TIPS AND TRICKS FOR KEEPING YOUR LUNGS HEALTHY
8 ways by which you can keep your lungs young and healthy!
In today’s world, almost everybody wants to remain healthy.
We try many things, such as a healthy diet, loads of exercise, hygiene, and so on. But while we are so focused on heart diseases and weight management, we neglect our body’s very vital organ – the lungs!
Importance of Lungs in our body
Let’s step into our memory lanes and take a trip to elementary school biology lessons.
The primary function of our lungs is to take care of the distribution of gases. When we breathe in, the lungs take in oxygen and release other gases from our bodies.
Is it as simple as it sounds? – No
The oxygen that our precious lungs provide us with plays a vital role. If this oxygen does not reach our organs on time and in the right amounts, it may affect their functioning. Once the oxygen is there, our organs release waste gases such as carbon dioxide. This process of exchange of gases happens via our bloodstream.
Apart from that, our lungs are accountable for many other essential functions. Our lungs support our respiratory system, which supports coughing, sneezing, a sense of smell, and regulating body temperature.
Similar to our other organs, our lungs grow old and weak too. When not taken proper care of, our lungs can stop functioning.
How can we take care of our lungs?
With minimal lifestyle and diet changes, we can easily take care of our lung health.
Lets us first focus on lifestyle –
Yoga can help us in many ways. Practicing yoga can improve our posture and breathing pattern.
Our lungs consist of fragile and soft tissues. They don’t hold the strength of making room for themselves. With a bad posture, we deprive our lungs of enough room to expand properly. Hence having a good posture is very important.
With an improved breathing pattern, we can do ourselves a lot of good. It helps boost the amount of oxygen intake in our bodies.
Apart from all this, yoga also improves our metabolism and strengthens our chest muscles.
I think we are all aware of the side-effects of smoking. Any kind of smoking had it been cigarette or artificial smoke, is extremely dangerous for us.
When we inhale the smoke, our lungs, like a sponge, absorb the harmful chemicals. It leads to opening up our body to many deadly diseases and disorders. A few examples being:
- Lung cancer
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Chronic inflation or swelling of the lung
- Narrowing of the air passage
And the list goes on.
The chemicals exposed to us by smoking can also make our lungs age faster. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 41,000 deaths occur in the USA because of either smoking or exposure to smoke.
Just like yoga, exercising also helps the functioning of our lungs.
When we exercise correctly, we vigorously use our muscles. The oxygen needed by our body for pumping those muscles also increases. In turn, our lungs start working harder to provide that oxygen and remove the extra gases released by our muscles.
Regular exercise prevents the aging and damaging of our lungs. Even if we have some lung disease, exercise helps in slowing down its growth rate.
Just like mental maths increases our brain activity, exercise helps strengthen our lungs!
JUST SIMPLY BREATHE
Sometimes our hectic schedules make it impossible for us to exercise regularly. In such cases, we can simply work on improving our breathing pattern.
Deep breathing can take us a long way. When we inhale deeply, our lungs achieve their full capacity. This helps them provide our bodies with a total supply of oxygen.
When facing troubles in adopting the deep-breathing process, take the help of these tips:
- Start by casually tracking down the time you take in taking a normal breath.
- Make sure that the inhale and exhale time is equal.
- Keep doing this for a while.
- Once you get the hang of your standard breathing time, gradually keep adding +1 sec to it.
- For example, if your inhale and exhale time is 5s, make it 6s for a while. Once you are comfortable with the 6s, make it 7s.
Let us now look at some diet changes –
HYDRATION IS KEY
Along with laughter, water is also the best medicine.
There is a reason our body is almost 72% water. Our organs need a sufficient amount of water supply for functioning well—even our lungs.
There is a thing lining present on our lungs called mucosal lining. This lining forms a protective layer on our lungs, saving it from any damages. If we don’t regulate our water intake, we risk damaging this precious lining.
INCREASE VITAMIN INTAKE
Vitamins like vitamins D and E help boost our immune system and helps reduce airway inflammation.
Vitamin D can reduce the risk of the onset of respiratory diseases in our bodies. If a person already has asthma, Vitamin D can help reduce the chances of an attack. Vitamin E, on the other hand, reduces other symptoms such as coughing and sneezing.
SUBSTITUTE CARBS WITH HEALTHY FATS
Similar to vitamins, healthy fats are directly linked with lung health. Such healthy fats help our body build immune against lung diseases. In case of an already existing lung disease, these fats help in reducing its density.
Examples of these fats can be the healthy omega 3 fatty acids present in fish or other healthy fats present in nuts like brazil nuts, walnuts, hazel nuts and almonds.
FRUITS AND BERRIES
Fruits such as Apples and Apricots can be highly beneficial. Such fruits contain a high level of vitamins and beta-carotene.They help improve the functioning of the lungs.
Berries are a rich source of antioxidants. They help prevent and protect against several lung diseases. Acai and blueberries are the most beneficial but other berries are great as well.
And just like that, by bringing these small tweaks in our lifestyle, we can look after our precious lungs.
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