We breathe in and out about 22,000 times a day. When resting average adult, breathe about 12 -20 times per minute. Though it looks small inside our body, but when lung is spread out, the size is actually about the half of the size of a tennis court. It has 2400 km of airways and up to 500 million of alveoli (place where oxygen exchange occur in lung). Our lung is very unique in such a way that though it has left and right side but both of these are not entirely identical, with left lung is smaller than the right lung and left lung has only two lobes while the right lung has three (1).
Amazing isn’t it? Starting from today lets not take lung for granted. Now, it is time to find out how to breathe life into lung.
Smoking and your lung health (2,3)
Among things that you can start to cultivate in order to take care of your lung is to stop smoking if you are a smoker. Though it is easier said than done, there are thousands of people who have successfully quit smoking with the correct guidance, motivation, and support. Above all, you first must recognize the factor that influence you for smoking and start to tackle those. As for addiction it is something that can be work out with patch, medication, and support from your loved ones and with conducive environment. If you are passive smoker, it is time for you to take charge of your life, it is time to be stern if the smoker is your loved ones, provide them with some rules and regulation for smoking and if it in public avoid the places where you know smokers will be there. Remember, you’re saving your lung while doing so!
If you are passive smoker or you are currently smoking and have yet to quit, you may consider supplements to take care of your lung health while trying to quit smoking. Herbal supplement such as tiger milk mushroom is suitable for smokers, people with breathing problem like cough and cold, senior citizen with weak heart and to those who is always exposed to harmful smoke like passive smokers.
Exercise or simply move (4)
Exercise also can help in making sure your lung health is tip top! Exercise can be considered as any kind of physical activity. It can be structured or planned exercise or simply your daily chores which require you to move your body and sweat out. With the correct exercise that require your cardiovascular conditioning or simply put exercise that involve your heart and lung to pump the blood even quicker and to breath in and out at much quicker phase, it is consider as aerobic exercise or moderate exercise. This includes activities like brisk walking, swimming, running, and cycling. All these activities if do it correctly will improve your lung capacity which is good for your lung health as well.
Stay indoors, avoid harmful pollution (3)
Nowadays with our current transportation system in Malaysia, it is very likely for us to inhale bad air to our lung. What you can do with regards to this is that you can avoid heavy traffic, clean your house regularly to avoid buildup of mold, dust, and allergen. You may ventilate your house and workplace frequently as well, so it has good airing system inside. One of the smart ways that you can do before you plan your journey is you can as well check the air quality of the place that you plan to go.
Prevent infection (3,5)
As for infection with related to lung, it can be due to various reasons, but among way you can cultivate in order to decrease risk of getting infected is by frequently washing your hands, do not touch your face with unwashed hands. Some people even consider getting flu vaccination. Talk to your doctor to know whether you should get flu vaccination.
It is easy to actually value your lung worth and taking care of it if you are living a mindful life, simple activity like opt to use stairs instead of elevator or lift can as well benefit your lung. Avoid places with heavy traffic and wear proper personal protective equipment when handling hazardous or harmful chemical also helps. Making sure your house is properly ventilated can improve your indoors air quality. Starts now to take care of your lung of you will regret it!
- The Lung Association. Breathing and Fun Facts about Lung (2016). https://www.lung.ca/lung-health/lung-info/breathing (Accessed on September 30, 2020)
- Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH). My Health Portal. Quit Smoking (2012). http://www.myhealth.gov.my/en/quit-smoking-prime-years-2/(Accessed on September 30, 2020)
- National Institute of Health (NIH). Nationa Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Keeping your lung healthy (2019). https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/how-lungs-work (Accessed on September 30, 2020)
- European Lung Foundation (ELF). Your lung and exercise. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4818249/pdf/EDU-ELF121.pdf (Accessed on September 30, 2020).
- Five ways to Keep your lung healthy and whole. https://www.healthline.com/health/understanding-idiopathic-pulmonary-fibrosis/ways-to-keep-your-lungs-healthy-and-whole#5.-Breathe-deeply (Accessed on September 30, 2020).