It’s no secret that smoking has an adverse effect on your lungs and overall health.
However, what may not be as well-known is that ex-smokers can have healthy lungs again! With the various methods below, you can clean your lungs and improve your overall health. Get started today!
The first step to repairing the quality of your lungs is to quit smoking. Your lungs and overall health will thank you immediately! According to WebMD, after 20 minutes into quitting smoking your blood pressure and pulse will already improve, giving your hands and feet improved warmth and circulation.
Just one week after you quit smoking, your lungs begin repairing the cilia, or the hair-like projections that clear mucus and crud from your lungs. The inflammation of your lung tissue will reduce and improving your breathing. Unfortunately, this is also the moment when your cravings become the worst.
Finding ways to distract yourself and do not give in! The benefits continue the longer you stay away:
- 5 years: stroke and cervical cancer now equal a non-smoker
- 10 years: now half as likely to get lung cancer
- 15 years: now same heart disease chances as a non-smoker
Once you’ve stopped smoking, you should work toward completely removing yourself from a smoking environment. It’s best to stay away from other smokers to reduce the risk of second-hand smoke intake, and the temptation of smoking again.
Many smokers have friends and family members that smoke as well. While you certainly don’t want to end important relationships, ask them politely not to smoke around you and encourage them to quit, too!
Keep Your Space Clean
Keeping your home and office clean are crucial to maintaining good lung health. Be sure to clean your carpets, dust shelves and objects, and frequently clean air vents and fans. You spend most of your time in these areas.
It’s imperative that your air is as clean as possible. In addition to cleaning your home and office, add some plants to it too! Plants absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants in exchange for oxygen. Some of the top air quality improving plants are: Aloe Vera, Areca Palm, Lad Palm, Bamboo.
Eating right can improve your overall health. It also has a drastic impact on the health of your lungs! If you want to clean and improve your lung health, there are some foods and products that you should avoid and others you should consume more often:
Say No To:
- Fast Food
- Processed Foods & Meats
- Dairy Products
- Frozen Convenience Foods
- Candies and Sweets
Say Yes To:
- Pineapples, which contain bromelain, a compound that helps reduce inflammation
- Citrus fruits and berries, such as blueberries, limes, lemons, oranges, and blackberries
- Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, kale, arugula, collard greens, lettuce, and broccoli
- Fresh meats and fish
- Foods with high chlorophyll, such as parsley, sprouts, wheatgrass, asparagus, celery, and grapes help oxygenate the body
Start a workout routine and get your body and respiratory system back into shape! Some of the best exercises for improving lung health are:
- Walking, jogging, or biking
- Strength Training
Try Breathing Exercises
While physical exercise will help your lungs immensely, don’t forget about breathing exercises! The top ones to improve the health of your lungs are pursed lip breathing and diaphragmatic breathing exercises.
Pursed lip breathing exercises help to release trapped air, keep airways open longer, improve the ease of breathing, and relieves shortness of breath.
Diaphragmatic breathing exercises strengthen your diaphragm, slow your breathing rate, and decrease oxygen demand.
The withdrawal of nicotine can cause serious stress. You’ll need to find ways to relax! Meditation can help calm you down, improve your attitude, and develop mindfulness.
In addition to mental and emotional help, massages provide opportunities for focusing on your breath and relax muscles, which can improve respiration. Go ahead and treat yourself! Your lungs will thank you.
* If you have questions or concerns about the health of your lungs, talk to your doctor and a nutritionist. The earlier you seek help and start making a change, the sooner you’ll start improving your overall health.