Empowering Lung Health for All | World Lung Day

on September 25, 2023 / by

The human body is a complex, fascinating biological system composed of cells and organs working together to sustain life. Each system, whether skeletal, muscular, nervous, circulatory, digestive, or respiratory, has a dedicated role in maintaining the smooth functioning of the body. However, have you ever given a thought to your respiratory system? And more so to the central point of your respiratory system, your lungs? We do not consider the magnitude of work our lungs do to keep us strong and well. 

Our lungs are always hard at work, taking over 23,000 breaths daily, filtering out waste to take oxygen into the body cells through our bloodstream. However, as we age, our lung capacity declines, making the simple function of breathing more difficult, and so, just like the rest of our body, our lungs need care to function at their best. Today, let us understand some simple things that will help keep your lungs healthy and increase capacity.

Quit Smoking 
Smoking increases the risk of developing respiratory conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, asthma, and cancer. Smoking narrows the airways, making breathing more difficult, while smoking for extended periods causes inflammation and swelling in the lungs. Studies have shown that even inhaling secondhand smoke causes respiratory infections and chronic lung disease. So, the first step to improving lung health is to quit smoking, stay clear of secondhand smoke, and stop using tobacco products.

Eat Healthy 
Lungs are easily affected by smoke and environmental toxins; however, you should know that eating an unhealthydiet also takes a toll on your lungs. Research shows that following an antioxidant, nutrient-rich diet protects your lungs from diseases and may even reduce existing lung damage. Drinking enough water is equally important. Staying well hydrated keeps the mucosal linings in the lungs thin and helps them function better. Consuming a healthy diet and sipping fluids throughout the day is a simple way to support lung health.

Stay Active
Physical activity doesn’t directly affect your lungs, but it affects your cardiorespiratory fitness, making it easier for your lungs to provide adequate oxygen to your heart. Exercise makes your heart beat faster, and your lungs work harder to provide more oxygen to fuel your muscles. Physical activity also reduces the risk of lung injury and disease. If you suffer from respiratory lung disease, staying active helps slow the progression of the condition and reduces the chances other diseases. 

Monitor Health
Visit your healthcare provider for annual check-ups and adhere to your vaccination schedule to prevent illnesses. During seasonal changes, identify the onset of any signs and symptoms you may face, especially shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing with little to no physical activity, and immediately visit your healthcare professional to diagnose. If you are suffering from any respiratory lung disease, know your triggers and avoid them while adhering to all treatment protocols outlined by your healthcare provider.

Practice Breathing
The clearest sign of healthy lungs is effortless breathing, the ability to take deep breaths without discomfort that work your lungs to full capacity. However, you should consult a doctor if you struggle to breathe during routine daily tasks. In such cases, keep count of your average breath and increase your average inhale and exhale time to build on your lung capacity. Practicing Deep Breathing helps relieve shortness of breath by preventing air from getting trapped in your lungs and helping you to breathe in fresher air to help you feel more relaxed. 

On World Lung Day, wake up to the importance of lung health and do all you can to keep your lungs healthy. 

Until more,
~ Heena

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  1. I do a lot of these things already. I was never a smoker. So don't have to worry about quiting that habit.