The official blog of the Lung Institute.
It’s the time of year again when we make resolutions for the future. Many people make New Year’s Day resolutions to improve their lives and the lives of those around them. Unfortunately, it can be hard to choose worthy aims that are realistic and attainable. For those looking to choose worthwhile goals for the rest of the new year, the Lung Institute would like to suggest these 5 Resolutions for People with Pulmonary Fibrosis.
5. Quit Smoking (Please.)
Of the 5 resolutions for people with pulmonary fibrosis, this one is highly important. If you suffer from pulmonary fibrosis and are continuing to smoke, please consider quitting. We know it’s one of the most difficult things a person can do, but the Lung Institute is here to help. As we’ve mentioned before, the dangers of smoking are not to be ignored. Smoking cessation is universally associated with improving the quality of life of the former smoker and the former smoker’s loved ones. When thinking over whether to quit, consider the well-documented effects of second-hand smoke on those you love.
Help is available.
There are several ways to kick the habit. First, the obvious — get rid of your cigarettes. Make a ceremony of tossing them into the trash or destroying them. It’s a big deal, and you deserve the feeling of well-being you’ll earn once you’ve quit.
Expect an ordeal, but know that you can handle it. Try nicotine gum or patches to take the edge off the withdrawal. Look for stress-relieving activities, and try not to spend too much time alone where temptation most often strikes. Take it a day at a time, and congratulate yourself on your progress. It’s a Big Deal. When you’ve been tobacco-free for a month, celebrate. (NOT with a smoke). When you’ve been tobacco-free for six months, celebrate again. The sooner you quit, the longer you’ll live to continue the celebrating.
4. Only Eat What’s Good for You.
Losing weight typically comes in 1st on the nation’s top New Year’s resolutions, and eating healthier isn’t far behind. However, for those suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, diet is an essential component of avoiding symptom flare-ups. By avoiding certain problem foods, you can help make your breathing easier.
Make a Plan, and Stick with It.
Discipline is key when tackling a new diet, and denying hunger pangs are part of the process. Don’t cheat. Planning ahead can help with this. Prepare portion-controlled meals in advance, and plan a week ahead everything you’re going to eat. It may seem like a lot of effort, but the rewards more than make up for the work.
Diet doesn’t only mean controlling how much you eat. Diet is also what you eat. Try only eating foods with fewer than 3 ingredients, and have something green and fresh with every meal. You’ll like the way you feel after a few weeks.
Diet and exercise are inseparable when working toward a healthier body. For 37% of Americans, getting fit is a top New Year’s resolution. We know that pulmonary fibrosis can make any sort of exercise difficult, but the fact remains that exercise is crucial to healthy lung function.
Get Out There.
In the U.S. there are 58 million people with active gym memberships, and of those people, many will never use their membership. The hardest part is putting your feet on the floor in the morning and getting out the door. Once people start exercising, most enjoy it. Set a goal, and stick to it. Start with small objectives you’re comfortable with, and build up to bigger goals. Celebrate milestones. You can start now.
2. Save Money.
For many, saving money or getting out of debt often tops the list of New Year’s resolutions. The answer is maddeningly simple – spend less than you bring in. It sounds so simple, but tracking those elusive dollars and cents takes diligence and vigilance. Make a game of it, and instead of earning points, you’ll save money.
Create a Budget.
Creating a budget and sticking to it can make the difference between success and failure in personal finances. Rather than simply deciding to spend less money, set a goal such as spending $50 less eating out each month, or only buying new clothes when you get rid of old ones. The rewards of budgeting are made of money.
1. Improve Your Quality of Life
Isn’t improving our lives the core reason for making resolutions in the first place? For those who suffer from pulmonary fibrosis or other chronic lung diseases, the quest for self-improvement can make life better, and even extend it.
How to Do It
Purify the air at home, increase the oxygen in your air naturally, or step outside for some fresh air. Many options are waiting to make life with pulmonary fibrosis and other lung diseases more comfortable. An ancient Chinese proverb wisely says:
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.”
A new year can bring new beginnings or carry forward the same old habits. Making changes takes grit and effort, and if you’re looking to make a profound change in your life or the life of someone you love, the time is now. We hope these 5 resolutions for people with pulmonary fibrosis are helpful for you. If you or a loved one suffers from pulmonary fibrosis, or another progressive lung disease, the Lung Institute may be able to help with a variety of stem cell treatment options. Contact us at (800) 729-3065 to find out if you qualify for stem cell therapy, and Happy New Year from the Lung Institute.