Your respiratory system is one of the body’s most complicated yet intriguing systems. From inhaling air through our nose to the lungs pumping oxygen, it is a process that continues until we die. Since air is the primary component for the survival of multicellular organisms, taking care of your lungs is essential.
We breathe air through our nose while our lungs, along with blood vessels, ensure the inhaled air is supplied throughout our bodies. But if, by any chance, your lungs malfunction, it could prove to be fatal. Unhealthy habits such as smoking, air pollution, and an inactive lifestyle are often associated with compromised lung health.
So, if you have decided to bring about a positive change in your life, here are some tips to improve lung health.
Avoid exposure to air pollutants
Air pollutants are one of the major reasons why most people are suffering from lung diseases. Many countries face increased risks of air pollution caused by toxic fumes from industrial sites. Likewise, vehicles and other machinery that burn fuel for energy also release harmful gases into our environment that are detrimental to our health. The smoke from industrial sites, chimneys, moving vehicles, and machinery contribute to air pollution.
The worst part is that these harmful gases and air pollutants are released into the environment, thus contaminating it. When inhaled, these air pollutants cause numerous chronic lung diseases, such as asthma, pneumonia, and inflammation. Although most of them are curable, some of them have long-lasting effects.
Similarly, asbestos is another known air pollutant that causes mesothelioma, a rare and fatal cancer. Mesothelioma remission is rare, and this disease is likely to occur among construction workers, military veterans, and people living in depleting old homes. Regardless, getting your lungs checked regularly is essential if you’re exposed to a polluted environment that predisposes you to lung diseases.
You probably already know that smoking is detrimental to your health. While many people understand the health risks of smoking cigarettes, they fail to quit smoking. Most people get addicted to smoking since it acts as a stress reliever for them. Although it might have temporary benefits, it has many long-term health consequences.
Smoking cigarettes increases the risk of lung diseases such as COPD, bronchitis, and emphysema. With every cigarette you smoke, your lungs inhale harmful chemicals such as nicotine, carbon monoxide, and tar. As you continue smoking, these toxins begin to accumulate inside your lungs.
When you inhale tobacco smoke, your body begins to produce more mucus as a retaliation. This makes it difficult for our lungs to perform their function and clean themselves, resulting in narrow airways and breathing problems.
Smoking is also associated with chronic diseases such as lung cancer. Although it is treatable if diagnosed early, no one would like to suffer from it. It might take months or even years of medical treatment to get rid of it completely. Besides, you must pay a hefty sum in medical expenditures to cover all the medical bills.
The best way around smoking is to quit it immediately. You will instantly feel some health benefits, including better lung health, improved stamina, pain-free breathing, and reduced risk of coronary heart disease. Quitting might take multiple attempts. Therefore, ensure you pair it with counseling and medication to increase your chances of success.
Indulge in exercise
Apart from quitting smoking, indulging yourself in regular exercise is an excellent initiative that you can take to improve lung health. Just as regular exercise helps you stay fit, it also ensures your lungs continue to work properly.
When you enroll in any physical activity, such as going to the gym, your heart and lungs begin to work harder. The higher the intensity of your workout, the more your lungs would be forced to up their activity level. This allows your lungs to deliver the oxygen required by your muscles.
Studies have shown that aerobic exercises are the best way to work your muscles. Simultaneously, they are also effective when it comes to improving lung health. Normally, your lungs pump oxygen 15 times a minute. However, aerobic exercise may increase their activity to 60 times per minute. As a result, it makes the air sacs in your lungs work faster, thus improving your breathing and stamina.
Remember that developing healthy lungs through physical activity can also resist aging while minimizing the risk of numerous diseases. Even if you suffer from a lung disease, aerobic exercise can help minimize its health consequences.
Your body’s immune system acts as a firewall against the intrusion of harmful bacteria and viruses. A strong immune system means your body can easily keep these microorganisms at bay. But your body’s immune system starts to weaken when you grow old. Over time, it fails to fully protect your body against infectious diseases, resulting in compromised health.
Lungs are the body’s primary organ affected by airborne infections. People who already suffer from COPD have an increased risk of suffering from lung infections such as pneumonia. Unless you are careful, these infections can also lead to other health complications.
The best way to deal with lung infections is to ensure cleanliness. Always wash your hands before you eat anything. You should also avoid touching your face too much to ensure harmful bacteria don’t make their way into your body. Moreover, drink a lot of water and include fruits and vegetables in your diet. Besides, get yourself vaccinated, especially if you are above 65.
Taking deep breaths is a proven way of enhancing your lung activity levels. As you take deep breaths, your lungs develop a full oxygen exchange, thus helping in clearing them from impurities. Most people take shallow breaths without utilizing their lungs to their full potential. Recent studies suggest practicing deep breaths, even for several minutes a day, can increase the vital capacity of your lungs. Consequently, it will help your lungs function properly and efficiently.
Your body has a natural defense mechanism that keeps different organs of your body, including your lungs working properly. But sometimes, our bad habits can cause our immune system and lungs to malfunction. To ensure your lungs stay healthy, you must quit smoking, avoid exposure to polluted air, practice deep breaths, and stay active.