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Six Tips For Healthier Lungs

The importance of healthy lungs can only be fully understood by someone suffering from depleting lung health. Annually, 157,000 Americans die from chronic respiratory diseases, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), 140,000 from lung cancer, and more than 49,000 from pneumonia and influenza. These alarming numbers signify the need to be increasingly conscious about lung health and take optimal care to prevent lung-related issues from developing.

To aid in this task, here is a list of tips to keep in mind and adhere to:

Monitor your indoor air quality 

One of the biggest culprits of declining lung health many people overlook is indoor air quality (IAQ). IAQ refers to the quality of air inside and surrounding a building, such as your home or workplace. Shockingly, the air inside buildings and structures can often be more polluted than the air in the atmosphere. Toxins, smoke, chemicals, and harmful sources such as asbestos microfibrils, radon, mold, and cigarette smoke can accumulate indoors and pollute the air, leading to significantly diminished IAQ. When you inhale contaminated air, you’re putting yourself at risk of causing irreparable damage to your lungs.

Therefore, you should monitor the IAQ of your home and ensure that it is below 1000 ppm. If you work with toxic chemicals, urge your workplace to provide medical-grade masks or seek out lung cancer compensation if the damage has already been done. Maintaining distance from indoor smokers and smoking lounges, as well as keeping your home clean to prevent mold from growing and dust from spreading, are additional great ways to ensure the air you breathe is clean and pure.

The most important factor when it comes to IAQ is ventilation, so ascertain that both your home and workspace get plenty of airflow by cranking the windows open, turning on the fan, or putting your HVAC system to use. 

Avoid pollution 

Unlike indoor pollution, which can be controlled by a few steps, outdoor pollution can’t be controlled. Therefore, prevention is key here.

To avoid air pollution, wear a mask, especially when moving on foot in industrial or traffic-congested areas. It is also best to avoid living near, exercising, or regularly visiting highly polluted spaces. Thanks to technology, you can now monitor outdoor pollution levels in your area using the website. 

Playing your part in reducing air pollution is just as important, so try not to unnecessarily burn wood or plastic, plant trees, and constantly make efforts to lower your carbon footprint for a cleaner and greener environment. 

Steer clear from smoking 

Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer globally and is linked to causing and aggravating COPD, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and asthma. Yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 12 of every 100 US adults aged 18 years or older smoke cigarettes. The addictive nature of cigarettes makes it highly difficult to quit. Many smokers switch to new-age alternatives like vapes and e-cigarettes in an attempt to give up cigarettes, but these devices are equally as harmful and addicting.

Long-term smoking constricts the air passages in the lungs, leading to breathing difficulties, chronic inflammation, and destruction of lung tissue. Ultimately, lung cells begin to age prematurely and grow prone to cancer. All of this damage can be prevented by saying no to smoking in any form or capacity from a young age.

Even if you have been smoking into adulthood, know that it’s never too late to quit. With determination, willpower, and support through counseling, you can transform this bad habit into a thing of the past and adopt healthier habits. 

Eat a healthy diet 

Like all other body organs, the optimal functioning of the lungs also depends on the diet consumed by a person. Eating a healthy diet that consists of food from all five food groups, particularly fresh fruits and vegetables packed with vitamin C and magnesium, fiber-rich produce like whole grain bread, nuts, and seeds, and lean proteins high in zinc and omega-3 fatty acids such as chicken, fish, and eggs, is a wonderful way to supplement your lung health. 

Exercise regularly 

When you put your body into motion, your heart begins pumping excessively to keep circulating blood that supplies oxygen through the body. With oxygen needed at a faster rate, the responsibility to deliver it falls on your lungs. As you breathe rapidly throughout exercising, expansion and contraction occur in the muscles between your ribs, and air sacs inside your lungs quickly exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide. In this way, your lungs are being put to work which strengthens them and aids in their overall functioning. 

If you’re wondering which exercises are the best for lung health, try aerobic activities and muscle-strengthening workouts together. Aerobic activities like running and skipping help your lungs inhale and exhale better, while muscle-strengthening activities like weight-lifting and Pilates build core strength and tone your breathing muscles. By adopting a daily workout routine consisting of these activities, your lungs will remain fit, and so will your body.

Practice breathing exercises 

Deep breathing helps clear the lungs thoroughly and creates a full oxygen exchange that helps the lungs function better. A sure way to know whether you are breathing deeply enough is by monitory whether your breath starts from the chest or the stomach. Chest breathing is usually shallow and fast, while stomach breathing targets the diaphragm, resulting in a deep and slow breath.

Going hand in hand with breathing exercises is the practice of mindful breathing, which incorporates the act of breathing with the awareness of the present moment. Focusing your mind on breathing as you savor each inhale and let go as you exhale creates a peaceful and calming experience that helps relax your body and soul.

Several mindful breathing techniques are available online with tutorials, such as the 5-5-5 breathing technique or the 4-7-8 breathing exercise, which you can use to start your mindful breathing journey. 


All in all, the health and well-being of your lungs are not reliant on a single factor or habit. Instead, it is a culmination of your environment, lifestyle, and activities you indulge in that makes or breaks your lung health. Therefore, making certain changes and modifications to your daily routine can prove fruitful in achieving optimal lung health. Hence use the tips mentioned above to the fullest. 

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