Our lungs keep us breathing, and we often tend to ignore our lung health. Most of the time, we are ignorant of how to promote good health of our lungs and do not know exactly what needs to be done. The American Lung Association (ALA) has researched on how to keep our lungs healthy and strong and have pointed out a few important and simple measures that need to be taken. If we follow a few simple steps and avoid the wrong things we do to our lungs, we are likely to avoid any lung infection and chronic lung conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
1. Up The Intake Of Antioxidants
We have a notion that good nutrition benefits our health. This is true with respect to our lung health as well. Nutrient-rich foods which are rich in antioxidants and glucosinolates are linked efficiently to our lung function. It has been found that those individuals who consume at least 5 servings of cruciferous vegetables per week are likely to reduce their risk of lung cancer by 50 percent. These cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, kale, collard greens, bok choy, arugula, and Brussels sprouts.
2. Exercise Regularly
Maintaining an exercise routine improves our cardio-respiratory function. Going for a jog or swimming regularly too helps in improving our oxygen intake and strengthens the respiratory muscles. It has been found that physical inactivity is one of the major factors that decrease the respiratory function in overweight adolescents. Aerobic exercise training affects the function of the lungs positively.
3. Stop Smoking
The worst thing you can do to your lungs is by smoking regularly. Be it the puffing away on cigarettes, pipes, or cigars, smoking only increases the risk of bronchitis, COPD, emphysema, and lung cancer. Smoking is one of the main causes of lung diseases and especially, lung cancer. The best thing to do is stop yourself from smoking immediately. Of course, a lot of willpower is needed to ban yourself from smoking immediately if you are a habitual smoker. If you cannot kick the butt and go cold turkey, reduce the frequency of this habit and try to quit slowly.
4. Breathe With Protection
If you work as a miner, construction worker, mechanic, welder, painter, or any other job that exposes you to dust, chemicals, fumes, or exhaust, remember to wear a breathing mask while at work. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has pointed out that statistics have shown the increase in occupational asthma in workplaces where a protective breathing equipment or breathing mask is not provided. Increase in lung dysfunction has also been observed in employees who refuse to wear any breathing protection at such workplaces. A breathing mask prevents you from inhaling harmful chemicals, dust, fumes, and exhaust, and it is very important to keep yourself protected in such jobs. If you are not doing any of these jobs, you might be exposed to dust and mold while cleaning your home or gardening at home. Be sure to wear a mask while you do any cleaning work at home as well.
5. Control Indoor Air Pollution
The air pollution outdoors is not in our control. However, we can take simple and effective measures to control indoor air pollution in our homes. To prevent indoor air pollution, the first step is to buy environment-friendly air fresheners and cleaners. Proper ventilation system and proper maintenance of fireplaces also help in controlling air pollution indoors. If you have pets, be cautious not to let pet hair and pet dander fly around. Keep vacuuming and steam cleaning the carpets you use regularly, the fabric on the furniture, and also, the furniture at your home. Check for mold in the corners and ceilings, and use air purifiers that help in decreasing any particle pollution and in increasing the overall air quality inside your home.