How can you look after your lungs?

How can you look after your lungs

We’re in the midst of a pandemic with a disease that attacks the respiratory system, so paying attention to our lung health is more important than ever before.

The lungs are what allow the body to get the essential oxygen that it needs, and so if things go wrong here it can become a scary situation very quickly.

Here are some ways you can be proactive, even if you’re currently fit and healthy, to look after your lungs. 

How can I take care of my lungs naturally?

Eat foods rich in antioxidants

Like with all things in the body, good health starts from within. A diet rich in the vitamins and nutrients you need will help to keep things running smoothly.

But importantly, enough antioxidants can help to minimise damaging free radicals on the epithelial lining fluid, which protects the surface of the lung from the environment around us.

Foods highest in antioxidants are fresh fruits and vegetables so be sure to include plenty of these in your diet every single day. Not just for your lungs, they’ll benefit just about every cell in your body. 

Stop smoking

It goes without saying that smoking is one of the most damaging things you can do to your body. It’s the nicotine that your body craves, but in the process of extracting this from a cigarette you take in as many as 600 ingredients!

Burning them creates a whopping 7000 chemicals and at least 69 of these are known carcinogens (i.e., they cause cancer).

Quitting smoking can be hard, especially if it’s a habit you’ve had for many years, lots of people find that going into vape shops and getting advice on switching to e-liquids can help.

These don’t contain the same harmful chemicals as cigarettes and you can gradually reduce the amount of nicotine making it easier to eventually quit smoking and vaping for good. 

Keep fit

Your lung capacity depends on your fitness levels. The more you exercise and work your cardiovascular system, the more your lungs will adapt.

This means that you’re able to breathe and oxygenate your body more efficiently, meaning you’ll get less out of breath and feel sluggish or fatigued in your daily life.

The best thing you can do is find an activity you enjoy, it could be cycling, hiking with your dog, swimming- anything that gets you up and moving. As your fitness level improves, up the intensity. 

Avoid illness

With all of the panic going on in the world at the moment, it’s important we stick to the advice that we’re given.

If you are unwell, over a certain age or have an underlying health condition that means catching the current strain of coronavirus that is circulating, COVID-19, could be fatal for you, then stay at home.  Listen to the advice and self-isolate yourself if needed.

It may be inconvenient, but it could save your life right now.  Catch up with friends and family digitally using Skype or via phone calls.  Don’t put yourself in harm’s way, especially if you are listed as the vulnerable group.  It’s not worth it.

Related – How do you stop isolation when working from home?