Your lungs are made up of millions of tiny air sacs called alveoli. The alveoli are surrounded by a network of tiny blood vessels called capillaries. Oxygen passes from the air you breathe into your lungs. It then travels through the bloodstream to the body’s cells, where it is released as carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide passes from your body cells into the bloodstream and travels back to the lungs, where you exhale.
Here’s how your lungs help:
- They provide oxygen for your body. Without oxygen, your cells cannot function properly, and you could die within minutes.
- They remove carbon dioxide from your blood. This helps prevent CO2 buildup in your body, which can cause serious health problems such as heart attacks or strokes.
- They help regulate blood pressure by controlling how much blood flows through them during breathing — when you inhale, more blood flows into them than when you exhale.
- They help keep fluid levels balanced between different parts of your body by producing extra fluid if needed or removing fluid if there is too much in an area (such as in infections).
Our lungs are also very sensitive organs, which can be damaged easily. We always try to take care of our skin and hair but we don’t pay much attention to our lungs. But it is essential to keep them healthy because they can get damaged by many factors such as air pollution and cigarette smoking. Below are some of the ways to keep your lungs healthy.
Ways to keep your lungs healthy
Breathe deeply whenever you can, especially when exercising or doing other physical activity. Deep breaths help remove stale air from the lungs. Deep breathing also improves blood flow throughout the body, which helps carry oxygen throughout your body. To prepare yourself for strenuous activity, take several deep breaths each day before you begin any activity, such as climbing stairs or doing yard work that makes you breathe harder than usual.
Slow Down Your Pace
If you walk or run too fast, it takes more effort to get oxygen into your blood. Try to walk at a slower pace and focus on breathing deeply and evenly. This will help you get more oxygen into your bloodstream. It will also reduce any discomfort from exercise-induced asthma or other lung issues. If you’re active, try to take it easy when exercising outside on bad-air days or near construction sites or factories. Breathing in large amounts of pollutants can irritate your airways, making it hard to breathe easily. It also increases the risk of getting sick with a cold or flu virus.
Drinking plenty of water helps keep dust out of your lungs by washing away particles in your mouth before they reach your airways and cause irritation there. It’s also vital to keep your kidneys healthy to effectively filter toxins out of your body through urine production. If your kidneys aren’t working properly, they may allow small amounts of toxins through into your bloodstream, where they can reach your lungs and cause damage. Besides, dehydration makes your body more vulnerable to infection, so drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day. Hot tea is also good for you, but avoid coffee and soda, which dehydrate you even more.
Wash Your Hands Frequently
It sounds obvious, but washing your hands is one of the best ways to keep your lungs healthy. This is especially important when you’re in public places and even more so during flu season. In fact, if you have a cold or flu, you should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds each time to make sure you get all the germs off. Use plenty of soap and water, and remember to scrub under your nails for the most thorough cleaning possible. Keeping hand sanitizer on hand is also a good idea. It’s useful when you’re out and can’t get to a bathroom to wash your hands.
Smoking is one of the most important ways people damage their lungs, and it’s also one of the easiest things to quit doing. If you cannot quit on your own or need help with a smoking cessation program, talk with your doctor about which treatment would be best for you. There are many options available, including medications, nicotine replacements and counseling.
Avoid secondhand smoke. When you’re around someone who smokes, it puts stress on your lungs by causing airway constriction and inflammation of the lining of the airways. Secondhand smoke contains nearly all the same harmful chemicals found in cigarettes but in higher concentrations. If someone around you is smoking, ask them politely not to smoke around you. If they won’t stop smoking around you, move away from them and go someplace where the air isn’t polluted.
Exercise helps strengthen your heart, but it also helps keep your lungs healthy by improving their efficiency. It also increases the amount of oxygen that reaches your bloodstream from each breath you take — which means less work for your lungs! Exercise is critical if you have asthma or COPD because it reduces symptoms and improves the quality of life for many people with these conditions.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is vital to keep your lungs healthy because it helps regulate hormones that affect lung function. It also repairs damaged cells in the body that lead to chronic lung disease. A lack of sleep can make you more susceptible to colds and other illnesses, making it harder for your body to fight off infection. Getting enough sleep will help keep your immune system strong to fight off disease easier when it does strike.
What we eat affects how our bodies function overall — including our lungs. Eating too many processed foods and sugar can lead to poor nutrition, which has a negative impact on lung function. On the other hand, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins helps keep your body strong so that you have better lung function and overall health!
Get a Flu Shot
A yearly flu shot is your best defence against catching the virus, even if you don’t get sick from it this year. It can keep your lungs healthy from future infections by boosting your immune system early on in the season when viruses are starting to circulate in the air around us all.