The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Living with ILD
Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is known to be a lung disease that harms a person’s ability to breathe properly. The tiny air sacs in the lungs that transfer oxygen from the air into the bloodstream harden and don’t complete the much needed transfer of gases. Given the harsh condition your lungs suffer through, it is important to keep your health in mind constantly when you have ILD. Through the treatment process, it is important to also make lifestyle modifications with ILD. Inevitably, your health is always going to be in your hands alone.
There is currently no cure for ILD, but there are ways to help slow the progression of ILD and even see some increased lung function. One of the ways is to regularly work some ILD exercises into your daily routine. Here are a few exercises that may help with ILD:
- Yoga, Pilates or Stretching Exercises: By stretching the muscles and increasing flexibility, the lungs will naturally increase their capacity, and the body will be better prepared for more strenuous forms of exercise.
- Beginner Aerobics: Join a gym and try a beginner aerobics class! The rhythmic pace of aerobics will increase endurance of the lungs and will promote social interaction. Swimming has also been very beneficial to people suffering from ILD.
- Deep Breathing Exercises: There are multiple types of breathing exercises available. Pick one that is challenging and practice every day. If it gets too intense, stop and rest, but always finish the exercise cycle.
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 you will get more bang for every breath. A 40-minute ride on the stationary bike or a brisk walk a few times a week will greatly increase your lung’s ability to effectively supply the heart with oxygen-rich blood. The most important thing to remember when exercising with ILD is to take it slow and keep a close eye on your heart rate.
ILD and your Environment
The first modification you’ll need to make on the road to better lung health is to quit smoking. You don’t need to be told by another person how terrible smoking is for you, but it is terrible for you. After you’ve quit smoking, you’ll still want to pay close attention to the air you breathe. Pollutants in the air like bad ozone or short-term particle pollution can gravely damage your lungs. Someone with ILD must make sure to stay away from these pollutants at all costs. Also, the humidity in the air can cause a flare-up. Most people with ILD have a harsh dry cough and dry air only makes that worse. Having a humidifier in your home can make a big difference in your lung health and quality of life.
If you or a loved one suffers from ILD, stem cell therapy may be a great option to regain lung health. The Lung Institute has treated hundreds of patients with lung diseases like ILD. Contact us today or call (800) 729-3065 for a free consultation and get on the road to easier breathing.