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Tips to Keep Your Lungs Strong and Healthy

Tips to Keep Your Lungs Strong and Healthy

If you take good care of your lungs, chances are they’ll take good care of you. Luckily, following a heart-healthy lifestyle, such as eating healthy and exercising regularly, also means you’re doing things to help keep your lungs healthier.  Here are 7 other tips for improving lung function and health:

  1. Don’t smoke. Smoking is the worst thing you can do for your lungs. Secondhand smoke is also harmful.
  2. Manage chronic conditions. Respiratory issues are more likely to develop when you don’t manage chronic conditions like diabetes or congestive heart failure.
  3. Prevent illness. You’ll keep your lungs healthier by avoiding germs that can result in respiratory illnesses. Get a flu shot and covid-19 vaccines and boosters as recommended, avoid people who are sick and wash your hands often.
  4. Keep it clean. If you have allergies or asthma, get rid of irritants in your home. Vacuum and damp mop frequently, wash bedding in hot water weekly and keep pets off furniture and beds.
  5. Avoid pollutants. Environmental pollutants can harm your lungs so steer clear of areas with a lot of air pollution and avoid exercising when there is an ozone-alert. During aerobic exercise, you’re more likely to breathe deeply and this draws pollutants into your lungs.
  6. Breathe. Practice deep breathing techniques by focusing on lowering your diaphragm muscles as you inhale. Then expand your ribs and upper chest. When you exhale, do the reverse. Let the chest fall, contract your ribs and then lift your diaphragm muscles to get rid of the last bit of air. This helps increase lung capacity.
  7. Stretch. Practice good posture, sit tall and reach overhead. Yoga poses that open the chest area can help expand your lung capacity. The bridge pose is a good one to try.

Pulmonologist, Andrew Martin, MD, says, “It is important that you don’t ignore symptoms such as abnormal shortness of breath, chest tightness, persistent cough, and wheezing. Often times when lung cancer causes symptoms, it is too late to cure it and that’s why lung cancer screenings are so important.”

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