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Love your lungs: 5 ways to keep your lungs healthy

Love your lungs: 5 ways to keep your lungs healthy

The lungs are an incredible pair of organs located either side of the chest. You take around 25,000 breaths every day without even thinking about it – that’s quite remarkable! Here we look at how to take care of your lungs.

Your lungs are an important part of the body’s respiratory system, not only do they help you breathe, but they also get rid of a waste gas called carbon dioxide when you breathe out. This is why it’s so important to take care of your lungs.

We can change aspects of our lifestyles to improve the health of our lungs, for example, giving up smoking and there are things we can all do as a community to protect each other such as reducing harmful fumes from cars and other forms of transport.

In this blog, we will look at 5 ways to keep your lungs healthy, talking about personal habits and environmental factors.

Don’t smoke

This might seem like an obvious one, but smoking increases your risk of lung cancer and is the main cause of most lung diseases including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Asthma.

Smoking severely irritates and inflames the tissue of the lungs, eventually narrowing your airways making it difficult to breathe.

It’s never too late to stop smoking, after just 72 hours from your last cigarette your lungs begin to relax and you should find it easier to breathe. Check out some other health benefits of quitting smoking.

Avoid harmful fumes

Passive smoke, heavy traffic and exposure to cleaning chemicals are all things that can gradually harm your lungs and affect your breathing. As you get older, your lungs lose the ability to resist toxins, making them vulnerable to infections and disease. That’s why it’s important to be mindful of possible pollutants around you so you can protect your lungs and keep them healthy.

Always be careful with household chemicals or DIY materials, take necessary precautions when you can, whether it’s wearing a dust mask or switching to an eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaner.

If you live in a busy city or built-up area, try to avoid going outside during peak air pollution times. If you live on a busy road, close your windows when the traffic gets too heavy, this will prevent harmful fumes lingering in your home.

Exercise

You probably already know how important it is to exercise, not only is it good for your waistline, heart and mood, but it’s also one of the best things you can do to keep your lungs healthy.

Just like regular exercise makes your muscles stronger, it’s also a great workout for your lungs as they need to work harder to supply oxygen to your muscles.

Inhaling and exhaling during exercise strengthens the muscles between your ribs which will continue to make your lungs work properly.

Avoid exercising outdoors when pollution levels are high, as you’ll risk inhaling all the harmful fumes.

Look after your immune system

Colds, respiratory infections and other viruses can sometimes get worse and develop into pneumonia if you don’t take enough care of yourself. Pneumonia is an infection in one or both lungs which causes inflammation of the alveoli (air sacs in the lungs) and fill with fluid making it very difficult to breathe.

The easiest way to avoid pneumonia is by taking care of yourself, regularly washing your hands, avoid touching your face, boosting your immune system with plenty of fruit and vegetables and making sure you get your flu vaccination especially if you fall into a high-risk category. Here are a few ways you can boost your immune system.

Do your bit for the environment

If we all do our bit for the environment, we can help reduce harmful fumes and pollutants that can affect our lungs and cause lasting damage.

  • Reduce the use of your car – Walk to work and the shops when you can to reduce carbon emissions or share lifts with others.
  • Do you need the heating on? – Rather than burning coal and gas, throw on a warmer hoodie or wrap yourself up in a blanket to keep the chill off.
  • Be more eco-friendly – Make a switch to eco-friendly cleaning products, it’s kinder to your skin and the planet.

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