< Back

Looking After Your Lungs

Monday 18th June 2018 brings the start of Breathe Easy Week, the British Lung Foundation’s annual, lung health awareness event. This year, the organisation aims to encourage people to become more aware of healthy lung function, as well as long-term, COPD conditions.

Love Your Lungs

Unless you are currently managing a COPD condition, such as asthma, emphysema or chronic bronchitis, you many not fully realise the importance of maintaining healthy lungs. Often, it’s not until we experience problems relating to our lungs that we notice the vital role they play in keeping us well.

Here are MySelfCare’s tips to maintain healthy lungs:

Be Smoke-Free

We’ll start off with an obvious one! When it comes to smoking, the bottom line is that no amount of cigarette smoke is safe or healthy. So whether you’re an ‘I only smoke 10 a day’ or ‘I promise, I’ll quit after this pack’ kind of smoker, be honest with yourself that every cigarette will damage your lungs and heighten your chance of developing lung diseases and conditions.

If you want to break the habit this Breath Easy week, take a look at our smoking cessation blogs.

Get Your Lungs Active

It is news to no one – health professional or otherwise – that exercise is good for us. In order to do function most effectively, your lungs need strong muscles and a good circulation, exercise improves both of these factors. Though getting out of breath quickly or easily is not a good sign of physical fitness or lung health, aerobic exercise that gets you out of breath makes your lungs work harder – as your body needs more oxygen for its working muscles. The more aerobic exercise you do, the stronger and healthier your lungs become. Examples of aerobic exercises include:

  • Running
  • Swimming or Aquarobics
  • Cycling
  • Rowing
  • Boxing
  • Dancing

Basically, anything that gets your heart pumping and your lungs working harder!

Be Green

Unlike us, plants and trees produce oxygen when they breathe. They are also able to remove harmful toxins from the air. In the summer, going for runs, walks or bike rides will combine aerobic exercise with the numerous health benefits of being outdoors. When it gets cooler, cloudier and inevitably rainier, bring the greenery indoors with some house plants. This will improve the quality of the air in your home – especially in seasons when you are outside less and windows are often closed.

Stretch Out and Stand Tall

Our lungs are soft and squishy, so, unlike our bones and certain muscles, they will only take up the room that we give them.

In order to give your lungs the room they need, stand and sit tall, pull the top of your head towards the ceiling and relax your shoulders. As you breathe in and out, feel your belly rise and fall.

If you are concerned about the health and function of your lungs, or are experiencing any of the following symptoms, speak to your doctor:

  • Shortness of breath during low-impact, everyday activities
  • Painful breathing
  • Dizziness
  • A persistent cough
  • Wheezing
  • Pain in the cheat or and/or airways

If you or a loved one has already been diagnosed with a COPD condition, take a look at MySelfCare’s Finger Pulse Reader. Simple and easy to use, this handy, little, home health device lets you monitor your blood oxygen the smart way. Helping you and your loved ones manage asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and more.