Did you know that an average person breathes nearly 13 pints of air every minute and takes approximately 17,000 breaths daily? That’s a staggering number, but that’s just how remarkable our lungs are!
Breathing is fundamental to life, and having healthy lungs is essential. Our lungs supply oxygen and remove carbon dioxide to ensure proper bodily function. While this might seem simple, the modern lifestyle has made breathing challenging. There are more than a handful of factors that contribute to this challenge.
In this blog post, we will discuss these challenges and provide four tried and tested tips to improve lung function despite them. Incorporating these tips into your daily life can strengthen your lungs and enhance your overall well-being.
So, let’s dive in!
1. Improve Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality is instrumental in ensuring we have healthy lungs. If you spend most of your time indoors, you should be even more keen to ensure good air quality. Our indoors are prone to be laden with pollutants and irritants that have adverse side effects, especially on our lungs.
One such substance is asbestos, a mineral fiber found in building materials. Prolonged asbestos exposure can cause many health problems, but mesothelioma is the most malignant. Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive lung cancer that can impact the lining of the lungs. You can still find asbestos in houses built in the 70s and 80s because asbestos was commonly used in home construction from the 1940s to the 1970s. Many people are still unaware of mesothelioma. The most common question they often ask is, “What is mesothelioma?” Hence, we recommend educating yourself on this topic to protect yourself and your loved ones from this slow poison. You should also ensure that you have your living space inspected for the presence of asbestos.
You should also ensure that your living space is well-ventilated. You can use windows and exhaust fans for this purpose. Moreover, dusting and cleaning frequently help minimize irritants and allergens in your home. Vacuuming carpets, upholstery and washing beddings also helps reduce pet dander, dust mites, and other irritants. We recommend using natural cleaning products with low volatile organic compounds (VOC), ultimately contributing to better indoor air quality.
You can also add houseplants to your living space to improve indoor air quality. They don’t only add a beautiful touch to your home but are also great air purifiers. You can use pothos, peace lilies, snake plants, and spider plants to filter out toxic substances and maintain healthy indoor oxygen levels.
2. Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking is vital if you want your lungs to be healthy. According to the FDA, there are 7000 chemicals in cigarette smoke, and 70 out of them are carcinogenic. These substances can cause significant damage to your lungs over time and put you at risk for chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and lung cancer.
However, our lungs start healing after quitting smoking, and within two weeks of quitting, breathing starts feeling much easier. And within the first month, your lung function improves dramatically, increasing oxygen circulation. This ultimately decreases the risk of developing respiratory problems.
Quitting smoking is challenging. However, it isn’t impossible. You can seek support from the community as well as certified healthcare providers to guide you through the process of quitting. These people understand the journey and offer encouragement through every stage of it. You can also use nicotine replacement therapies like medications, gum, and patches to alleviate withdrawal cravings.
3. Exercise Regularly
Engaging in proper exercise regularly plays a significant role in promoting lung function and improving overall health. Exercise causes the breathing rate to alleviate and allows the lungs to work more efficiently. This increased rate ultimately helps oxygenate blood and more effectively removes carbon dioxide and other harmful pollutants.
Intercoastal muscles and diaphragm are necessary for breathing as they help in the contraction and expansion of the lungs; regular exercise also strengthens them.
However, you need to ensure that you choose activities that increase your heart rate and promote deeper breathing. These range from a brisk walk in the nearest park to strenuous gym exercise. Deeper breathing is a telltale sign that your lungs are being exerted, and hence it helps improve their endurance.
Remember to start slowly and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your exercise. This would help you avoid any injury and over-exertion.
4. Eat A Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced diet is critical in supporting optimal lung function and improving overall well-being. Anything that we consume impacts our bodily functions. Hence, a healthy diet helps improve health and lung function substantially.
Consuming foods rich in antioxidants is very important for lung functionality. They help prevent oxidative stress, minimizing and often even preventing lung tissue damage. Berries and citrus fruits have high Vitamin C content and are excellent for increasing immunity. Leafy greens and bell peppers also promote lung health. Moreover, you can also incorporate seeds and nuts in your daily diet to further boost antioxidant consumption.
Fatty fishes like mackerel, sardines, and salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and have anti-inflammatory properties. Walnuts and flaxseeds are also rich in anti-inflammatory properties and are great for improving lung function. Inflammation in the lungs can lead to problems like asthma and other breathing problems; when you consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, you reduce this risk substantially.
You must also actively choose healthy options; rather than eating processed foods and saturated fats, aim to eat lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. These nutrient-dense choices provide essential vitamins, minerals, and beneficial compounds supporting lung health.
Remember, a healthy diet should be complemented by proper hydration. Drinking adequate water throughout the day helps maintain optimal lung function by keeping the airways moist and facilitating efficient mucus production.
Taking care of your lungs is essential for your overall well-being and quality of life. These four tips can significantly improve lung function and protect you from respiratory issues.
Implementing these tips into our daily lives allows us to breathe well and enjoy healthier lungs. Remember to consult healthcare professionals for personalized guidance and support on your journey to healthier lungs. Take care of your lungs, and they will take care of you!