According to medical research, a healthy individual uses 70% of their lung capacity, which remains unchanged even at the height of intense cardio workouts. Therefore, you can imagine the lung capacity for persons with chronic respiratory disease such as asthma or COPD. Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom, mainly because there are medically approved ways to keep your lungs healthy and functioning as required. If you want to know more about this, please keep reading.
Avoid exposure to lung-damaging indoor pollutants
You probably didn’t know that your regular household cleaners and other chemicals can harm your lungs in the long run. Scientists discovered that cleaners contain bleach, phthalates, ammonia, and other toxic organic compounds that cause a gradual lung deterioration. In some cases, they have led to people developing chronic respiratory conditions like asthma. Unfortunately, your indoor air can be saturated with all these elements that spell potential health problems for your lungs in the long term.
If you’re wondering what other things could be polluting your indoor air, you may consider the following; carpet allergens, printer inks (if you work from home and have a printer), paint, and other common detergents. They can pollute the air in the interior parts of your home and cause health hazards. As a solution, you can make a conscious effort to allow fresh air into your dwelling. Proper air ventilation and filtration will eradicate these contaminants and keep the air healthy for your lungs. It would help if you also considered natural houseplants to release more oxygen.
Avoid smoking or second-hand smoke
The campaign against nicotine and smoking, in general, goes beyond promotional health activities. Smoking is hazardous, as it is the number one cause of the rising cases of lung cancer. Did you know that a single puff of tobacco smoke sets the foundation for tar formation within the lungs? If that doesn’t scare you, you may want to know that a whopping 90% of lung cancer cases (worldwide) is due to cigarette smoking, with women accounting for 70% to 80% of the cases.
Exposure to nicotine and tobacco smoke tends to narrow the air passages in the respiratory system. When this happens, your lungs are unable to draw enough oxygen through the nostrils. For asthmatic patients exposed to second-hand smoke, it can even be more dangerous because of its high tendency to trigger an episode. This is why you would want to keep an urgent supply of asthma inhalers at all times because you can’t always predict exactly when an asthma attack will occur.
Maintain proper hydration levels
Just as water is good for your skin, it is essential for your lungs too. The human lungs naturally contain mucosal linings that perform their required functions. However, when you’re dehydrated, these mucosal linings get thicker and, to some extent, cause shortness of breath. Conversely, with adequate water intake, the linings thin out, helping the lungs to take in more oxygen. Another reason to maintain proper hydration levels is to keep your lung cells moist. Through these moist cells found in the respiratory system, a fair exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen can be performed.
Keep your body active
Apart from your muscles and joints benefiting from exercising, the lungs need intense activity too. Therefore, you may want to focus on cardio workouts. In essence, any exercise that causes an increase in your heart rate will automatically cause your lungs to respond in equal measure. When the heart rate increases, the lungs get stimulated to draw in deeper breaths, which means more oxygen intake. As the exchange of gases occurs, it cleanses the lungs of impurities and contributes to its optimum performance.
Take deliberate deep breaths
According to research, deliberate deep breaths are healthy for your lungs. This is when you sit still, breathe in deeply through your nostrils and exhale slowly from pursed lips. The trick to getting this right is by ensuring that each breath you take causes your chest (and not your belly) to expand. Breathing experts also consider it beneficial to hold your breath for about 5 seconds before slowly letting it out through your mouth. Do this daily, with each session lasting for about five to ten minutes. Then, when you’re done, not only would you have helped your lungs; instead, you induce a feeling of relaxation in your entire body.
It’s best to keep your lungs healthy to improve your quality of life. Hopefully, you’ll follow these tips for the best results.