The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Healthy breathing should feel as though you are barely breathing at all. Unfortunately, less than 10 percent of the world’s population breathes normally, and the average person consumes twice as much air today than they would have 100 years ago. Surround yourself with healthy people, then try to focus on their breathing for 30 seconds. You will likely see and hear almost nothing. Breathing should be second nature, but for the vast majority of people it isn’t. Focusing on the keys to better breathing will help increase your energy levels and decrease your chances of lung disease.
4 Keys to Better Breathing
Eating smaller meals seems basic to any healthy diet, but it has specific lung health benefits. Large meals expand your stomach, which in turn, compresses your lungs. Have you ever had difficulty breathing after a large meal? When your lungs are compressed it is more difficult for you to draw deep breaths. Shallow breathing leads to poor oxygen levels and your body needing more air to match the proper levels of oxygen needed in your blood.
Certain vitamins and nutrients can also positively affect lung health. Specifically, retinoic acid and Vitamin A, can help improve lung function. Plus, these can found in great tasting vegetables and fruit like carrots, sweet potatoes and mangos.
The lungs are not muscles like your heart, but you can still strengthen your lungs through proper exercise. The most predominant exercise for improving lung health is aerobics. These exercises improve your lung’s endurance and forces you to use the entire organ. Your lungs will learn how to utilize oxygen more efficiently, so everyday your will get more bang for every breath. A 40-minute ride on the stationary bike, or a brisk walk a few times a week, greatly increases your lung’s ability to effectively supply the heart with oxygen-rich blood.
When people have a large amount of stress in their daily life, they tend to suffer from anxiety-induced hyperventilation. Over-breathing can lead to low levels of carbon dioxide in your blood, which in turn can lead to a high acidity level in your blood. It can also place extreme stress on your kidneys, the organs responsible for regulating the carbon dioxide in your blood
Simply telling someone to relax usually doesn’t help the situation, but certain activities can decrease stress and anxiety. Allowing your mind to get lost in something other than the stresses of your life can greatly help reduce said stress. Watching a movie, reading a book and listening to music can all help manage anxiety. Additionally, yoga and meditation can put you in a relaxed state of mind, which encourages slow and deep breathing.
Prevent Lung Infection
Sick lungs certainly won’t help you breathe better. Respiratory infection can become very serious in quick fashion. These tips can help you defeat lung infection before it even starts:
- Control your environment. Dust particles, along with mold and mildew, need to be kept out of the air you breathe. Also, avoid all tobacco smoke, and of course, don’t smoke yourself.
- Keep your hands clean. Wash your hands after using the restroom, and after you may have come in contact with someone that may be sick.
- Get your flu shot. The flu is a common predecessor to pneumonia.
- Go to bed. Quality sleep will greatly improve your health. If your body is deprived of sleep, your immune system can’t function properly. This makes you more vulnerable to catching viruses and bacterial infections.
You may not even be aware that your lungs are unhealthy. In a group of 10 people, 9 suffer from some sort of breathing problem. Chronic diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and interstitial lung disease are more common in people with poorly functioning lungs. Better breathing can help you reclaim your lungs and an active lifestyle.
If you have questions about better breathing, consult your doctor first. If you or a loved one is interested in stem cell therapy for lung disease, then contact us at the Lung Institute to learn more or call (800) 729-3065 today.