Our lungs work hard to keep us breathing. With healthy lungs, you’re also more likely to have a healthy functioning body since each organ will get the amount of oxygen it needs. Properly functioning lungs will also rid our bodies of harmful elements.
We all know that easy breathing and proper oxygen intake are essential for maintaining our mental health. Unfortunately, our lungs cannot stay healthy or function optimally without some care on our part. Heart health is also closely linked to lung health, with one influencing the other. With all the important functions of the lungs in mind, we should start taking steps towards better lung health. Here are some tips to consider for maintaining optimal lung health:
1. Avoid All Forms of Smoking
The first and foremost tip for better lung health is to avoid any kind of smoking. It might be very difficult to quit, but everyone knows how harmful this habit is. Quit everything: cigarettes, cigars, vapes, joints, and so on. Secondhand smoke is even more dangerous, which means you’re exposing others to harm while indulging in this practice – or if your group of friends are smokers, you’re a passive smoker yourself! So, either ask them to quit or avoid their company while they smoke.
Smoking can increase the chances of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) in any individual. It’s also the leading cause of lung cancer and many other cancers.
Even if you switch to vaping, you’re still introducing heavy metals and chemicals into the lungs.
2. Get Complete Health Check-Ups Yearly
Regular checkups from a doctor can ensure that your lungs are thriving and robust. It’s also useful for catching serious issues like lung cancer early on. Early detection can help you get lung cancer compensation and effective treatment.
Some lung cancer cases may not show symptoms until they reach an advanced stage.
While smoking is a major factor leading to lung cancer, it might not be the only culprit. In certain cases, the cancer might be due to medical negligence, wrongful exposure to asbestos in a workplace, or misdiagnosis.
3. Exercise Regularly
Our bodies were made to move, so it’s time to stop leading a sedentary lifestyle. Staying more active is a rule of thumb for gaining better health. It can make the lungs stronger and also improve heart health. Plus, exercise will strengthen the muscles that help with lung expansion.
If you think you can’t exercise due to your age, you can research the best exercises for seniors and consult your doctor simultaneously.
4. Maintain a Healthy Diet
The lungs and heart work together to supply oxygen to the whole body. This connection means that a heart-healthy diet will also be good for the lungs (and vice versa).
With a decent nutrition intake, your body can fight germs and bacteria that may otherwise harm the lungs. Here are some dietary additions that will help you breathe easier at any age:
- Fresh fruits, especially apples, berries, bananas, and oranges
- Fresh vegetables, especially peppers, leafy greens, avocados, etc.
- Foods that are rich in fiber, including baked potatoes, nuts, seeds, barley, and whole-grain bread
- Healthy fats like clarified butter, canola oil, and olive oil
- Lean proteins such as legumes, eggs, turkey, shellfish, chicken, etc.
5. Stay Within a Healthy Weight Range
When you’re overweight, there’s more burden on your lungs. With this in mind, you need to stay within a certain weight range for better lung health.
At least one study shows us how obese subjects saw an improvement in lung health alongside consistent weight loss.
Fortunately, more exercise and a healthier diet will contribute to a healthier and leaner body in most cases.
6. Deep Breathing
When you’re feeling stressed out or anxious, deep breathing is an effective method to calm down. It requires no equipment, costs nothing, and is usually effective in calming us down.
However, deep breathing exercises can also help us maintain lung health. In a matter of minutes, you can start gaining some of the following benefits:
- Your lung capacity can increase, making it easier to breathe
- More oxygen enters the lungs, which means a better oxygen distribution in the blood, resulting in better bodily function
- You can engage the diaphragm muscle and other forms of respiratory muscles, resulting in more strength over time
- It can help to clear the airways of phlegm and mucus
- It may result in lowered stress levels, which can prevent lung conditions from getting worse
- Better breathing control, which can help with chronic conditions like hyperventilation or breathing issues
We must practice these exercises correctly. We also have to incorporate them into our daily routine to get the most benefit.
7. Clean Up the Air
You may not be able to directly improve the air outside your home. We may do our part to combat air pollution, but the air inside our homes is more accessible. The same goes for cars, schools, and our workplaces. Here are some steps we can take to ensure that the air indoors is clean:
- Do not allow anyone to smoke in the car or indoors
- Invest in a quality air purifier that’s equipped with HEPA filters
- Vacuum and dust regularly
- If you suspect asbestos in your workplace, wear an effective mask
- Get regular radon tests in these areas; radon is an invisible form of gas that might lead to lung cancer
To maintain lung health for yourself and your family, ensure that everyone breathes clean air whenever possible. This may also mean masking up when you go outside. Other precautions include staying away from crowds, avoiding busy roads, and trying to visit natural spaces such as mountains, beaches, etc.
Lungs are a major part of our respiratory system, so we need to pay special attention to their health. Lung health is also connected to heart health, which is another reason for making certain lifestyle changes. Leaving certain habits and taking on new ones can be a challenge. However, the effort is a small price to pay for our health and peace of mind. Why not pick one of these tips and start working on your lung health now?