6 Easy Ways To Improve Lung Health

Do not underestimate the importance of your lungs. These essential organs play a mammoth role in your overall health, taking oxygen from the air and transferring it into your blood circulatory system, while expelling harmful carbon dioxide.

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Why is lung health a matter of concern? Every day, your lungs are exposed to countless substances that are harmful to your health, including cigarette smoke, vehicular smoke, toxins and allergens. By paying attention to improving your lung health, you can protect these vital organs from a number of highly debilitating and painful ailments, ranging from asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cancer.

Before you begin associating improving lung health with complicated drugs and techniques, take matters into your own hands and see if you can improve your lung health the all-natural way.

Breathe easier with these simple tips.

1. Sit Up Straight

This one so easy and so simple, and yet so often overlooked. Slouching for long periods of time can actually reduce the breathing capacity of your lungs, as it contracts your diaphragm and subconsciously forces your body to take shorter, shallower breaths, rather than long, deep ones. Breathing this way causes your lungs to take in less oxygen and expel a lesser quantity of the poisonous carbon dioxide. An easy solution? Be mindful of your posture at all times, you may have taken to slouching at your office desk or while doing assignments at home. Take a break every once in a while to perform some simple stretching exercises. Sit up nice and tall and take several deep breaths (more of this later).

2. Aerobic Exercise And HIIT

We know what you’re thinking: Well, duh. Intense and vigorous cardio workouts, including aerobic exercises, running, Zumba or swimming, can do wonders for your breathing capacity. And just as we strength-train our arms or glutes to be stronger, we can also tone the muscles used for breathing. “Exercise improves the conditioning of the diaphragm, the muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen, and the intercostal muscles, which lie between the ribs and enable you to inhale and exhale,” says Everett Murphy, M.D., a runner and pulmonologist at Olathe Medical Center in Olathe, Kansas. “When you take a breath, 80 per cent of the work is done by the diaphragm. If you strengthen your diaphragm, you may improve your endurance and be less likely to become fatigued.” HIIT workouts in particular, which are meant to run you ragged, are known for their lung-expanding capabilities.

3. Don’t Smoke

The fact that cigarette smoke is seriously terrible for you and your lungs is no secret. Take note of the consequences of not just firsthand smoke, but secondhand cigarette smoke as well, which includes an increased level of the poisonous carbon monoxide in the bloodstream and high blood pressure issues. If you have yet to quit smoking, this is the number one thing you can do to immediately improve your lung health. Avoiding secondhand cigarette smoke or quitting, leads to improved breathing capacity, better lung health and greater oxygen intake over all.

4. Take Your Vitamins

What can vitamins do for your lung health? The all powerful super vitamin, vitamin C, is an exceptional antioxidant and is a ferocious fighter against substances that may harm the body, including the lungs. Adequate vitamin C intake, whether through vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables or through supplements, can help improve lung health by providing protection against harmful, disease-causing environmental substances.

5. Yoga

Pranayama, the art of deep breathing in yoga, is an excellent way to rejuvenate the lungs, enhance your lung capacity and improve lung health. Indulge in a 30-minute pranayama yoga practice daily to improve your lung health and enhance the quantity of oxygen available to your body system.

6. Other Breathing Exercises

Most of us are chest breathers, rather than belly breathers, but this deep, belly breathing is optimal for lung health. “When you take deeper breaths, you use more air sacs in your lungs, which allows you to take in more oxygen to feed your muscles,” says David Ross, M.D., a pulmonologist at UCLA Medical Center.
Try this: Hold your breath for several seconds. Then exhale slowly, over the course of seven seconds (or longer). When you think you can’t exhale any more, keep blowing from the deepest depths of your lungs until you are totally empty. You should feel your chest and abdomen flatten inward. Repeat this breathing exercise nine times, once a day, to help increase your lung power and keep your lungs feeling sharp.