The lungs never rest. They transport the oxygen that we breathe from the atmosphere in our bloodstream, and in return release carbon dioxide back into the air. Lungs allow the cells in our body to work and grow. An average person breathes about 25,000 times per day. That’s 16 breaths per minute. As we see, the lungs are vital to our body.
However, our lungs are also very fragile. They are vulnerable to injury, germs, and even the quality of the air we breathe. This is why lung diseases like asthma, pulmonary disease, pneumonia, bronchitis, tuberculosis, and cancer are very common today.
In this article, we will explore ten important ways to keep your lungs healthy and active.
#1: Stop Smoking
First and most important, if you regularly engage in tobacco use, you should end this moment. Smoking can severely damage your lungs and create devastating long term effects on your respiratory system.
Cigarette smoke narrows your air passages and makes you breathe harder. Long term, cigarette smoke destroys your lung tissue and creates a grave danger of cancer.
Quitting smoking is not going to be very easy. You will need discipline and willpower. Motivation helps as well.
#2: Limit exposure to secondhand smoke
People who don’t smoke are also affected by cigarette smoke. Avoid public places that permit smoking, try to stay at smoke-free hotels and don’t allow smoking in your house, car or workplace.
Second-hand smoke is also highly toxic and can cause damage to your lungs and health.
#3: Avoid Pollutants
Just as cigarette smoke, pollutants in the air can cause harm to your lungs and your health. Industrial pollution, car gas and fireplace smokes should all be avoided. Even synthetic fragrances from laundry and air fresheners emit toxic chemicals.
When you build or remodel your house, try to use eco-friendly materials like linoleum, avoiding formaldehyde and VOC paints as much as possible.
Don’t spend time in polluted and industrialized areas, and help to create a cleaner environment.
#4: Breathe Better Air
Having a house plant can increase the purity of the air you breathe every day. It’s best to have at least two houseplants per every 100 square feet.
The best indoor plants that can help your air the most are spider plants, bamboo palms, English ivy, aloe vera, peace lily, etc. Make sure not to overwater the plants and keep them dust free.
Try not to use harsh cleaners, aerosol sprays, and strong fragrances too much.
#5: Exercise Breathing Deeply
If you can get in the habit to breathe deeply, this will improve the life of your lungs in the long term. You will have fewer problems related to your lungs, and this will decrease the chances of another type of challenges and diseases like cardiovascular problems.
Exercises can help you get in the habit of breathing deeply. To do them, sit down in a quiet place where you can be relaxed. With your eyes closed, start breathing deeply through your nose, while counting to five.
Once you breathe in, hold your breath for a few seconds, then release the air you hold by exhaling slowly.
You should do this exercise six to eight times per day.
#6: Learn to Play Saxophone
Playing a wind instrument like the saxophone, flute, or clarinet can improve the health of your lungs. What these instruments do is, they increase the capacity of your lungs to the most extent. In a way, you can look at playing wind instruments as a regular workout for your lungs.
Singing is also beneficial. Singing can improve your air capacity by working your diaphragm.
Finally, if you’re not that into singing and music, try blowing balloons. This will also increase your air capacity. Pump a few balloons daily using deep breaths.
#7: Keep a Balanced Diet
Eating a healthy and nutritious diet can help your body with cleansing from harmful toxins, and can ensure healthy lung capacity.
Begin by including more antioxidants in your meals like onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric, oregano, pomegranates, grapefruits, apples, peppermint, green tea, etc.
Also try to get more sources of protein like milk, fish, cheese, nuts and poultry to repair and maintain your respiratory muscles.
Eat more folates like black beans and lentils to protect against pulmonary diseases. Choose complex carbohydrates, like bread made from whole grains and pasta. Similarly, try to avoid refined and simple carbs like white flour, sugar, soft drinks, etc.
Also limit your intake of cholesterol-rich food, trans fats, and saturated fat.
#8: Excercise Regularly
Regular exercise can be an excellent way to increase your lung capacity. If you exercise often, it will be much easier to keep your heart and muscles well supplied with oxygen. This will have an enormous long-term impact on your heart in the future.
Try to perform cardiovascular activities every day, for about 20 minutes. This type of exercise will strengthen the muscles around your heart and lungs.
Aerobic exercises such as walking, biking, and dancing are good alternatives as a means for daily activity.
Swimming is great if you have the means. A few times per week would be great.
Also, if you are a beginner to exercise, consult a qualified professional as to find out the best type of exercise for you.
Don’t forget to take deep and more frequent breaths while you are exercising. And in you’re out exercising, try to stay away from car exhaustion.
If you are prone to getting infections and breathing difficulties, you can not allow yourself to have bad hygiene. Practicing good hygiene will help in preventing common diseases like the cold or the flu, or other diseases of respiratory nature.
Remember to wash your hands regularly with water and soap. You can also use an ethanol-based sanitizer if you don’t have soap and water in the moment of need.
Always make sure to use a handkerchief while sneezing or coughing. Cover both your mouth and your nose with it.
Stay away from places with crowds during flu season. If you do manage to catch a cold, take some time off of school or work until you get better.
Also, try to vacuum more regularly. Clean your carpets and rugs.
#10: Make Sure You Check Your Health Regularly
When it comes to your health, prevention is the key! It’s always better to prevent rather than to cure. And regularly checking your health will make sure your lungs are functioning properly.
Lung diseases are sneaky. They often go undetected until they become severe. However, if you regularly perform a health checkup, your chances of early detection are much more significant.
If you find yourself experiencing loss of breath during physical activities, chronic coughing, dizziness and breathing pain, you may potentially experience symptoms of severe lung problems.
Also, don’t forget to take your prescribed medicine regularly, as it may lead do negative consequences.