Just like our heart, joints, bones and other parts of our body, our lungs will age with time. The can become less flexible and lose their strength, making it more difficult to breath. But by adopting certain healthy habits and with target supplementation, we can better maintain the health of our lungs and keep them functioning optimally even into our senior years.
1. Stop Smoking
With numerous anti-smoking campaigns and widespread education of the dangers of smoking throughout the years, it should be a given that we should not smoke or stop smoking for the sake of our lungs and over health.
Smoking is linked to must lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases and also asthma. This dangerous habit can also make increase the severity of other respiratory diseases and also increase our risk of developing non-communicable diseases such as heart disease or hypertension.
Every time you smoke a cigarette or inhale second hand smoke, you are inhaling thousands of harmful chemicals through your lungs and these toxins will no doubt damage your lungs. They cause increase mucus output, making it difficult for your lungs to clean themselves and can irritate and inflame tissue in your respiratory system. Gradually, your airways will narrow, making it more difficult to breath.
Additionally, one of the biggest risks to smoking is lung cancer. This is especially concerning in Malaysia as it is the second most common cause of death due to cancer, right after breast cancer. On average, lung cancer contributes 19.1 deaths per 100,000 population in Malaysia or 4,088 death per year.
Due to the addiction of nicotine in cigarettes, quitting will not be easy and might take several attempts. However, it is well worth it. In as little time as one month, lung function will begin to improve rapid as the lung heals, in one year, the risk of developing heart disease will have dropped by 50% and after 20 years of quitting, the likelihood of developing any smoking-related diseases will have dropped to the level of a person who has never smoked in their life.
2. Exercise To Increase Lung Capacity
Getting regular exercise is probably the most important thing you can do for the health of your lungs. When you exercise, your heart beats faster and your lungs end up working harder as your body needs more oxygen to fuel your muscles.
Aerobic exercises such as running or cardio is the best type of exercise for your lungs. The rapid and heavy breathing allows the muscles between your ribs to expand and contract, and the air sacs inside your lungs work quickly to exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide. So, the more you exercise, the more efficient and stronger your lungs will become.
While having stronger lungs will prevent you from succumbing to lung related diseases such as pneumonia or COPD, having strong lungs will help slow their progression – allowing you more time to recover from the infection or disease.
3. Avoid Exposure to Pollutants / Allergens
Just like smoking, pollutants in the air can do some serious damage to your lungs and accelerate aging – making our lungs more vulnerable to infections and diseases.
You can reduce your exposure to outdoor pollutants and allergens as much as possible by avoiding secondhand smoke, avoiding going outside during peak traffic hours, avoiding exercising near heavy traffic areas, and taking proper precaution if you work in environments that have an increased exposure to airborne pollutants or allergens.
But besides just outdoor pollutants, exposure indoor pollutants should also be factored in as reports have shown that indoor pollution can be typically worse than outdoors. Especially when you think about how much time we spend in doors.
To help curb indoor pollutants and allergens, we are some simple tips:
- Regularly dust and vacuum your home once a week
- Increase indoor air ventilation by opening windows or having adequate fans and ventilation methods.
- Keep your home as clean as possible by getting rid of mould, dust and pet hair.
- Avoid synthetic air fresheners or candles that can expose you to harmful chemicals.
4. Prevent infections & Boost Immunity
Now the easiest way to contract a respiratory disease is to catch a nasty bug. To prevent this, it is recommended to practice good hygiene by washing your hands frequently and avoid touch your face with unwashed hands.
However, respiratory bugs can be common and for most, having the flu is an annual affair. To help prevent this, it is recommended to boost your overall immunity by maintaining good health.
One way to do this is through the supplement of a traditional supplement called Tiger Milk Mushroom (TMM). Hailed as Malaysia’s lost treasure, TMM has long been used as a traditional health tonic by indigenous tribes in South East Asia. The benefits of the mushroom is backed by science as various studies over the years have indicated that the active biological substances in it has immunomodulating effects.
TMM is able to boost our immune system to defend itself against respiratory disorders caused by bacteria and viruses. And besides that, its antioxidant effects can also help prevent oxidative stress in the respiratory system – allowing for healthier lungs.
But if you do catch the flu or a cold, it’s no good to just leave yourself coughing and sniffling in discomfort. Traditional herbs and supplements like Ivy Leaf, Chen Pi, Liquorice, Propolis, Honey and Eucalyptus can help suppress coughs, reduce irritation, kill bacteria and bring comfort to a sore throat and cough.