As the pandemic continues to give aftershocks, maintaining lung health has become a topic of great debate among the healthcare industry and fitness community. It has become a growing topic of discussion because, until now, protecting and maintaining lung health was not a top fitness goal for anyone. Yet lung diseases happen to be one of the leading causes of death. Therefore, the health and fitness community now realizes that they have to improve lung health as well to stay healthy. Because just like your muscles, joints, heart, and other parts of your body, lungs too age with time and lose their vitality.
Hence, to stay healthy and fit, there are some measures you can take to improve lung health. Let’s have a look at them:
1. Avoid exposure to pollutants
Pollutants present in our atmosphere can damage the lungs, causing them to lose their strength. While these pollutants may not affect you when you’re young because your lungs can resist the toxic pollutants, the situation differs as you age. The resistance will diminish as your body starts aging, making you more vulnerable to various lung diseases and infections.
What’s more alarming is that these pollutants are found in our houses and, at times, at the workplace. For instance, asbestos is a fibrous mineral found in household items, construction materials, electrical appliances, and even makeup powders. Upon inhaling this carcinogen, a person can develop fatal diseases like pleural mesothelioma and lung cancer. Therefore, it’s viable to watch for signs of air pollutants and toxic substances in your immediate environment.
Some measures you can take are:
- Avoid going out during peak pollution hours and avoid secondhand smoke
- Avoid exercising near traffic
- Follow all the precautionary measures if you are at risk of pollutant exposure at work
- Make a no-smoke rule at your home
- Dust and vacuum your place twice a week
- Open windows for ventilation
2. Limit smoking
It’s an obvious point, but that’s because it is a widely known fact that smoking damages your lungs and increases the risks of lung cancer. But that’s not the only disease that is caused by smoking. Smoking is a significant cause of most lung diseases such as COPD, asthma, etc. Moreover, it makes other illnesses worse, further deteriorating one’s condition. Because whenever you inhale smoke from a cigarette, you are inhaling hundreds and thousands of chemicals into your lungs. These toxic chemicals harm the lungs while damaging their vitality and strength.
In addition to that, smoking makes your lungs age faster. Moreover, secondhand smoke from other smokers is also harmful to your health. Therefore, to keep your lungs healthy, quit smoking. According to research, once you stop smoking, your lungs start improving and removing the mucus to regain normal functioning. Alongside this, the level of carbon monoxide in your lungs also drops. In a couple of months, your lungs functioning will significantly improve, and your risk of contracting lungs or coronary heart disease decreases.
3. Try exercises
Apart from staying away from cigarettes and pollutants, exercise is an important activity for the health of your lungs. Similar to how exercise is essential for your body, it’s also vital to keep your lungs healthy and strong. Because when you perform physical activities, your heart rate increases, your breathing accelerates, and your lungs start working harder.
Exercises such as cardio and aerobics are ideal for getting your lungs to operate efficiently. They help the muscles between the ribs get strong and help your lungs become more efficient. As a result, your lungs start performing better, resist diseases, and slow down the aging process.
4. Practice deep breathing
Most people become habitual of taking shallow breaths from the chest area, which only uses a small part of their lungs. But deep breathing is beneficial for lungs and overall health. It helps in clearing up the lungs and absorbing more oxygen. It increases vital capacity and improves lung function dramatically.
Therefore, you can practice deep breathing during exercises such as yoga or when you meditate. Not only will it help your lungs improve their functioning, but it also helps relax your mind and improve overall health. Since shallow breathing is an indicator of stress, such exercises will help relieve you of your stressors.
“Laughter is undeniably the best medicine,” and that is as true as it gets. Laughing is a good exercise for abdominal muscles and helps in increasing your lung capacity. Moreover, laughing helps clear all the stale air out of your lungs. It also allows you to take in the fresh air, which helps in improving the functioning and health of your lungs.
Laughing serves as a workout session for your pulmonary, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems. And that’s all the more reason to laugh.
Like the rest of your body, maintaining the health and strength of your lungs is indispensable. For this reason, you must consider taking viable steps to improve the vitality and strength of your lungs. Start by observing your surroundings and checking for signs of pollutants and toxic materials that can harm your lungs. Likewise, limit or altogether quit smoking, try breathing exercises, and laugh more. Within no time, your lungs will thank you for all the effort you put in to improve them.