When some people think about maintaining good health they tend to forget about their lungs. This is unfortunate given that the fourth leading killer in the United States is chronic lower respiratory disease including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. Also, lung cancer is the second highest form of cancer affecting Americans. Black people, in particular, should pay attention to their lung health because studies show that they’re at a higher risk for these illnesses than other ethnicities.
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Top 5 Ways To Keep Your Lungs Healthy
1. Stay Away From Cigarettes
It might not surprise you that the toxins in cigarette smoke increase your risk of lung cancer. However, smoking also impacts your chances of developing other respiratory issues such as COPD, asthma, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
In fact, studies show that people who smoke are up to 13 times more likely to die from COPD than those who don’t. If you’re already dealing with any of these lung problems, smoking will only make the symptoms worse.
The best thing you can do is stay away from cigarettes and even second-hand smoke. Talk to your doctor about healthy ways to quit.
2. Exercise Regularly
Your lungs need exercise just like the rest of your body. When you work out, your lungs have to work harder to get oxygen throughout the body while expelling carbon dioxide.
Over time, physical activity makes your lungs more efficient. It’s a good idea to aim for 20 minutes of moderate exercise at least 5 days of the week. While walking or cycling work well, don’t be afraid to try other activities that may work better for you.
3. Practice Deep Breathing
Apart from making your lungs efficient, you can also increase their capacity. Studies show that the average person only uses a small portion of their lungs.
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By practicing deep breathing, you can hold more oxygen and expel carbon dioxide well. The increased capacity also helps your stamina during physical activity.
There are different types of deep breathing exercises but in its simplest form, you inhale slowly while expanding your belly. Next, you would