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8 Simple Tips to Improve Respiratory Health as Soon as Possible

8 Simple Tips to Improve Respiratory Health as Soon as Possible

There are perhaps two types of health we prioritize over anything else: our cardiovascular health (our heart) and our respiratory health (our lungs). Keeping these two aspects of our bodies in good condition will help us feel good, will improve our immune system, circulation, fitness, and help us ward of age related diseases.

The respiratory system is responsible for our breathing, and more specifically, the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the lungs. The better we are able to do this, the better we feel and are able to live our lives. As you’ll know if you suffer from allergies, respiratory disease, or even when you’ve simply had a cold – hampered breathing significantly lowers our quality of life.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can improve your respiratory health. Here are 8 tips to help you:

 

8 Tips to Help You Improve Your Respiratory Health

1.     If You Smoke: Quit, Cut Back, or Vape

Every time you smoke, you are damaging your lungs and airways. We all know the possible results that can come from smoking, but did you know that your lungs get to work repairing themselves just a few minutes after that last drag?

Quitting requires a lot of self-control and determination, as quitting smoking essentially means rewiring your brain not to crave cigarettes anymore. The sooner you quit smoking, the better your chances are of avoiding cancer, heart problems and lung disease. After just one year without smoking, an ex-smoker’s risk of coronary heart disease will reduce by half, and will continue to decrease exponentially from then on. 

If you don’t believe you can quit, try switching to vape. While there are likely still negative repercussions of breathing in flavored vapor, it is significantly better for you than smoking, not to mention much more pleasant for those around you.

If you live with someone who smokes, encourage them to do the same or only smoke away from you. Second hand smoke can be almost as damaging.

 

2.     Check Regularly for Mold in Your Home

Respiratory diseases such as aspergillosis are triggered by dust, damp buildings, poor air conditioning systems and plants or trees. Thankfully, this is relatively easy to avoid and can be done by maintaining a well-ventilated home and workspace. This is easy to do – simply open windows regularly, treat visible damp and mold, and check a few times a year for mold that may develop in hidden places, such as behind your washer or dryer.

 

3.     Exercise Regularly

Engaging in regular exercise can significantly reduce your risk of getting lung disease or lung cancer. By placing your lungs under mild stress for 20 minutes or so a couple of times each week, you can increase their capacity and effectiveness. This can be as simple as taking a walk or following along a 20-minute workout video you find on YouTube. Just find something you enjoy and do it regularly.

 

4.     Be Aware of High Areas of Pollution

Air pollution has become a global health threat and is the cause of millions of human deaths every year. Air pollution significantly increases people’s risk of respiratory diseases, like asthma, respiratory infections, and COPD, in people of all ages. Maternal exposure to air pollutants increases the risk of short-term and long-term damage to the respiratory system. It is unsurprising that people living in built-up cities with high levels of pollution have a much higher risk of developing these diseases than those living away from cities. Make sure you get out of the city as much as possible if you have respiratory problems.

 

5.     Keep Your Airways Moist (Stay Hydrated)

As surprising as it sounds, hydration isn’t just beneficial for clear skin and easy digestion. Drinking water regularly throughout the day helps to keep the lungs’ mucosal linings thin, as they should be. This thinner lining enables the lungs to function better, so you struggle less when working out or running for the bus! It also allows them to keep infections and colds at bay, because the lining needs to be moist to be effective.

 

6.     Practice Deep Breathing

This may be the easiest way to promote good respiratory health. Deep breathing is a great way to bring your lungs closer to reaching their full capacity. You can start with “regular” breathing and extend the amount of oxygen you take in each time. Gradually increase the length of each breath for stronger lungs. You can also do this through yoga with a focus on breath. This is especially important if you’ve been feeling anxious or stressed, as we can fall into a pattern of shallow breathing.

 

7.     Sit Tall!

Your posture plays a huge part in your lung capacity, because your lungs and diaphragm need physical space to expand. Every so often each day, practice sitting back in your chair and opening up your chest. This allows your lungs to expand and take in the maximum amount of air.

 

8.     Eat Antioxidant-Rich Foods

It isn’t possible to avoid breathing in pollutants entirely. Whether it’s simply walking past a car with bad exhaust, having a bonfire, or disturbing some mold in your bathroom, you can’t avoid it all. One of the best ways to ensure your respiratory system is in the best condition possible is to eat antioxidant-rich foods. These foods help our cells remove harmful particles that find their way into our bodies. Essentially, all fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, but the more colorful they are, the higher in antioxidants they are.

 

If you’ve come to the realization that you’ve not been treating your lungs as well as you should, don’t panic. These particular organs are extremely sturdy and forgiving. They tend to bounce back from damage in a surprisingly short amount of time, provided you avoid causing permanent damage. The best kind of protection is pre-emptive. Now is the time to take care of your lungs and respiratory health, so take these tips to heart and make some changes!

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