Prioritize the Health of Your Lungs!
By Donna Stark
You think about a lot of things during the day, but unless you are having trouble breathing, you probably don't think very much about your lungs, do you? The focus of Healthy Lung Month (which is October, BTW) is to encourage everyone to pay more attention to the importance of protecting their lungs, because if you don't take care of them, they will have a hard time taking care of you.
There are a lot of things that can damage your lungs and many of them can cause serious respiratory issues down the road. It is vital that you do what is necessary to protect them now, so you can have optimal lung health in the future. Here are some suggestions.
Smoking is the leading cause of lung disease. It causes chronic inflammation, narrows the air passages, and makes breathing more difficult. Over time, it can destroy lung tissue and lead to cancer. It's easy to see how this habit can be so destructive, but it's not that easy to quit. If you are having trouble putting an end to your smoking habit, ask your primary doctor for help. The health of your lungs depends on it.
Just because you don't smoke doesn't mean your lungs won't be affected if you are around those who do. Secondhand smoke can cause lung disease too. Most workplaces and public buildings are already smoke-free, but if your home is not, do your part to make it free of secondhand smoke. This action will benefit everyone living there.
Outdoor Air Pollution
Stepping outside for a breath of fresh air always sounds like a good idea, but it may not be if the air quality is poor. Stay on top of your local air quality index and if you have to be outside on days when it is high, try to minimize your exposure. You can do so by limiting the time you are outdoors or by wearing a mask.
A great way to maintain optimal lung health is to exercise every day. If fitness is new to you, don't panic! All you need is 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day to make a difference in your overall well-being. Do you think you can take a walk, swim some laps, or even head out to your garden today? If so, do it! And keep doing it every day.
We should never take our lungs for granted, but should start paying attention to their health. Treat them well and they will return the favor tenfold!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Littleton, Colo.