How to Get More Oxygen to the Blood

A young woman is practicing yoga on the beach.
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Oxygen is transported by your red blood cells to all the organs and tissues of your body. This happens in the alveoli, which are the final branchings of your lungs, where oxygen diffuses through the alveolar epithelium into your alveolar capillaries, according to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Your cells have a constant need of fresh oxygen to function and at sea level, your normal blood oxygen levels can range from 95 to 100 percent. A low level of oxygen, usually below 80 percent, can cause hypoxemia, which can be life-threatening, according to the Mayo Clinic. Exercise and posture can help you intake optimal amounts of oxygen for your blood.

Step 1

Schedule at least 30 to 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise into your daily routine for a minimum of five days a week. According to the University of Arizona, cardiovascular exercise gets your heart to pump faster, which increases your blood flow and prompts your lungs to take in more air as your body requires more oxygen to function.

Step 2

Breathe through your nose at all times, even when you are doing exercise. According to the website Authentic Breathing, your nose hairs filter dust from the air that can damage your lungs and the mucus membrane in your septum warms and humidifies the air for your lungs. Breathing through your nose is also important because it makes you inhale slower than when you breathe through your mouth, helping maintain a balance between carbon dioxide and oxygen in your blood.

Step 3

Incorporate the practice of yoga into your exercise routine. Yoga is a practice that focuses not only on stretching and strengthening the body, but also on breathing techniques that help expand your lungs in order to have a better intake of oxygen for your blood, which supports your health. You can join a local yoga studio or purchase yoga DVDs that have a series of postures and sequences you can follow from home at your own pace. Some yoga exercises focus solely on your breath and you can perform them at any time sitting comfortably on a chair or lying down.

Step 4

Sit up straight and be aware of your posture. According to the website Optimal Breathing, poor posture can cause restricted and shallow breathing that will prevent you from obtaining higher amounts of oxygen for your blood. Keep this in mind especially when you are sitting for long periods of time or working at a desk.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911. If you think you may have COVID-19, use the CDC’s Coronavirus Self-Checker before leaving the house.