The majority of people want to become healthier. But, they rarely consider protecting and maintaining their lungs health. It’s time for that to change. In 2010, diseases of the lower respiratory system, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, ranked third among the leading causes of death. The study concluded that 235,000 deaths were caused by lungs diseases that year, excluding lungs cancer.
According to the American Lungs Association (ALA), lungs cancer causes the most deaths among men and women and is estimated to have caused 158,080 deaths in Americans in 2016.
The lungs age with time, just like your heart and joints. It can become more difficult for them to breathe if they lose strength and flexibility. The good news is that your lungs can remain healthy well into old age by adopting some healthy habits.
1. Do not smoke
Not inhaling the smoke (first-hand or second-hand) is a major step toward improving lungs health. There is no doubt that smoking is the leading cause of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). It is responsible for 80% of all COPD-related deaths. The good news is we can prevent COPD in the majority of cases.
In addition, you should keep in mind that smoking affects your health, and secondhand fumes affect those around you. Smokers should speak to their healthcare providers about ways to quit or take help from facilities like Delphi Health Group to break free of addiction.
2. Don’t be around smokers
Regardless of whether you do not smoke, secondhand smoke can still affect you if you are around other people who do. When exposed to tobacco fumes, you are involuntarily smoking, also called passive smoking. It is impossible to avoid the harmful chemicals in cigarettes if you are always around tobacco smoke. In similar ways to cigarettes, secondhand smoke also contains toxic chemicals.
Secondhand smoke causes cancer, respiratory problems, and other smoking-related diseases. There are more than 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, including secondhand smoke. If you want you and your loved ones to stay healthy, educate them about the dangers of secondhand smoke, and encourage them to stop smoking.
3. Install carbon monoxide detectors
House mold emits carbon dioxide (CO2), which can cause a wide range of respiratory health problems. A moist, dark, and cool environment is conducive to mold growth. It can colonize both indoors and outdoors as well as behind walls and in attics. If you notice all the members of your family suffer from respiratory issues, consider getting your house tested for mold.
Make sure that carbon monoxide detectors are installed in your home. And to ensure they are working, check them regularly. These detectors can reduce your risk of toxic gas exposure.
In addition to causing respiratory problems, carbon monoxide can also lead to illnesses and even death in some cases. Radon is also one of the top causes of lungs cancer in the United States after smoking. Because radon and carbon monoxide cannot be seen or smelled in a regular working environment, it is important that you install a detector to ensure safety.
4. Make your home healthier by improving the air quality
If you think your home air quality is less polluted than the outside air, you might be mistaken. Though each of us breathes the same air, sealed indoor spaces can have different concentrations of toxic substances than airy outdoor areas. In addition to being a sealed environment, the home is also filled with activities, such as vacuuming and pets. With colder temperatures, improving indoor air quality becomes even more important. The winter season tends to keep people indoors more than in the summer.
Make sure your home’s air is as clean as possible. Reduce pollutants and particulates in the air by changing air filters and cleaning and vacuuming regularly. Adding indoor plants within your boundary walls can considerably improve the air quality in your home. Additionally, ensure your rooms are ventilated by keeping your windows open during the day. You can also invest in air purifiers or dehumidifiers to prevent mold growth in damp areas, such as basements.
5. Take a walk in nature
Spend more time outdoors to benefit from the cleaner air. However, in times of raging allergies, stay indoors to avoid pollen. Despite the pollutants, moving closer to green space still improves lungs function. Getting closer to nature can also relieve stress, which can improve physical health.
According to researchers, moving to greener areas improves lung function. Children with increased exposure to vegetation near their homes in the first ten years of life tended to have more efficient lungs.
6. Workout to improve breathing
Exercise causes your heart to beat faster and your lungs to work harder. Fueling your muscles requires more oxygen. During a workout, your lungs increase their activity to deliver oxygen and expel carbon dioxide.
A recent study found that the rate at which you breathe increases from about 15 to 60 times per minute during exercise. Therefore, it’s important to do aerobic exercise regularly that gets your heart pumping.
Exercising strengthens your lungs so that you can better resist diseases and aging. When you exercise, you slow the progression of lungs disease and stay active for a longer period of time.
7. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated is essential for good health, no matter what aspect of your body you’re working on, including your respiratory system. Keep your lungs healthy by staying properly hydrated at all times.
8. Maintain good hygiene
To prevent infections, wash your hands regularly. Additionally, you should wash the sheets and pillowcases regularly and replace the pillows every six to twelve months.
9. Care for your respiratory system
It is always a good idea to consult your physician as part of your health strategy. Working with your physician to maintain wellness is better than waiting until you’re sick to see a doctor. If you have respiratory problems, you may need guidance or medical care.
10. Keep Infections at Bay
A cold or other respiratory infection can become very serious. Protecting yourself can be accomplished in several ways:
- Wash your hands with soap and water. You can substitute alcohol-based cleaners if you can’t wash.
- When the flu and cold seasons are in full swing, avoid crowds.
- By keeping your mouth clean, you can prevent infections caused by germs in your mouth. Visit your dentist at least once every six months and brush your teeth twice daily.
- Vaccinate yourself against influenza every year. If you are considering the pneumonia vaccine, speak with your healthcare provider.
- Don’t tell anyone if you’re sick! You protect those around you, including those you love by keeping your distance.
Staying healthy requires maintaining a healthy respiratory system and lungs. The quality of your life can be adversely affected by poor respiratory health. It is hard to enjoy life when you are coughing and wheezing or if you are exhausted after climbing stairs. The good news is that there are ways to improve the health of your lungs.
Try to implement the lifestyle mentioned above into your daily routine. These tasks can help keep your lungs working optimally for a lifetime if you focus a little of your energy on them.
Also read: 5 Tips To Enjoy A Healthy Life