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12 Ways to Keep Your Lungs Strong and Healthy

Our lungs are one of the most essential organs of the body for they not only help us breathe but they also provide oxygen to our heart and muscles. If we take all the essential precautionary measures and look after the health of our lungs, we can keep them strong even after hitting the old age.

You see, the lungs are an extremely durable self-healing organ, as long as you don’t expose them to harmful substances and attack them from the outside. Without the exception of a few ailments, the lungs never fail to perform their functions effective, unless you engage in habits that cause them damage.

Statistics reveal that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the fourth greatest cause of death in America, after heart ailments, cancers and heart strokes. There are several preventive measures that will help you protect your lungs against damage and take good care of their health.

1. Quit Smoking Everything
Smoking is definitely the most horrible habit that can cause serious damage to your lungs if done on a daily basis. In order to protect your lungs, you need to quit smoking everything because there is truly no safe consumption or threshold as far as smoking is concerned.

Research reveals that the more you smoker, the higher your risk factors for developing COPD and lung cancer, along with chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Also, second-hand smoke is just as harmful, and research has also started highlighting the gruesome damages of even third-hand smoke, or even being present in an environment where people are smoking or have smoked can prove extremely dangerous for your lungs.

It is simply not sufficient to just cut back on cigarettes, you also need to quite other forms of smoking, such as marijuana, cigars and pipes amongst others.

2. Join the Fight for Clean Air
Despite the recent efforts to clean up the air in the US and their raging success, statistics reveal that more than 154 million Americans still reside in regions where the air quality and pollution poses a serious threat to their health.

Air pollution is the worst culprit that not only causes lung ailments, but also worsens the mild symptoms of asthma or COPD, along with causing fatalistic accidents amongst people who are exposed to it.

We must all joint the fight for a cleaner air and environment, and your voice can make a huge difference if you chose to support the laws for clean airs, and stand firmly against all the efforts that oppose these essential regulations. Also, as an individual, you can make a great contribution by cutting down your electricity consumption, avoid burning your trash or wood, and of course, driving as less as you can.

3. Engage in Physical activity
Research reveals that exercising can help you tackle your symptoms and even prevent the onset of lung disease by strengthening your lungs. However, it is interesting to note that exercise itself doesn’t cause the lungs to become stronger, but in fact, it allows you to make them work much more effectively. You see, by improving your cardiorespiratory fitness, you can easily allow your lungs to supply adequate amounts of oxygen to your heart and muscles.

If you are suffering a chronic lung ailment, it is imperative that you engage in regular exercise as it will help fortify and heal your lungs. Also, if you feel that exposure to cold air triggers the onset of your asthma symptoms, be sure to use a face mask or a warm scarf, as it will help warm the cold air before it reaches your lungs.

4. Get all the Necessary Vaccines
Avoiding the necessary shots can expose you to harmful respiratory infections that will further aggravate and worsen the symptoms of lung ailments and COPD.

So, it is essential that you get all the necessary vaccines, for instance the flu shots when the flu season is approaching, and if you’re 65 or older, you must also get the pneumococcal vaccine as well.

You must also take the necessary preventive measures to avoid these infections. So avoid hanging out in large crowds during the flu season, give your body sufficient amounts of rest, eat a healthy and wholesome diet, wash your hands as frequently as you can, and be sure to control your stress levels.

5. Clean your Indoor Air
Most people believe that they are exposed to pollution only when they set foot outside the house, but the truth is that there are countless indoor sources, such as wood-burning stoves, fireplaces, air fresheners, pet dander, mold, construction equipment and even certain candles, which expose us to air pollution by polluting by indoor air.

You can easily improve your indoor air by simply following a three-step strategy, which involves eliminating all the sources of polluting, improving your ventilation system and using high quality air cleaners. You see, air cleaners help in getting rid of particulate matter and they don’t cause any impact on gases.

6. Eat a Healthy Diet
Research reveals that foods that are packed with antioxidants are extremely beneficial for the health of the lungs. However, in order to reap these benefits, you must pick out whole foods not supplements. Cruciferous vegetables are another incredibly rich source of antioxidants and heaps of protective compounds that shield and strengthen our lungs.

A recent study revealed that individuals who consume the highest amount of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and others, had a 50% less risk of developing lung cancer as opposed to those who ate the least amounts of cruciferous veggies.

7. On-the-Job Protection
There are several jobs that put our lungs at a great risk, such as construction work and even hair styling, so this makes on-the-job protection extremely essential. Research reveals that occupational asthma is the cause of nearly 15% of the cases of lung cancer.

You need to protect your lungs against all the potential threats, such as dust particles, harmful chemicals, paint fumes, diesel exhaust, and diacetyl, which is basically a chemical that is used to give processed foods a buttery taste.

Ask your employers to provide all the necessary protective equipment, and if they already do, be sure to wear them at all times. If your employers don’t take the necessary preventive measures, you can get in touch with your union representative, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or other state or local agencies to take up your case. Don’t compromise your health over anything.

8. Pick out Safe Products
It is essential to always read the instruction labels on the products you pick out from a grocery store and bring home for cleaning, home improvement, culinary feats and other activities, because certain gases, chemicals or gases within such products can cause severe harm to your lungs.

Shield yourself against allergies and infections by picking out safer home improvement and cleaning products, always use a dust mask, work in a nicely ventilated area and take all the precautionary measures while working with fiberglass.

Be sure to steer clear of oil-based paints, which tend to release certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and instead, pick out water-based paints for a safer alternative. Also, keep in mind that cleaning products also contain certain harmful chemicals, such as ammonia, bleach and volatile organic compounds. Always be sure to carefully read the labels before you chose to bring a product home.

9. Protect yourself against Air Pollution Outdoors
In certain areas, particularly during the summer season, several pollutants and ozone tend to make all our outdoor hobbies, sports and other plans a very unhealthy habit. You see, individuals who suffer from lung ailments are extremely sensitive to air pollution, and it is best to limit your outdoor activities to areas that have better air quality.

You can always check out several online websites and apps that allow you to obtain authentic information on the air quality around you.

10. Steer Clear of Radon
Radon is a natural radioactive gas that occurs when uranium is broken down within the ground. It usually tends to leak inside the house through all the tiny cracks in the walls and foundation of your residential or commercial space.

Research reveals that radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer amongst non-smokers, and the second main cause of lung disease in smokers.

In order to protect yourself you must get your house test to detect the presence of radon, and if the radon levels turn out to be between 2 and 4 pCi/L, you need to work on reducing this radon exposure. Keep in mind that there are no safe levels of exposure to radon, so the lower you can maintain them, the safer it is for you and your family.

11. Understanding the Warning Signs
Knowing all the warning signs can help you detect the symptoms before they worsen and exaggerate into a harmful chronic condition. For instance, if you’re finding it difficult to breath with some or no physical activity or your cough doesn’t seem to get better for longer than a month, it’s essential that you consult a doctor at once.

If symptoms like coughing up blood, phlegm in your cough or severe wheezing persist longer than a month, they are an indication of a severe respiratory ailment, along with having chest pain that persists for a month or more. Be sure to consult a doctor immediately, especially if you have trouble coughing or breathing in.

12. Controlling the Symptoms
If you’re suffering from COPD or asthma, you need to take all the necessary precautionary measures to keep your condition under control and prevent your symptoms from exaggerating.

Taking certain preventive medicines, for instance inhaled corticosteroids, can help you reduce the risk factors that lead to the development of asthma attacks. Also, certain rescue medications, like albuterol inhalers, aid in eliminating symptoms like wheezing and coughing.

There are several medications that can control the symptoms of COPD and your doctor can help you pick out the right ones to treat your condition. It is best to keep a check on all the habits and foods that trigger your symptoms and make them worse so you can avoid them as much as possible.

You also need to create an effective preventive care regime to eliminate the risk of respiratory infections, which tend to worsen the symptoms of both COPD and asthma.