Did you know that October is heathy lung month? Lungs are important because they oxygenate the blood, and breathing for most of us is something we do subconsciously. We pay no attention to breathing; only when it becomes difficult to breathe do we start to notice. 😱
Unfortunately, the lungs are quite vulnerable to infection and injury. Respiratory diseases impose an immense global health burden. According to the World Health Organisation, an estimated 65 million people have moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). About 3 million COPD sufferers die annually, making it one of the most common causes of death each year, and the numbers are increasing.
With these statistics in mind, we need to keep our lungs healthy, and here are a few ways we can do so:
1. Don’t smoke or quit smoking
Smoking is linked to most diseases of the lungs, and it increases the risk of lung cancer. No matter one’s age or how long they have been smoking, quitting smoking is essential to maintaining healthy lungs. Quitting is not easy and can take several attempts. Combining counselling with medication has been proven to sound effects.
Besides avoiding cigarettes, regular exercise is key to maintaining healthy lungs. When we exercise, our respiratory rate increases more than four times the normal rate to about 40-60 cycles per minute. Aerobic exercises provide the best workout for the lungs. Exercise can keep our lungs strong and healthy, and help combat deterioration resulting from ageing and disease.
3. Eating foods rich in antioxidants
This helps promote healthy lungs. Antioxidants contribute to the neutralization of free radicals that can damage or destroy lung cells. While our body produces antioxidants naturally, we can also obtain them from food. Foods that contain the highest levels of antioxidants are typically plant-based foods rich in Vitamins C and E and other minerals such as carotenoids.
Healthy lungs are essential to provide oxygen to every cell in the body and maintain normal bodily functions. This healthy lung month think about how you can keep your lungs healthy not just for the month, but for life.