The lungs are critical movers in the human body. When illness affects the lungs, one’s physical health and quality of life can be greatly affected. The advice given here is geared toward those who are concerned about their lung health, or who might be at risk for illnesses and conditions that affect the lungs.
What Should I Be Concerned About?
There are many reasons a person could be concerned about their lung health. Per healthline.com, some of the major conditions which affect the lungs and your ability to breathe are often hereditary: these include asthma, pulmonary hypertension, and some of the conditions that fall under the comprehensive label “interstitial lung disease.” Additionally, lung health is important in case you contract pneumonia or another infection that affects the lungs, so that the impact of such an infection on your lungs will be lessened.
Lifestyle Tips for Ensuring Good Lungs
Per the American Lung Association (ALA), avoiding exposure to carcinogens is extremely important when it comes to keeping lungs healthy and preventing lung disease. You most likely already know the most common one: smoking. Smoking tobacco and even long-term exposure to tobacco smoke (second-hand smoking) can have a dramatic effect on your lungs, such as leading to conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) and emphysema. Other carcinogens include chemicals present in certain workplaces, as well as radon in the home.
The benefits of regular exercise on lung health cannot be overstated. Per the ALA, exercise works your lungs and entire respiratory system in such a way that it makes them stronger, just as it benefits your muscles. Physical activity, especially if it is aerobic such as walking or running, makes your lungs work harder; Therefore, your entire cardiorespiratory system (lungs included) gets more efficient at sending oxygen throughout the body. Exercise is beneficial for anyone in boosting lung and cardiovascular health, including those who deal with chronic lung disease such as COPD.
Another way to help guard your lungs is to avoid infection, per the ALA. This can be especially true during flu season in the fall and winter months. The ALA specifies that even the common cold can become serious. Measures to avoid infection include regular handwashing, not touching one’s face after touching public surfaces, good oral hygiene, and avoiding crowds in the flu season.
Vitamins for Lung Health & Tissue Repair
- Vitamin D can help protect against respiratory infection and flare-ups from COPD, per livestrong.com. One study involving individuals lacking Vitamin D showed them to be more susceptible to wheezing, bronchitis, and other similar issues, while those with high levels of Vitamin D were associated with improved lung function.
- Vitamin C is useful to your body for many reasons, but is useful for lung tissue repair because it is an antioxidant, as per the Lung Health Institute (LHI). Many lung conditions are caused by oxidative damage from environmental factors (i.e., smoking), and cause the release of toxins and free radicals. An antioxidant like Vitamin C helps to both fight back against these toxins, and to remove them. In doing so, your lungs might be likely to heal better from conditions such as COPD.
- Vitamin A is useful to your body for its immune-boosting properties, as well as its ability to help cells reproduce and grow (per the LHI). From these qualities, it might also be very helpful in repairing lung tissue due to damage from lung-affecting conditions.