Often times, we don’t pay enough attention to our lungs and how lung health is essential in keeping our bodies in good condition. We only tend to take notice of our lung health when we begin experiencing breathing problems and need to consult a doctor. But our lungs need just as much attention as the rest of our body does, as they provide oxygen to every cell in our bodies. That oxygen keeps our entire body and its many systems running - which is why lung problems affect our quality of life so drastically.
Fortunately, keeping your lungs healthy will reduce your risk of developing serious illnesses such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, and multiple breathing conditions. Here are some things you can do to properly care for your lungs:
- Avoid Smoking: Smoking is the number one contributor to a variety of lung diseases, such as lung cancer and COPD. It’s also the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, with over 438,00 deaths per year. And smoking isn’t just limited to use of cigarettes and cigars. Marijuana, electronic cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco are all guilty of contributing to lung cancer and other lung conditions. Secondhand smoke has also been linked to harmful diseases, with over 41,000 deaths related to it per year. Because of this, it’s best to avoid smoking or to quit smoking entirely. Quitting smoking, however, will take time and effort. If you are ready (or currently struggling) to kick this habit, you can ask your doctor for more information on smoking and lung health or for guidance on quitting smoking.
- Exercise Regularly: Exercise does more than keep our bodies strong and in shape - it gives us a chance to use more of our lung capacity and to help them stay in shape. Getting exercise for at least 20 minutes a day - whether it’s a bike ride, a jog, or a walk around the block during your lunch break - will keep your body healthy, improve your mood, and give your lungs the movement they need to keep doing their job.
- Be Wary of Air Pollution: Unfortunately, air pollution is still a major issue in a number of cities across the United States, including Pittsburgh. The American Lung Association suggests a few ways in which you can fight for cleaner air to protect your lungs from toxins in the air. Some of these ways include checking pollution forecasts in the area before venturing outside, which can help to reduce your exposure to air pollution. Other tips to address this risk include avoiding exercising near high-traffic areas, using public transportation or biking to work, and making changes in the home that can improve its air quality.
In addition to taking any necessary steps to protect our lungs, it’s important to make note of any negative changes that occur during breathing. These can be a sign of developing problems that need attention. If you’re experiencing sudden difficulty with breathing, chest pain, dizziness, or nausea, see your doctor immediately. At Genesis Medical, our team can help you out with any of your breathing or lung health concerns by providing treatment options and more. Schedule an appointment at your nearest location and our staff can assist you with any of your health concerns.