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8 Tips To Improve Your Lung Health

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We often don’t consider the important role our lungs play in keeping us strong and well. It’s
not until we experience problems breathing that we take notice. But the truth is, like the
rest of our body, our lungs need daily care and attention.


Breathing feeds oxygen to every cell in the body. Without sufficient oxygen, people are
more prone to health problems, including respiratory illnesses, chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease and even heart disease.
But ordinary, everyday breathing isn’t enough to keep the oxygen flowing through the body
at peak levels.


“Lungs at rest and during most daily activities are only at 50 percent of their capacity,” says
Jennifer M. Ryan, PT, MS, DPT, CCS, a certified specialist in cardiovascular and pulmonary
physical therapy. “Like the rest of your body, lungs thrive on movement and activity.
Since regular day-to-day activity doesn’t help you use your lungs to full capacity, you need
to challenge the lungs with more intense activity. “And to help counteract the build-up of
toxins and tar in the lungs caused by environmental pollutants, allergens, dust and cigarette
smoke, you need to help your lungs cleanse themselves,
” Ryan explains.

Follow these 8 tips and you can improve your lung health and keep these vital organs
going strong for life:

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1. Diaphragmatic breathing

These techniques can be used for people who are experiencing lung problems related to
asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis, as well as healthy individuals
,” Robert says.
Diaphragmatic breathing uses the awareness of the diaphragm muscle, which separates the
organs in the abdomen from the lungs.
“By concentrating on lowering the diaphragm as you breathe in, you’ll get a much deeper inhale,” says Roberts. “This is the technique that professional singers use to increase their
lung capacity.

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2. Simple Deep Breathing

Deep breathing can help you get closer to reaching your lungs’ full capacity.

As you slowly inhale, consciously expand your belly with awareness of lowering the
diaphragm. Next expand your ribs, allowing the floating ribs to open like wings. Finally,
allow the upper chest to expand and lift.
After this, exhale as completely as possible by letting the chest fall, then contracting the ribs
and, finally, bring the stomach muscles in and up to lift the diaphragm and expel the last bit
of air.

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3. Counting Your Breaths

Deep breathing can help you get closer to reaching your lungs’ full capacity.

As you slowly inhale, consciously expand your belly with awareness of lowering the
diaphragm. Next expand your ribs, allowing the floating ribs to open like wings. Finally, allow the upper chest to expand and lift.
After this, exhale as completely as possible by letting the chest fall, then contracting the ribs and, finally, bring the stomach muscles in and up to lift the diaphragm and expel the last bit of air.

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4. Watching Your Posture

Since the lungs are soft structures, they only take up the room that you make for them.
You want to occasionally sit tall and reach overhead, to make more room for your lungs,” says Ryan.
A simple technique for giving your lungs even more room is leaning back slightly in a stable chair, lifting the chest and opening the front of your body as you breathe deeply,” she says.

5. Staying Hydrated

Getting enough water is as important for the lungs as it is for the rest of the body.
Staying well hydrated by taking in fluids throughout the day helps keep the mucosal linings in the lungs thin,” Ryan says. “This thinner lining helps the lungs function better.”
Regular moderately intense activity is great for the lungs, and when you increase your daily activity you get three things done at once: healthy lungs, a healthier heart and a
better mood.

6. Laughing

Laughing is a great exercise to work the abdominal muscles and increase lung capacity,” says Ryan. “It also clears out your lungs by forcing enough stale air out that it allows fresh air to enter into more areas of the lung.”

7. Staying Active

Regular moderately intense activity is great for the lungs, and when you increase your daily activity you get three things done at once: healthy lungs, a healthier heart and a better mood,” Ryan says. 
Aim for at least least 20 minutes of consistent, moderately intense movement daily, like a brisk walk or bike ride.

8. Join A Breathing Club

If you can’t be active because of lung problems, you can join a breathing club,” says Roberts.
These are support groups for people with lung and Breathing problems. You can work on breathing techniques and get encouragement and information to help keep you healthy and improve your quality of life.
SA SUPPORT GROUPS: https://pulmonology.co.za/useful-links/

If your lungs are damaged, or if you have a serious illness like TB,  COPD, emphysema or LUNG CANCER, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath during simple activities
  • Pain when breathing
  • Dizziness with a change in activity
  • A persistent cough
  • Wheezing with exercise
  • Cough associated with exercising
  • Pain in the airway (the path air follows to get into and out of the lungs)

See your Doctor, Healthcare Practitioner or nearest Clinic if you have any of these symptoms. They can run tests to figure out the cause, or refer you to a specialist if needed.
If you have a history of smoking, talk to your doctor about how often you should have your lungs checked. The good news is that if you stop smoking, you can recover from the damage, and the ongoing check-ups will show your progress.

Reference

website: https://www.rush.edu/news

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