8 Health Tips For Strong Lungs
Our lungs face an uphill climb in today’s world. We’re often surrounded by harmful fumes from vehicles and other machinery, and the respiratory virus COVID-19 has caused irreversible harm to millions of people in the last two years. You need to go the extra mile to support your lungs and ensure a healthy future. Here are eight tips to keep your lungs strong.
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Have an active lifestyle
We all need to exercise and eat the right foods to develop our muscles, and the same concept applies to our lungs. When we engage in physical activity, our lung capacity improves over time. It also makes our lungs cleaner and stronger. Exercise is essentially a filter for our lungs.
Additionally, a body with a healthy weight and muscle/fat proportions puts less pressure on our respiratory organs. Our lungs are built to support a well-proportioned body, so get yourself into shape!
Do breathing exercises
Intense exercise is the most effective breathing exercise of them all, but you should also perform stationary breathing exercises to keep your lungs functional and strong. Here are some exercises recommended by the American Lung Association:
- Pursed lip breathing
- Diaphragm breathing
- Equal inhale/exhale breathing
- Alternate nostril breathing
All you need for these tasks is a comfortable chair that you can sit upright in. Take five minutes out of your day to give your lungs their due attention.
Drinking plenty of water keeps your lungs healthy by thinning out the mucus in your respiratory tract, improving airflow and thus making breathing easier. Liquids, in general, help remove mucus, including juices and soups, but warm water takes the top spot because the warm vapor loosens the mucus most effectively.
Some people treat their stuffy noses and clogged sinuses by gargling warm salt water. The abrasive salt helps clear the phlegm at the back of our throats. It doesn’t taste pleasant, but the results pack a punch. Give this treatment a try next time you’re having breathing troubles.
Watch your posture
Our posture plays a significant role in our lung health. Our lungs are soft and malleable, bending and twisting with our bodies. That means when we’re hunched over at our work desks and lounging on the couch, our lungs undergo unnecessary stress. On the other hand, an upright posture stretches the lungs and puts them in the optimal position for breathing.
Doctors recommend doing daily overhead stretches to expand the ribcage, diaphragm, and lungs. They don’t like being scrunched up, so get them back to their natural positions!
Avoid smoking of all kinds
Smoking cigarettes is the greatest contributing factor to chronic lung illnesses and lung cancers. However, don’t think you’re off the hook just because you smoke e-cigs, vapes, or other air pollutants. They all harm our lungs in their own fashion by clogging our respiratory system with fumes and residue.
The evidence of harm grows every day as we learn more about these new smoking methods. We know kicking an addictive habit is difficult, but you need to think about your long-term health over your short-term interests. Encourage friends and family who smoke to drop the habit together so you have strength in numbers.
Dodge contagious respiratory illnesses
Illnesses like the flu and COVID-19 might always not be immediately harmful, but their lasting effects can debilitate even the healthiest individuals. You can make minor daily efforts to dodge these respiratory problems and maintain good lung health:
- Wash your hands with soap and water after eating and using the restroom.
- Don’t touch your face with dirty hands.
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Get vaccines if you feel vulnerable.
If you contract a minor illness, it could lead to a more chronic severe issue down the road. No one thinks it will happen to them, but you should still take precautions and get screened for serious lung diseases once a year, especially if you’re an at-risk individual.
Spend more time in the remote outdoors
We mentioned in the introduction that most of us inhale pollutants as we navigate our outdoor environments, but that doesn’t mean we should hide indoors entirely. Instead, you need to spend more time in remote outdoor areas where the air is cleaner. Go on a camping trip and escape the fumes for a while.
Drinking water is also usually cleaner in rural areas, compounding its filtration effects and removing mucus more thoroughly. Even if you’re a stranger to rural living, you need to get a taste now and then. Your lungs will appreciate it.
Improve your home’s air quality
Your home’s air quality can significantly impact your lung health. We spend most of our time inside, after all, so you should add these chores to your to-do list:
- Wash all linens.
- Vacuum the floors (pay special attention to carpets).
- Dust shelves, cabinets, curtains and other low-traffic areas.
- Replace your indoor air filters every 60-90 days.
- Open the windows when the weather allows.
You should also avoid smoking in the house and try to limit indoor fires. They might be warm and cozy, but they’re not doing your home’s air quality any favors.
Support your lung health every day
As you can see, there are many daily tasks you can do to support your lung health. Medical treatment helps, but you can’t fully rely on it. You still need to put in the work. Get outside and get active. Drink plenty of water and go about your day with good posture. Ditch the smoking habit and spend more time cleaning your home. These straightforward habits can change your life and help you live happier and healthier!
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