The average person takes between 17,280 and 23,040 breaths a day without giving it any thought. Lungs are often taken for granted, but healthy lungs mean a longer greater quality of life.
Are you keeping your lungs as healthy as they can be?
It can be easy to forget to take care of the parts of our body that we cannot see, but lungs are important to life and longevity. Taking care of them is important so that we can lead the lives we want!
We've put together some useful tips for keeping those lungs as healthy as possible.
In This Post:
Maintaining Healthy Lungs
The key to healthy lungs is strengthening your breathing muscles, maintaining overall health, regular doctor visits, and seeking help when you notice a problem.
Here are five useful tips when it comes to healthy lungs.
1. Deep Breathing
Deep breathing exercises are great for maintaining healthy lungs. Diaphragmatic breathing engages the diaphragm muscle, which separates the chest cavity from the abdomen and is the main muscle for respiration.
The COPD Foundation suggests this diaphragmatic breathing exercise:
- Relax shoulders and lean back or sit down.
- Place one hand on your stomach and one on your chest.
- Inhale through the nose for two seconds. Feel the air move into your abdomen. Your stomach should be moving more than your chest.
- Breath out for two seconds through pursed lips. This technique keeps airways open longer to improve the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
The strengthening of the diaphragm muscle improves the capacity and efficiency of your lungs.
2. No Smoking
Cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths a year in the United States.
Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your lungs and if you already have any respiratory issues, it's even worse. Smoking damages your airways and air sacs found in your lungs. Smokers are more likely to develop heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer than nonsmokers.
3. Eat Healthy and Hydrate
There are specific foods that have been linked to healthier lungs.
A low carbohydrate and high healthy fat diet will improve your breathing according to Amanda A. Kostro Miller, RD, LDN who serves on the advisory board for Smart Healthy Living.
Food rich in vitamin D can reduce inflammation and boost your immune system. Vitamin C can help protect your body against lung cancer.
Don't forget to hydrate. Water is essential to keep airways clean and clear of mucus.
Regular exercise can improve your endurance and stamina. Studies have shown that regular exercise increases lung capacity where participants inhaled and exhaled larger amounts of air on a routine basis.
Keeping your weight within a healthy range will help your lungs function more efficiently and reduce strain.
5. See Your Doctor Regularly
With regular doctor visits, it's easier to maintain overall health and catch any issues before they become a larger problem.
If you're experiencing anything such as:
- Shortness of breath
- Pain when breathing
- A persistent cough with exercise
- Wheezing with exercise
- Airway pain
You should see your primary care doctor and be referred to a specialist such as a pulmonary doctor if needed. Respiratory therapy is another option. Respiratory Therapy Zone is a great resource for aspiring respiratory therapy therapists!
Save Your Lungs
Your lungs play a vital role in your life and once they start to decline, you'll notice. Having healthy lungs is one of the best things that you can do for your body, especially as you get older.
By following the tips listed above, you should be able to maintain the health of your lungs and keep them strong.
If you're interested in health and wellness, don't forget to check out our blog!