Healthy lungs are essential to a person's wellbeing, but lung health often goes overlooked until there is an issue. If you are a senior or a caregiver looking to improve the respiratory wellness of your client, be sure to take these steps to better lung health today.
Keep Away from Cigarette Smoke
Quitting smoking and avoiding cigarette smoke is essential to keeping the lungs in tip-top shape. The chemicals that are found in tobacco degrade the health of the lungs and cause widespread inflammation. Eventually, this inflammation causes serious damage to the lungs and can lead to the development of lung cancer. Firsthand smoke isn’t the only kind you need to avoid, however.
Though you may be familiar with the term secondhand smoke, which refers to smoke a bystander may inhale from an active smoker’s cigarette use, many people are less familiar with what is now being called thirdhand smoke. This type of smoke is what is left over once visible smoke has cleared from the air. It gets into the surfaces of a room, allowing dangerous toxins to remain in seat cushions, carpets, and clothing. Eventually, those toxins can enter the body without knowing.
Minimize Indoor Pollutants
Many people do not realize how poor the air quality indoors can be. Ingredients found in household cleaners, mold, radon, and other toxins can contribute to the air indoors containing harmful contaminants that can cause damage to the lungs. Though you can’t change the air quality in your workplace or places in your community that you commonly frequent, you can make changes in your home to improve the air quality indoors.
Opt for cleaning products that are made from natural ingredients and avoid harsh chemicals. Clean your vents and air ducts and change the filters in your heating system and air conditioners regularly. Consider investing in an air purifier that can help to pull harmful particles out of the air and improve the overall air quality.
Just as your muscles need exercise, so do the lungs. The American Lung Association recommends adults get 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five days a week. While running and other cardiovascular activities are most commonly thought of as the best to help your lung health, exercises that strengthen the core are beneficial as well. Yoga and walking can be excellent ways to improve lung health. Gardening and yard work that requires a lot of movement and lifting can be a great way to combine both cardio and muscle-strengthening exercises.
Better lung health is within reach. Simply take precautions to eliminate smoke and toxins from the air and engage in regular exercise. For more information on how to care for yourself or your senior loved one, check out the Home Helpers of Drexel Hill blog.