How to Improve Oxygen Saturation

By Constance Barker

Low blood oxygen, also called hypoxemia, occurs when oxygen supply to the bloodstream is reduced or interrupted. Your body needs oxygen in the blood in order for organs to perform properly. Blood oxygen is monitored by an instrument called the oximeter. Normal readings are 95 to 100 at sea level and readings under 90 are considered low, according to the Mayo Clinic. There are ways to improve oxygen saturation in the blood.

Use oxygen units that are stationary or portable to increase oxygen saturation. An oxygen supply company delivers the units and provides information on how to use the units. You place a mask from the unit over your nose and mouth and breathe in as long as you need to.

Exercise regularly. Exercise increases blood circulation and oxygen levels. Walking, swimming and jogging are just a few exercises to help increase oxygen saturation. Talk to your doctor before adding exercises to your routine when you are experiencing breathing problems.

Avoid second-hand smoke and smog. Air pollutants disrupt breathing, lowering oxygen levels.

Lose weight if you are obese. Disrupted breathing during sleep by people who are obese has shown a decrease in oxygen saturation, according to the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Being obese increases the risk of sleep apnea.

Listen to relaxation and breathing method tapes. These tapes teach you how to breathe properly, helping to increase your oxygen saturation.

Take vitamins and iron each day. Eat a healthy diet rich in green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach. Anemia has been shown to cause hypoxemia according to the Mayo Clinic, so keep your body strong with a good diet and supplements.


See your doctor when experiencing breathing difficulties, confusion or shortness of breath.

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