Lifestyle changes for better respiratory health

July 28, 2023
IEvery day, we take thousands of breaths without giving it a second thought. However, when we fall ill with the flu or our respiratory health is compromised, every breath we take can become a challenge. Fortunately, there are several lifestyle changes you can make to promote better respiratory health and help you to enjoy a better quality of life.

What is the respiratory system?
In the body, the respiratory system consists of the lungs and airways and is responsible for carrying air into the body to oxygenate the blood, as well as removing carbon dioxide from the body. There are certain conditions that can impair this system and cause you to have difficulty breathing. Here are some tips for improving your overall respiratory health.

1. Exercise is important
Exercise strengthens your respiratory muscles, improves lung capacity, and helps maintain overall health. The World Health Organization recommends, adults 18–64 years old should aim to do at least 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity every week. Activities like brisk walking, swimming, and cycling are excellent choices.

2. Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight can put a strain your respiratory system as the excess weight can put pressure on your lungs and diaphragm, making it harder to breathe. A balanced diet and regular exercise can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

3. Practice good posture
Poor posture can restrict the movement of your diaphragm and ribcage, making it harder for your lungs to expand fully. Pay attention to your posture, particularly when sitting and standing, to ensure you're allowing for proper lung expansion. There are certain exercises that you can do while sitting at your desk to improve your posture.

4. Stay hydrated
Drinking enough water keeps your airways moist and helps mucus move more efficiently. This is especially important during the hotter weather in spring and summer.

5. Quit smoking
Smoking can have a significant impact on your respiratory system, causing damage to your lungs and airways. Smoking is also the leading cause of many preventable lung diseases and cancers. Stopping smoking can have an extremely positive effect on your respiratory system by reducing your risk of developing a life-threatening smoking-related pulmonary disease.

Lifestyle changes play a crucial role in maintaining healthy lungs and airways. Whether you're looking to prevent respiratory problems or manage existing conditions, these changes can have a positive impact on your overall well-being. Remember that it's never too late to start making these adjustments, and the benefits will extend far beyond your respiratory health to enhance your overall quality of life.

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