Most people want to get healthier. Rarely, though, do they think about protecting and maintaining the health of their lungs. But if you read our post last week, you know that lung capacity is the greatest predictor of health and longevity. That’s why it is important to prioritize your lung health.
Your body has a natural defense system designed to protect the lungs, keeping dirt and germs at bay. But there are some important things you can do to help keep your lungs healthy and free of lung disease.
1. Don’t Smoke or Quit Smoking
You probably know that smoking increases your risk of lung cancer, but that’s not all. Smoking is linked to most lung diseases, including COPD, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and asthma.
Every time you smoke a cigarette, you inhale thousands of chemicals into your lungs, including nicotine, carbon monoxide, and tar. These toxins damage your lungs, and cause your lungs to age more rapidly. They increase mucus, make it more difficult for your lungs to clean themselves, and irritate and inflame tissues. Gradually, your airways narrow, making it more difficult to breathe.
No matter how old you are or how long you’ve been a smoker, it’s never too late to benefit from quitting. Within just 12 hours of quitting, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. Your lung function begins to improve within a few months, and after a year your risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.
Whether you are young or old, slender or large, able-bodied or living with a chronic illness or disability, Oxycise can help keep your lungs healthy. Just as it keeps your body in shape, it keeps your lungs in shape too.
When you Oxycise, your heart beats faster and your lungs work harder. The muscles between your ribs expand and contract, and the air sacs inside your lungs work quickly to exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide providing a great workout for your lungs. The more you Oxycise, the more efficient your lungs become.
Deep breathing helps clear the lungs and creates a full oxygen exchange. Creating strong, healthy lungs helps you to better resist aging and disease. Even if you do develop lung disease down the road, Oxycise helps to slow the progression and keeps you active longer.
3. Avoid Exposure to Pollutants
Exposure to pollutants in the air – both indoor and outdoor – can damage your lungs and accelerate aging. The more we age, the less our lungs are able to handle these toxins. Reduce your exposure as much as you can by:
- Avoiding secondhand smoke.
- Avoiding going outside during peak air pollution times.
- Avoiding exercising near heavy traffic, as you can inhale the exhaust.
Indoor pollution can often be worse than outdoor, according to the U.S Consumer Product Safety Division. Add to that the fact that many spend most of their time indoors these days, increasing exposure to indoor pollutants. Decrease your exposure to indoor pollutants by:
- Making your home a smoke-free zone.
- Cleaning, dusting the furniture, and vacuuming at least once a week. Mold, dust, and pet dander can all get into your lungs and cause irritation.
- Opening a window frequently on good air quality days to increase indoor air ventilation.
- Avoiding synthetic air fresheners and candles that can expose you to additional chemicals.
- Using natural cleaning products when possible, and opening a window when using products that create fumes.
- Making sure you have adequate fans, exhaust hoods, and other ventilation methods throughout your home.
4. Prevent Infection
Infections can be particularly dangerous for your lungs, especially as you age. The best way to avoid lung infections is to keep your hands clean. Wash regularly with warm water and soap, and avoid touching your face as much as possible.
Drink plenty of water and eat lots of fruits and vegetables as they contain nutrients that help boost your immune system. Stay up-to-date with your vaccinations. Get a flu shot each year, and if you’re 65 or older, get a pneumonia vaccination as well.
Regular check-ups help prevent diseases, even when you are feeling well. This is especially true for lung disease, which sometimes goes undetected until it is serious.
5. Stay Hydrated
Getting enough water is as important for the lungs as it is for the rest of the body.
“Staying well hydrated by taking in fluids throughout the day helps keep the mucosal linings in the lungs thin,” says Dr. Jennifer Ryan, a certified specialist in cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy. “This thinner lining helps the lungs function better.”
By focusing a little of your energy on these tasks, you can help keep your lungs and body working optimally for life.