As we all know, our lungs are responsible for exchanging carbon dioxide for oxygen, which is essential for our survival. However, as time passes, just like all other organs, our lungs begin to deteriorate, leading to a decreased capacity and function. As a result, the respiratory system underperforms. People start to face shortness of breath, causing problems in handling even the simplest routine tasks. But what’s more concerning is that today’s polluted environment and unhealthy lifestyle choices can damage your lungs. It contributes to even more reduced capacity.
Still, by following some healthy practices and avoiding harmful substances, you can guarantee an enhanced lung capacity for years to come. To help you with this purpose, here are four ways to improve lung capacity.
Avoid air pollution
In the modern world, air pollution has risen to a level where it’s hazardous for our lungs. Even short-term exposure to air pollution can cause significant adverse effects on your respiratory system. Therefore, it’s crucial to avoid air pollution as much as possible to maintain your lung capacity.
However, avoiding going out during periods with poor air quality is not enough. Air pollution is even present in your home in the form of gases, smoke, and dust particles. Keeping your home clean and well ventilated with air filters can help to reduce indoor air pollution. Additionally, plants may also help to keep indoor air fresh and healthy.
Also, if your home or workplace exposes you to air rich in toxic chemicals such as asbestos, be sure to take necessary precautions. This silicate can damage your lungs and cause pleural mesothelioma, among other diseases. So, protect your lungs by trying to breathe in clean air as much as possible.
Smoking is one of the worst activities you can indulge in because it can damage the lungs beyond repair. With each breath of cigarette smoke, you inhale thousands of different harmful chemicals that attack your lungs in many ways. As a result, smoking is responsible for lung cancer. It also causes several various lung-related issues that can reduce their capacity.
Tobacco smoke leads to excessive mucus production in the lungs, making it difficult to clean them and prevent infections such as pneumonia. On the other hand, smoking also causes the airways to become narrower, limiting the volume of air reaching the lungs with each breath.
However, quitting this habit can allow your lungs to recover from diseases and improve lung capacity naturally. It only takes 1-9 months to reduce the shortness of breath that results from smoking. People addicted to smoking should overcome this issue by seeking professional help or switching to less harmful alternatives of temporary relaxation.
You can improve your lungs’ respiratory function in the same way you strengthen your muscular function- by indulging in exercise. The more you make your lungs work harder in a healthy manner, the better they will adapt to breathing in air and exchanging gases.
Aerobic exercises are some of the best types of physical activity that help to improve lung function. These exercises increase your body’s oxygen needs, causing your lungs to breathe in more air. As a result, your lungs adapt to this increased need for oxygen by improving the volume of air they can store. Also, exercise leads to the development of more capillaries in your lungs, which helps with oxygen exchange.
You can also try breathing exercises that target the lungs alongside aerobic exercise. For instance, belly breathing strengthens the diaphragm and improves your lungs’ expansion and contraction rate. Pursed lip breathing is another breathing exercise you can perform to enhance lung capacity. It helps you learn how to keep your airways open for more extended periods.
Follow a healthy diet
Eating unhealthy food can lead to complications for your lungs, resulting in reduced lung capacity. In contrast, following a healthy diet improves lung capacity and helps to enhance the overall function of the respiratory system. Also, eating well can help smokers and those with lung diseases to recover from their conditions and have better lung capacity. Smokers with a high intake of curcumin found in turmeric demonstrated better lung function than smokers who did not consume this healthy mineral.
Creating a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and fish, is an excellent way to develop a lung-friendly diet. Apples reduce cancer risk and reduce asthma, while beetroot plants have chemicals that can improve lung function. Ensure that your diet has sufficient iron in it. This mineral is an essential component of hemoglobin. A healthy hemoglobin level ensures a healthy supply of oxygenated blood throughout the body.
Your lung capacity is indeed bound to decrease with age. However, it’s possible to slow down the process and save yourself from serious health complications in the long run. It’s crucial to combat the effect of harmful substances in today’s polluted environment by following the correct practices. So, keep following the tips mentioned above to breathe in a healthy life.