the validity of the show’s concept under a big question mark by illustrating how “quick gains” are skin-deep, and the physical changes are easily reversible, when they are not substantiated by a deeper, mental transformation. We live in the time of “quick fixes” but they don’t necessarily work!

This is why as a personal trainer, I put a great emphasis on mental conditioning techniques to help my clients create a lasting change in their mindset, a so-called paradigm shift, as described by one of my favorite teachers, Steven Covey. As a certified meditation instructor, I employ mediation and visualization techniques that drive my client’s subconscious mind toward their goal. I also teach quick and effective mind exercises that sharpen my client’s focus and help refine their understanding of deeper needs that lie beneath the desirable outcome, thus strengthening their determination.

When it comes to the physical side of it, I’m for safe practices. Depending on my client’s level of fitness, I make sure they are properly conditioned before “raising the bar” and offering them more intense physical challenges. Overall, I prefer gradual, steady progress over the “quick victory” fad, which could easily land one in a hospital or on a pile of broken dreams. I believe that “great progress is made daily”. Dedication and consistency build a beautiful and healthy physique; they also create a stronger mind and spirit.

Personal training in Orange County

If you are interested in experiencing my approach on practice, give me a call at
(949) 441-0678 or drop me a line. As a new client you are welcome to take advantage of a complimentary training session at the location of your choice, anywhere in Orange County.

Till then, stay Young! 🙂


Tamara Eristavi is a wellness coach, based in Irvine, Califorina.

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excuses, excuses…

excuses?None of this is easy. We are all very busy, there is so much urgency and chaos in our environment and it is so hard to focus on yourself. We get tired, we have pains and aches or maybe we’re not in a mood, whatever the excuse, our “exercise ethics” can suffer greatly. But what are the ramifications?

How often do we ask ourselves what can eventually happen if we don’t take care of your health? What is to come in 10, 20, 30 years? While working with seniors, I have learned that even seemingly insignificant habits can bring huge repercussions down the road. So, why not choose your habits wisely? Why not think ahead and work toward a healthy future? And when it comes to overcoming challenges, thankfully, life provides some outstanding examples of heroic perseverance and dedication.


Here’s one of them: a disabled veteran who defied all odds and demonstrated a miracle of epic proportions. I’m grateful for people like him and, I’ll admit that I can’t watch this without tearing up… Arthur’s incredible transformation.

This is what means never giving up your Pursuit of Happiness!

 I will be happy to help you overcome all your excuses and get Younger, Stronger and Happier!  For a free session with a Certified Personal Trainer anywhere in Orange County, call (949) 441-0678 or submit your inquiry here.
Till then, stay Young! 🙂

 Heart-Centered Business  ~

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