5 Tips to Ensure Optimal Lung Health
The average person takes 25,000 breaths every day. Breathing is a subconscious activity that we take for granted, but our lungs are one of our most precious organs. They’re responsible for bringing in oxygen to power every cell in the body, keeping us alive.
Thirty-six million Americans suffer from chronic lung disease. October happens to be Healthy Lung Month, so we’d like to highlight the importance of protecting and caring for our lungs in order to avoid any life-threatening diseases. As we continue to face the threat of COVID-19, which specifically affects our lungs, below are five tips to help keep your lungs healthy.
Give up smoking. Cigarette smoking causes extreme damage to lung tissue, making it harder to breathe the longer you smoke. It is the leading cause of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Quitting is the number one thing you can do to improve your pulmonary health—in fact, you’ll see improvement in your shortness of breath and smoker’s cough within six months. Curb your cravings with nicotine gum or patches, keep your hands busy with a stress ball or fidget spinner and call on friends and family for support.
Breathe clean air. Pollutants such as chemical irritants, vehicle exhaust, wildfire smoke and secondhand smoke can all increase the risk of lung issues. Do your best to avoid exposure to these toxins and be cognizant of the air quality index before spending time outside. Irritants that can negatively impact respiratory health exist indoors too, so it’s vital to keep your home clean of dust, mold and pet dander. Replace your air vent filters every 60-90 days and consider an air purifier to help keep the cleanse the air of ultra-fine particles.
Eat foods high in antioxidants. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals that can be harmful to the lungs, so antioxidant-rich foods have been shown to be beneficial for optimal pulmonary health. This includes fruits like blueberries, strawberries and apples; vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, beets and leafy greens; legumes like beans and lentils; and beverages like coffee and green tea.
Increase lung capacity. In normal day-to-day activity, our breathing is typically short and shallow, so our lungs don’t have the chance to fully expand. Practice breathing techniques like deep breathing and diaphragmatic breathing (also known as belly breathing) to help improve lung capacity. Fixing your posture is also important; sitting up tall instead of slumping in your chair makes more room for your lungs. Aerobic exercises like brisk walking or bike riding can give your lungs a good workout. And believe it or not, laughing is another excellent exercise to increase lung capacity, as it forces air in and out of your lungs.
Take a serrapeptase supplement. Serrapeptase is a popular natural supplement for those looking to maintain normal and uninhibited breathing. This protein-digesting enzyme supports normal mucus thickness and healthy mucus clearance from the lungs and sinuses. A recent study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology suggests that serrapeptase may be useful for treating COVID-19 due to its anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and antiviral properties and long history of safe clinical use.
This month, and every month, give your lungs the attention they deserve by practicing these healthy tips.
Justin Marsh is the CEO of Arthur Andrew Medical, a Scottsdale-based manufacturer of enzyme and probiotic based dietary supplements. Arthur Andrew Medical’s products are rooted in science with no processing agents or fillers. They are dedicated to conducting extensive research and clinical applications with dietary supplements for the advancement of natural health alternatives.