The illegal forest fires in Indonesia have resulted in a mega haze crisis affecting the South East Asia region. Here in Malaysia, thick smog is choking our country - making it hard to remember what clear blue skies look like.
API levels are soaring beyond the danger zone. Experts are warning that the haze may not disappear until early 2016.
Here are some friendly tips to help you survive the haze season.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Drink as much water as possible to help your kidneys flush out any toxins absorbed by the body. Water will soothe your burning throat as well. Try to hit a bare minimum of 2 liters a day. I like infusing my water with fruits and essential oils to help spice things up a little.
- Take care of your skin
The dry dusty air takes a big toll on your skin. Make sure you cleanse and tone your face properly after being outdoors, or the dust particles may clog your pores and result in unwanted breakouts. Never, ever go to sleep with a dirty face.
And don’t forget to moisturize! On the face, opt for a light and hydrating moisturizer. On the body, seal in moisture by applying lotion on damp skin right after coming out from the shower.
Sukin Sensitive Soothing Body Lotion is a fabulous body moisturizer I stumbled upon recently. It is completely natural, and keeps my skin so well hydrated without unnecessary stickiness.
Other brands that have worked for me are Physiogel and Derma Health Skin Labs.
- Boost your immune system
Your body is already working overtime trying to flush out toxins. Help strengthen your immune system by making sure you get enough antioxidants. Eat ample leafy greens and fruits, and make sure you take your multivitamins.
Handy tip 1: Head over to your local Guardian/Watson to get some soluble Redoxon capsules. They are a delicious and convenient way to get a boost of Vitamin C.
Handy tip 2: Drink tons of green tea. Green tea is loaded with polyphenols such as flavonoids and catechins which function as powerful antioxidants. Roleaf offers a wide assortment of high quality green tea blends - so you will never get bored of the same flavor.
My favorite is the Genmaicha! It is an earthy blend of green tea and brown rice. The white bits are popped brown rice – don’t they look just like pretty flowers?
- Wear a mask
If you must go outside, make sure to wear a proper N95 mask. Normal surgical masks are not enough. They were made to prevent the spread of germs - not to filter the air you breathe in. N95 masks were specifically designed for use in dusty atmospheres so they will help filter out small dust particles properly.
- Stay indoors
Stay indoors as much as you can. Make sure your windows are closed, and the air conditioning turned on. The ionizers in air conditioners will help filter the air and give you cleaner air to breathe in. If you can afford it, invest in a HEPA filter. HEPA filters help to remove 99.97% of airborne dust particles.
- Don’t workout outside
Now is not the time to run or swim outdoors. During exercise you gulp in larger volumes of air, which is the last thing you want in the haze. Find a well-enclosed and ventilated indoor gym for your workouts instead. Use a treadmill or an elliptical to get your cardio fix. If machines are not your thing, try fun HIIT circuits.
Here is a super easy fat-blasting circuit you can try at home:
Jumping squats 40 sec
20 sec rest
Wall sit 40 sec
20 sec rest
Burpees 40 sec
20 sec rest
Push ups 40 sec
20 sec rest
40 sec recovery