6 Ways You Can Maximize Your Lung Health

Posted: May 3, 2021

Taking care of your lungs is very vital since its health matters a lot. Some people do not embrace lung health until a respiratory disease attacks them. Smoking and chronic lung conditions such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma accelerate the decline of lung reserve. Lung reserve refers to the extra air that you can exhale or inhale after a regular exhalation and inhalation, respectively. When the lung reserve diminishes, you become susceptible to lung conditions.

Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic has awakened people to think about their lung and respiratory system health. The health of your lungs and respiratory system contributes greatly to your life’s quality. Since the function of the lungs starts to decline at around the age of 35, it is important to learn ways that can help strengthen your lungs. Here are six ways you can use to maximize lung health.

1. Avoid All Types of Smoking

Everyone knows that smoking tobacco and cigarettes increase your risk of suffering from lung cancer. It is important to note that even vaping does not differ from traditional smoking when it comes to the effects. Vapers and smokers both suffer from lung injuries which can be fatal. Vaping may damage lung function to the extent that you require intubation to breathe. If you want to wean off traditional cigarettes, go for smoke-free cessation techniques since vaping is equally dangerous. It is also important to stay away from individuals who are smoking if you are a non-smoker. This is because, as a passive smoker, you will get vulnerable to infections that can result in cancer. According to research, a very small amount of smoke leads to inflammation, lung irritation, and excessive mucus secretion.

2. Exercise Regularly

One great tool for improving your pulmonary function or lung health is physical exercise. Moderate-intensity workouts such as brisk walking, cycling, swimming, and running help get your lungs and heart pumping, making you breathe deeply. The deep breaths help in opening the lungs and clearing the accumulated mucus. You can also perform resistance-based workouts that work your back and core to enhance your lung capacity through posture improvement. This opens the spaces in your chest cavity so that the lungs can fully expand.

Another thing you should try is integrating diaphragmatic breathing aerobics during workouts or your day-to-day activities. To achieve this, take a deep breath via your nose and focus on maximally expanding the stomach, then pause. Finally, exhale the air via pursed lips to maximally contract your abdominals.

3. Minimize Exposure to Outdoor and Indoor Irritants and Toxins

Inhaling toxins triggers the lungs to produce mucus that catches them. The introduction of toxins in your lungs may lead to cellular damage and inflammation. Some major sources of toxins include radon, environmental pollution, chemicals used in industrial settings, dust, and harsh home cleaners.

To minimize exposure to these toxins, wear a face mask when using strong substances such as disinfectants. When vacuuming and dusting, these activities can introduce allergens and particles in the air. You may also consider getting good ventilation, such as a HEPA filter which minimizes exposure to toxins. The HVAC contractor can add the filter to your AC unit, or you can purchase it as a separate system. Good ventilation eradicates indoor allergens like dust mites and limits the entry of outdoor pollutants into your house.

4. Consume Healthy Diet

Your lung health is greatly dependent on your nutrition. Consuming antioxidant–rich fruits such as apples, bananas, and tomatoes help in slowing the age-related lung function decline. This might be because the antioxidants have an anti-inflammatory effect. On the other hand, taking the recommended minerals and vitamins helps in supporting lung health.

Additionally, it would help if you watched your weight since being overweight strains the lung muscles. Increased visceral fat in the abdominal cavity compresses your lungs, while increased body weight makes the lungs work excessively to keep your body oxygenated. Eating a healthy diet will help you in maintaining a healthy weight.

5. Address Asthma and Allergies

Dismissing a stuffy nose or a cough is very common since these symptoms come and fade away. Individuals suffering from asthma or allergy tend to ignore their medications after they feel better, resulting in adverse conditions that lead to hospitalization. Also, if you suffer from chronic inflammation due to asthma and allergies and it goes untreated, your lung function will decline gradually.

Some of the asthma and allergy symptoms you are likely to suffer from include watery and itchy eyes, sneezing, and shortness of breath. If you notice any of this symptom and suspect you might have a respiratory disorder, visit an immunologist or an allergist for testing. After you find a technique for managing the condition, stick to it. In case you want to change your medication, ensure you discuss it with your doctor.

6. Get Vaccinated

If you get vaccinated regularly against lung or respiratory infections, you will prevent your lungs from severe damage. This is because repeated infections injure your airways and the lungs, and this declines your lung function. It is important to get your yearly influenza vaccine since it will promote your lung health. The vaccine also helps your lungs to remain strong even when attacked by infections such as the novel coronavirus. Another vaccine you should ensure you take is the DTaP vaccine which protects you against whooping cough. It is important to get a booster of this vaccine after around ten years. If you are expectant, ensure you get the vaccines to protect your unborn baby.

Conclusion

You may be asking whether improved lung health will enable you to fight the coronavirus if you get it. Currently, there is no evidence that it has any benefits, but it is good to ensure your lungs are functioning at their optimal level. Discussed above are ways to maximize your lung health. Ensure that you apply each of the above ways, including getting vaccinations and addressing asthma and allergies.

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