Most of us aren’t aware that we’re breathing until someone reminds us, which is similar to how people regard our lungs. We never think about them unless a problem arises, but they play a crucial role in keeping us healthy and alive. Like every part of your body, your lungs need care and attention to continue functioning correctly. Otherwise, you’ll be even more susceptible to lower respiratory illnesses like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), from which 3 million people die every year. In fact, according to the World Health Organization’s The Global Impact of Respiratory Diseases report, it’s the third leading cause of death worldwide.
Still, even when you take good care of your lungs, they lose strength and flexibility over time due to old age. As a result, you may experience breathing problems. The good news is that you can practice a few habits to reduce your chances of contracting respiratory difficulties and enjoy a good set of healthy lungs that work well even when you age. Here are four tips to follow:
Stay Away From Smoking
Smoking cigars or cigarettes is one of the quickest ways to contract lung cancer and COPD, leading to multiple respiratory complications like bronchitis and emphysema. Cigarette smoke eats away at your lung tissue over time, which often leads to lung cancer. No matter how old you are, it’s best to stay away from smoking or curb your habit permanently, which will do wonders for your lung health and avoid costly trips to your primary doctor.
Avoid Air Pollutants
Completely avoiding air pollutants may sound impossible, but you can control the level of your exposure to indoor air pollutants at the very least. For example, secondhand smoke, cleaning chemicals used at home or in the workplace, and radon can result in or worsen lung disease. To avoid these chemicals in your home, consider having your home tested for radon and avoid using products that produce a strong fragrance.
Outdoor air pollution can also irritate your lungs, so it will help to be aware of the areas that are heavy with smoke and dirty air. You may also want to consider wearing a face mask to reduce your exposure to such pollutants.
Work Out More Frequently
Getting enough exercise is always beneficial to your health, but it can also strengthen your lungs against deterioration and disease when done regularly. If you balance a hectic work schedule, then going for a simple brisk walk a few times a week or riding a bike is good enough to boost your lungs and your overall mood. Cardiovascular exercises, in particular, make your heart beat faster and lungs work harder, which will help them perform better even as you age. By prioritizing cardio exercises, you’ll be protecting yourself from aging lungs and disease.
Protect Yourself From Infections
Lastly, to achieve better lung health, it’s essential to protect yourself from exposure to possible infection sources. That involves washing your hands frequently with warm water and soap or using alcohol or sanitizers if you’re on the go. It is also best to avoid crowds during flu season or wear a mask if you can’t prevent this. Getting your yearly vaccines for the flu will also help strengthen your lungs from being susceptible to disease, so be sure to discuss your vaccine options with your general doctor.
Keeping your lungs in excellent condition is crucial to living a healthy, happy life, especially as you age. By following these four easy tips, you can protect yourself from respiratory diseases while maintaining your lungs’ health.
Garden State Medical Group is run by Dr. Kamalesh Shah and Dr. Tanmay Gosalia, top NJ doctors who practice multidisciplinary integrative and functional medicine to focus on prevention, management, and education. Our treatment regime prioritizes the whole person’s recovery, including the biological, clinical, and behavioral aspects. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!