5 Ways to Protect Your Lungs and Improve Lung Health

Your lungs have a very important job. All cells in your body need oxygen in order to survive and function properly. The lungs bring in oxygen rich air and remove waste gases, such as carbon dioxide, out of the body. So, it goes without saying that you want to keep your lungs as healthy as possible. Here are five ways to improve lung health and promote healthy lungs.

Drink more water

One easy way to improve lung health is to drink more water. Water makes up approximately 60 percent of your body weight. Staying hydrated helps ensure that all of the organs in the body function properly.

We get water from the foods and drinks that we consume each day, but it’s important to drink water, too. Not everyone has the exact same hydration needs, but the National academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine suggest:

  • Men need 125 ounces of fluid a day
  • Women need 90 ounces of fluid a day

Stay active

Aerobic exercise improves lung capacity and lung function, plus it strengthens muscles, bones, and improves your mood.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adults get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week. Of course, the more exercise you get, the greater the health benefits.

Don’t smoke

Cigarettes are the leading cause of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It’s not just your health being affected when you choose to smoke, though. Secondhand smoke from cigarettes affects those around you, too.

Choosing not to smoke can greatly improve your lung health. Never start smoking, or stop smoking now. It’s never too late to stop smoking.

Improve air quality

Air pollution isn’t just caused by diesel engines and smokestacks outside your home. There’s air pollution indoors as well.

Vacuum carpets and rugs, dust, and replace air filters on a regular basis to keep good indoor air quality. Also, think about getting your house tested for mold, and make sure that you have a working carbon monoxide detector.

Visit your doctor

Regular wellness exams with your primary care physician help ensure good lung health and good overall health. Your doctor may listen to your breathing during a wellness exam, which can help detect lung health issues.

Also, talk to your doctor if you experience shortness of breathe, difficulty breathing, a lingering cough, wheezing, pain when breathing, or other unusual symptoms. Your doctor may refer you to a pulmonologist – or lung doctor – for further medical care.