8 ways to boost lung health and capacity amid coronavirus pandemic& |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
- There are various factors that can accelerate your lung’s ageing
- A healthy diet and regular exercise can help maintain and increase your lung capacity
- Here are a few tips that will keep your lungs and overall body healthy, fit even into your senior years
New Delhi: Your lungs are remarkable and one of the most important organs in the body, providing oxygen for all bodily functions and keeping you healthy. But like other parts of your body such as the heart and joints, your lung function declines as you age. Health experts said lung capacity gradually increases and peaks around young adulthood and then slowly declines as we age. Hence, it becomes even more important to understand how your lungs change and what could be a sign that you should go see a doctor.
A lot of physiological and pathological changes affect your lung capacity. For instance, smoking, exposure to air pollution and repeated respiratory infections can speed up lung’s ageing. Your lungs, like the rest of your body, need daily care and attention. Exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet can go a long way in improving and maintaining healthy lung capacity.
How to increase lung capacity amid COVID-19
“Your lungs thrive on movement and physical activity. But with the lockdown in place, our movements have been limited. Yet, with every cell in the body requiring oxygen to work properly, the lungs are crucial to this job, Dr Preyas Vaidya, Consultant – Pulmonologist, Fortis Hospital Mulund & Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi, Mumbai. Consider following these tips to help your lungs perform at their optimum and boost your health amid the novel coronavirus pandemic:
- Exercise, like brisk walking, running, swimming, or cycling, which make you moderately breathless help improve lung capacity. One does not have to indulge in extensive weight training or high-intensity exercises to improve lung capacity.
- Those with exercise-induced asthma should take proper medications as prescribed, and appropriately warm-up before they exercise.
- Practice deep breathing techniques especially those experiencing emphysema, bronchitis and asthma – those who have no such problems should also follow suit. A technique called diaphragmatic breathing promotes a deeper inhale; this boosts the diaphragm muscle separating the organs in the stomach from the lungs.
- Having a balanced diet with the right amount of proteins and antioxidants helps strengthen the respiratory muscles and lung immunity as well.
- Drink sufficient amount of water to stay well-hydrated, it is equally important for the lungs as is for the rest of the body.
- People with allergies or any lung disease should be vaccinated for pneumonia and flu regularly as advised.
- Indoor or outdoor pollution also negatively impacts lung capacity. As for recent events, wear a mask at all times while stepping outdoors.
- Putting on excess weight also reduces the lung capacity as abdominal fat does not allow for proper lung expansion. Eating right, exercise well, and avoiding any form of toxic inhalants is the basic mantra for having a healthy lung capacity.
What one must avoid: The first and foremost thing to avoid for maintaining lung capacity is smoking. Both active and passive smoking causes a rapid reduction in lung capacity which after a certain point is irreversible. Also, avoid other tobacco products. Hookah and Vaping are also detrimental to lung capacity.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions about any medical matter.