4 Ways to Keep Your Lungs Healthy
Until we encounter breathing problems, we often don’t think so much about how well our lungs are. But just like the heart and other parts of the body, this pair of organs play an important role in keeping you moving at your best. How do you keep your lungs healthy? Read on for the simple, natural ways to keep them pumping.
The Importance of Healthy Lungs
The lungs are responsible for extracting oxygen from the air that we breathe and distributing it to cells which make sure that every process in the body flows smoothly. At the same time, the lungs filter out harmful gases such as carbon dioxide and send it back out and up into the air.
As with the other organs of the body, the lungs age and weaken over time. Slowly, they lose flexibility and strength. And when lung health is affected, it may impact the quality of everyday life.
How to Keep Your Lungs Healthy
Know that there are ways to keep your lungs at the best of health. And the good news is that they don’t have to be grand or expensive. Here’s a short list of daily habits you can do to keep your lungs healthy.
Say No to Smoking
Nicotine, carbon monoxide and tar are just a few of the thousands of chemicals that go into your lungs with every huff of a cigarette. Aside from causing the lungs to age faster, these chemicals make it difficult to breathe over time as they increase mucus production, as well as irritate and inflame tissues in the airways.
Linked to lung cancer and to lung diseases such as pneumonia and bronchitis, secondhand smoke, or the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke breathed out by smokers, can be harmful too.
Stretch and Exercise
The more you exercise, the more efficient your lungs become. When you exercise, the heart and the lungs work harder as the body needs more oxygen for your muscles. This encourages your lungs to keep up and to stay in shape.
Regular aerobic and cardiovascular exercises or even just 30 minutes of walking and jogging does wonders for your lung health.
Practice Breathing Exercises
Another type of exercise that focuses on lung health are breathing exercises. Normal breaths are often shallow breaths coming from the chest, often using only a small portion of the lungs. With breathing exercises, the goal is to deepen your breathing and to create a full oxygen exchange.
Try it with these steps:
- Sit in a quiet spot.
- Breathe in through the nose for 4 unhurried seconds and breathe out through the mouth for 8 seconds.
- Do this for 5 to 10 times.
Keep Your Surroundings Clean
Help your lungs do its job of filtering out toxins and harmful elements by reducing your exposure to them. One way to do this is to ensure that your surroundings are clean.
Check out these tips on managing indoor pollutants:
- Keep your home as clean as you can. Dust the furniture and vacuum at least once a week.
- Optimize indoor air ventilation with fans, exhaust hoods and opening windows frequently.
- When using products that create fumes, open a window.
For expert care and advice on how to keep your lungs healthy, check in with your doctor.