In order to keep your lungs healthy, there are a variety of things that you should and should not do. As is usual when talking about such things, smoking is inevitably the first thing that springs to everybody’s mind, but avoiding cigarette smoke is not the be all and end all of keeping a healthy pair of lungs although giving up the evil weed can be a big help. Many other lifestyle choices can have an influence on lung health, as well.
Smoking and Lung Health
Smoking is one of the major risk factors for COPD, asthma, lung cancer, and a host of other lung problems. It is even more harmful because some of its effects are immediately pleasant and the health-injuring effects can take a long time to become evident. That lulls a smoker into a false sense of security. Still, a long-term commitment to respiratory health will put this advice at the top of the list.
Lung Health Diet and Exercise
A healthy diet is not directly correlated with lung health but optimizing your nutrition is a major factor in overall health and the odds of disease are much lower when you eat right. In addition, if you do contract a lung disease, it is much easier to combat when you are otherwise healthy.
Moderate, regular exercise is another component of that plan. It keeps the cardiovascular system in top shape, which promotes several aspects of health. Heart, lungs, and muscles all function better when they are regularly made to work a little harder than they do at rest. Even those who, for example, already are afflicted with asthma can benefit from mild exercise, tailored by a physician.
Both those contribute to maintaining a healthy weight. Several studies recently point to obesity as a factor not only in health problems in general, but lung disease in particular.
Reducing Lung Disease Risk Factors
Being immunized can lower your risk of contracting a lung condition. COPD and other lung diseases are more likely in those people subject to frequent lung infections. Among other things, the excess mucus produced makes it harder for the body to dispose of infectious organisms.
Influenza, while once a mass killer, is now only a sometimes-serious health problem. Nevertheless, flu is far from uncommon, especially in winter. Cold temperatures and dry air tend to stress the airways. Getting a shot to help you ward off the virus that causes flu is a good way to keep your lungs healthy all year ’round.
Similarly, pneumonia, which once devastated entire countries, is still a health problem. The elderly and those who have recently undergone certain types of surgery are most at risk. It is less well advertised, but a vaccine for pneumonia does exist. Those in high-risk groups, such as folks over sixty-five and diabetics in particular, should seek it out.
You cannot control smog and other large-scale environmental risk factors but there are several ways to keep your immediate environment healthier for your lungs.
As we breathe, we expel moisture needed to keep our lungs working properly. Using a humidifier, for example, helps keep dry, winter indoor air healthier. However, it is possible to unintentionally make that air more harmful by failing to clean the humidifier properly. Fungi and other airborne organisms can encourage asthma attacks and cause lung infections. Keep the air free of them by good maintenance.
In summary, if you can avoid smoke, eat right, exercise, and keep your home as free of irritants and germs as possible, you can enjoy lung health all your life.