2013-12-06 2864098-A

Take in a deep breath. That rush of fresh oxygen filling your lungs and boosting your energy. Feels good, right?

Having a healthy set of lungs is something often taken for granted. You probably don’t even give your lungs a second thought. That is, until it’s too late.

Conditions like asthma, bronchitis and emphysema can make breathing extremely difficult. Even worse, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – commonly referred to as COPD – is the fourth-leading cause of death in United States. Unfortunately, those aren’t the only problems associated with what we breathe in.

Exposure to pollutants – like smoke or chemicals – not only cause you to gasp for air, but even the tiniest of particles breathed in can pass into the blood stream and cause heart attack, stroke and reproductive issues. Obviously, having healthy lungs is an important foundation to your overall wellness.

Here are 5 ways to improve lung health and why they’re important:

  • Smoking – If you smoke, stop. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer in nearly 90% of cases and a major contributor in most all cancers. Nonsmokers have a nearly 30% chance of developing lung cancer if exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work.
  • Exercise – You’re not only strengthening your muscles when you exercise, you’re also making your lungs stronger. Plus, physical exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of lung cancer by 20%.
  • Eat Right – Antioxidant-rich vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy and kale help reduce your risk of lung cancer by more than 50%.
  • Clean Air – No matter if you’re inside or outside, make sure the air you’re breathing is clean. Be mindful of second hand smoke, pollutants and paints which release harmful VOCs. Studies found that for every increase of 5 micrograms per cubic meter of pollution – the way pollutants in air are measured – the risk of cancer rose by 18%. Although it might take a scientist to understand exactly what that measurement means, plain and simple, pollutants damage your lungs.
  • Control Your Condition – If you do have COPD or asthma, stay on your treatment to maintain proper lung health. According to a recent study, only 40-60% of patients with COPD adhere to their prescribed treatments and only 10% know how to use an inhaler correctly. Whether it’s medication, inhalers or breathing treatments, follow your doctor’s plan and learn how to control your condition.









Related Article

Rev Up the Blender For Healthy Lungs

Join the Discussion