Better Breathing: 6 Tips for healthy lungs
Our body is an extraordinary machine, with every part having a distinct responsibility in the holistic functioning of our body. We are frequently advised to take care of our physical and mental health. Consequently, we usually focus on maintaining our physical appearance, such as toning our body but often neglect organ health.
Even if we do care for our organs, our primary focus in workouts and diet is usually the heart and brain. But they are not the only vital organs that need our attention. Your lungs work round the clock cleaning the polluted air you breathe in; and providing your body with purified, fresh air. The lungs make their job seem so effortless that we often neglect to care for them. It is not until we suffer from respiratory diseases (asthma or COPD are common) that we realize their significance.
Nevertheless, we can adopt a handful of practices to protect our lungs and keep them healthy in the long run.
Avoiding air pollutants
Avoiding exposure to pollutants is easier said than done, given the state of our environment. However, you can significantly reduce your interaction with air pollutants in a few ways. Firstly, avoid going out of the office during peak hours when the air pollution generated by traffic is greater. Also, avoid going to places with construction or mining underworks since these areas are heavily polluted.
In the past, construction companies used asbestos in their projects. Hence, it is important to get a diagnosis if you’ve been near any construction sites in your childhood or youth. In case you get diagnosed with mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos-polluted air by such negligent manufacturers, you can file a mesothelioma lawsuit to receive financial compensation from the manufacturing company.
You should also avoid exercising in densely polluted areas and use a mask whenever you leave the house.
Smoking significantly increases the chance of developing lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It deteriorates the airways and reduces the functioning of your lungs over time. The toxins in the smoke, like tar and carbon monoxide, cause your lungs to age faster.
If you are a smoker, quitting should be on your list now. It may seem impossible at first, but with the help of support groups, medication, and motivation, you’ll be able to bid cigarettes goodbye. Once you completely quit, the condition of your lungs will gradually improve.
Although staying hydrated is essential for the whole body, you might not know how water benefits your lung health. Staying hydrated can improve lung function by keeping the respiratory airways moist and allowing oxygen to flow more easily into the lungs.
Dehydration can cause excessive production of mucus in the respiratory tract and inflammation. Drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water daily keeps your body adequately hydrated, leading to healthier lungs.
Practice simple breathing techniques.
There are several breathing techniques that you can practice daily for healthier, optimally functioning lungs. One effective technique is diaphragmatic breathing which involves breathing deeply to lower the diaphragm, which can help strengthen it and improve lung capacity.
To get the most out of this practice, you can lie down with your knees bent and your feet stretched flat on the floor. Once you’re in this position, place one hand on your abdomen and the other on your chest. Take deep breaths through your nose, allowing your belly to rise as you inhale. Exhale through your mouth, slowly pushing out all the air.
Moreover, try to stretch the length of your inhalations and exhalations. You can count how long it takes for you to inhale and then exhale fully. You can gradually increase the time it takes to breathe in and out, improving your lung capacity.
Many of you may not know how a bad posture affects the spine and can also reduce lung capacity. Slouching can also put pressure on the diaphragm and make breathing harder. An upright posture helps to ease breathing by allowing the lungs to expand and the diaphragm to move freely.
A good posture also allows your lungs the space to expand at full capacity, consequently improving circulation throughout the body.
Staying active is essential for a healthy, happy mind and body. When you exercise, your body requires more oxygen, so you breathe in more air. Your lungs begin to work faster as they purify the air and facilitate oxygen uptake by the blood in your body. Exercising consistently will eventually improve your lung condition and capacity.
Make it a point to exercise daily in whatever form you enjoy. You can start with a 20-minute brisk walk or even do an intense cardio workout if your body allows it. You can also lay out a yoga mat and indulge in relaxing stretches. If you’re a beginner, remember to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workout.
Your lungs, just like your heart and brain, work tirelessly for a smoothly functioning body. Your lungs deserve the same kind of attention and care you would give the latter. It’s important to understand that you can enjoy improved lung health in the long run with a few lifestyle changes. Stop smoking now, stay active and hydrated, and adopt a good posture. You must also avoid going out when the air is most polluted and practice simple breathing techniques to promote healthy lung function.