Healthy lungs and a good respiratory system help make sure that you stay healthy. Poor respiratory health can affect your quality of life. It’s hard to enjoy life when you’re coughing and wheezing, or getting winded walking up a flight of stairs. Luckily, there are ways to improve lung health. Here are 10 tips to help keep your lungs healthy.
Do not smoke
This is a great way to instantly improve lung health. Smoking is the leading cause of Chronic Obstrucive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). It accounts for 80% of all COPD deaths. However, this means that COPD is largely preventable. You should also be mindful of the fact that smoking doesn’t just affect your personal health, but secondhand smoke affects everyone around you. If you smoke now, ask your healthcare provider about ways to stop smoking.
Encourage those around you not to smoke
Even if you don’t smoke, you may still be exposed to secondhand smoke. Being around tobacco fumes is called involuntary smoking or passive smoking. There is no way to avoid the harmful chemicals in cigarettes if you’re around tobacco smoke. Secondhand smoke contains exactly the same toxic chemicals found in cigarettes.
Secondhand smoke is known to cause cancer, and can lead to respiratory health problems and other diseases, in the same way that smoking does. There are more than 7,000 identified chemicals in tobacco smoke, including secondhand smoke. Encourage friends and family to stop smoking, and avoid secondhand smoke.
Check for mold and install carbon monoxide detectors
There are many different types of mold, and all of them can cause a slew of respiratory health problems. Mold can grow wherever it’s dark, cool, and damp. It can colonize in indoors and outdoors, behind walls and in attics. If you notice your entire family has respiratory issues, consider testing for mold.
Be sure to install carbon monoxide detectors. If you already have detectors, make sure they work, and check them regularly. This can help limit your family’s exposure to carbon monoxide and radon. Carbon monoxide causes respiratory problems, illness, and even death. Radon also causes respiratory problems, and is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Neither radon nor carbon monoxide can be seen, smelled, or tasted, which means that a working detector is the only way to know you’re safe.
Improve the indoor air quality in your home
With car exhaust and smokestacks spewing smoke into the air you might think that outdoor air is less clean than indoor air. However, indoor air quality is usually far worse than outdoor air quality. Do what you can to improve the air in your home. Change air filters and clean and vacuum regularly to reduce pollutants and particulates in the air. Consider adding indoor plants to help improve indoor air quality.
It’s is especially important to improve the air quality indoors as temperatures get colder. People tend to spend more time indoors, and less time outdoors, during the winter.
Since the air is cleaner outdoors than indoors, spend more time outside. Be mindful of the pollen count, however, and stay indoors when your allergies are running rampant.
Exercising is a great way to improve lung health. The more you use your lungs, the better your respiratory health will be. Healthy lungs make exercise and physical activity more enjoyable, so this is what’s known as a virtuous circle — the opposite of a vicious circle. As you exercise more, your lung health will improve, and you’ll enjoy exercise more.
Do breathing exercises
You don’t have to run a marathon to improve your breathing and better your lung health. Practicing your breathing and doing breathing exercises can benefit your respiratory health as well.
Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated is important for every aspect of your health, including respiratory health. Proper hydration is a great way to help keep your lungs healthy.
Wash hands regularly to avoid infections. Wash sheets and pillow cases on a regular basis, and replace your pillows every 6 – 12 months.
Consider respiratory care
Physicians should always be a part of your health strategy. Instead of waiting until you’re ill to visit the doctor, work with physicians to maintain wellness. Whether you need guidance to maintain good respiratory health, or you need medical care for respiratory problems, MANA physicians can help.