Respiratory conditions affect one in five people and are the third leading cause of death in England, according to the NHS. Although many individuals want to become healthier, they rarely focus on their respiratory health. Lungs play a significant role in providing the body while eliminating carbon dioxide moment-by-moment. However, like any other body part, lungs lose flexibility and strength as you age, making it difficult to breathe.
If you are committed to maintaining healthy lungs, there are several things you can do. A rule of thumb is to protect yourself from infections by incorporating tips to fight off flu and cold into your daily routine.
Create a Workout Routine
Many people link regular workouts with improved cardiovascular health and weight loss only. Interestingly, exercises can significantly enhance your respiratory health. Even simple physical activities like gardening, walking and cleaning increase blood flow in your lungs. As a result, lungs deliver more oxygen in the blood and provide the body more energy to get rid of carbon dioxide.
However, there are specific exercises for increasing lung capacity you should try for at least 30 minutes daily. This includes diaphragmatic breathing, aerobics, cardio workouts, rib-stretch exercises, pulse breathing, and water-based workouts. Many martial arts and yoga styles include an element of breathing exercises that have been developed over centuries to help improve lung health.
Maintain Healthy Diet
Whether you have allergies, asthma, respiratory infection, or want to stop smoking; start by eating nutritious meals. The best foods for improving respiratory health include fatty fish, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and protein. A healthy diet impacts every part of the body, which is why it is so vital. Healthy eating reduces risk of many diseases, cancer and helps keep your body fit too. You should also stay hydrated and use unsaturated oils to fight lung infections.
Look Into Indoor Air Filtration
Due to their enclosed designs, homes are known to host pollen, dirt, pet hair, bacteria, mold, and other small particles responsible for causing lung conditions like asthma, flu, and COPD. Therefore, consider changing air filters at least once every three months. Choosing the right air filters and installing them helps remove indoor air pollutants. Keep in mind air contaminants circulate in your home when debris clogs AC filters over an extended period.
There are several air filters in terms of size and type available in stores. You can rest assured of finding a perfect fit for your AC model. All you need to do is measure the size of filters and specify the type before shopping.
If you smoke, quit. All the above measures will be largely wasted if you are smoking cigarettes or other tobacco products on a regular basis. Smoking causing long-term damage to your lungs, which is cumulative. That means that even if you only have a few cigarettes a day, the damage slowly builds up over decades. Eventually, you will develop a combination of chronic bronchitis and emphysema, which is known in the medical world as COPD – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Quitting smoking will immediately improve your lung health, and also stop the more long-term damage.
Avoid Outdoor Air Pollution
Learning how air quality outside affects respiratory health and taking preventive measures is critical to ensure your lungs stay healthy. If, for instance, your job exposes you to air pollutants, make use of a respirator. That way, you will protect yourself from inhaling airborne contaminants like dust, pollen, and toxic gases that damage your lungs over long periods of time. Also, avoid staying outdoors during peak hours when the rate of air pollution is high.
Practising these healthy habits each day can help your lungs function at its best. Also, make sure to keep yourself hydrated and consume meals rich in vitamins, filter indoor air, and focus on breathing exercises.