The lungs are a vital part of the body, and maintaining lung health is one of the most important ways to take care of your body. Taking care of your lungs is easy and simple; there are a number of ways to improve your lung functioning in your everyday life. But first, let’s take a look at what the lungs are and what they do.
What do lungs do?
Your lungs are essential respiratory organs. They are located on either side of the heart near your backbone. The primary function of the lungs is to absorb oxygen from the air you breathe and transport it into your bloodstream. They also transport carbon dioxide from your blood and release it into the atmosphere through exhalation. In just one day the average person breathes 25,000 times, so the lungs are always working at their vitally important job. Having healthy lungs is absolutely key to being in good health.
How can I improve my lung functioning?
1. Quit Smoking: At this point, it is common knowledge that smoking is harmful to your body and especially your lungs. Keeping in mind how vital your lungs are for maintaining good health, smoking seems especially dangerous. And it isn’t just cancer, smoking can also narrow your air passageways, therefore, decreasing the air that you can breathe in and limiting oxygen flow to your blood. This can also make it difficult or uncomfortable to breathe. It can be extremely difficult to stop smoking, but your lungs will thank you for it.
2. Aerobic Exercise: Dr. Catherine Phillips MD says that, “aerobic exercise increases your lung volume and aerobic capacity.” Aerobic exercise is often referred to as “cardio,” and it is defined as exercise that requires pumping of oxygenated blood by the heart to working muscles over a sustained period of time. Aerobic exercise raises your heart rate to a certain level and then the heart rate stays near there for the duration of the exercise. Examples of aerobic exercise are running, swimming, cycling, rowing, etc. Anaerobic exercises are characterized by short bursts of intensity such as power lifting and short sprints.
3. Concentrated Deep Breathing: Three to five minutes of concentrated deep breathing done once or multiple times throughout the day can drastically improve lung function. Just inhale for six seconds and exhale for eight. This simple exercise can increase the oxygen in your blood, decreases the heart rate, and helps both your pulmonary and cardiovascular systems.
4. Improve Indoor Air: If the air in your home is dirty or contains chemicals or mold, then your lungs might be hurting for some clean oxygen. Oxygen is essential to lung functioning, and adding an air purifier or a few houseplants to your living space can clean up the air and allow you to breathe easier. Not only do plants turn carbon dioxide in the atmosphere into breathable oxygen, they also filter out some harmful organic compounds such as formaldehyde and benzene. Simple houseplants are like all-natural air filters, not to mention they are great decorations for any room!
Regular Pulmonologist Appointments
Maintaining regular health care is key to happy and healthy lungs. The experts at Pulmonary Associates of Brandon are equipped to diagnose and treat a variety of pulmonary diseases and conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, acute and chronic respiratory failure, lung cancer, pulmonary hypertension, lung infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and sleep disorders. The team of highly specialized physicians will know the best way to diagnose and treat any disorders of the lungs and can keep you informed about the general health of your lungs.