If you need to go outside, try to do so in the morning. If you have air conditioning at home, make sure you use it responsibly. If not, keep doors and windows shut and draw the curtains to keep the house cool. Go to air-conditioned libraries, malls or cinemas during peak smog hours.
Eat beets, carrots, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, fruit and whole grains for vitamins C and E and beta carotene, which will rid your body of pollutants. Toronto naturopathic doctor Michelle Stapleton also recommends getting enough zinc (found in eggs, tofu and fish) and coenzyme Q10, available in the fleshy parts of oranges and grapefruit. If necessary, take supplements.
Certain exercises done regularly can help strengthen your lungs. Breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Repeat for several minutes. Also try inhaling for two counts and exhaling for three or more counts. Avoid these exercises during smog alerts because you will draw pollutants deep into the lungs. If you find you are wheezing, coughing and have shortness of breath on smoggy days, you may have asthma. Tell your doctor.
Along with plants such as chrysanthemums, peace lilies and members of the dracaena family, ivy may help clean the air in your home. Keep these plants around the house to absorb indoor pollutants, such as carbon monoxide and benzene, that are also found in smog.
Heat dehydrates you quickly. Water removes wastes and toxins and helps carry oxygen and nutrients in your blood. Lack of H2O also dries out the lining of your lungs, which makes them more sensitive to irritants.
DIY pollution solutions
Take public transit or carpool.