5 Tips for Healthy Lung Month
By Morgan Barnhardt |
The month of October is dedicated to keeping our lungs healthy. Every year, health care advocates strive for ways to keep every community's lungs healthy. There are plenty of tips and tricks to breathe easier. Our top 5 include: not smoking or vaping, preventing exposure to pollutants, protecting your health during flu season, visiting your doctor regularly, and physical activity.
5 Tips to Celebrate Healthy Lung Month 2022
October is Healthy Lung Month. Recognized by several health advocacy organizations, including the American Lung Association and the American Association for Respiratory Care. These groups devote themselves to bringing awareness to celebrate lung health. All month long, advocates nationwide help educate the public about the importance of protecting their lungs against lung disease. Here are five tips for keeping your lungs healthy for life.
1) Don’t Smoke
As many already know, more than 80% of lung cancer cases involve current or former smokers. Cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals. Sixty-nine of these chemicals are known carcinogens. Vape pens or E-cigarettes use liquids that contain nicotine, propylene glycol, formaldehyde, and other hazardous ingredients. When heated and inhaled, these additives can be dangerous to the health of your lungs, heart, and brain.
Smoking can even have devastating consequences to those around a smoker, regardless if they partake in the smoking. Even secondhand smoke contains deadly chemicals that can be boiled down into sidestream smoke and midstream smoke. Avoiding all kinds smoking is a wise decision when thinking about positive lung health.
2) Prevent Exposure to Pollutants
Indoor pollutants such as secondhand smoke, chemicals, mold, asbestos, and radon can cause lung disease and lung cancer. Clean the air with HEPA filters and test for these carcinogens. Avoiding pollutants is crucial for keeping your lungs cancer-free and healthy.
Asbestos and radon can be almost anywhere. When ingested, asbestos becomes lodged in the body and puts you at risk of cancers and mesothelimoa. Radon exposure can occur in enclosed structures at home or work, which can lead to lung cancer.
You can avoid exposing yourself to outdoor pollutants. Pay close attention to the current air quality conditions in your community. The Air Quality Index (AQI) changes day-to-day. On days where the AQI is poor, avoid prolonged outside time. You should also avoid walking or exercising near busy streets to avoid inhaling car exhaust.
3) Protect Your Health
Sometimes exposure to pollutants and deadly chemicals is unavoidable, especially when it’s all in a day’s work. If you or someone you know works on a jobsite where they may be exposed to deadly chemicals such as radon or asbestos, the best thing you can do is to wear proper protective equipment as outlined by OSHA standards. Wearing proper equipment keeps you and healthy lung healthy and safer from unintended consequences.
Respiratory infections can turn into a serious disease long after you leave the job site. For healthy lungs and prevention of cancer, it’s vital to maintain good hygiene, stay up-to-date on all your vaccinations, and avoid large crowds during common cold and flu season.
4) Schedule Regular Check-Ups
Lung disease can often go undetected. Routine doctor visits can help prevent serious health issues, including lung disease. Your doctor will listen to your breathing and be sure to ask the right questions. If you are a smoker or a former smoker, it’s vital to get regular lung screenings to check for lung cancer.
5) Exercise Is Great for Lung health
When done regularly, exercise can keep your healthy lungs, well, healthy. Physical activity forces your heart and lungs to work harder to supply additional oxygen. While exercise strengthens your bones and muscles, it also strengthens your lungs and heart. According to the American Lung Association, physical activity can reduce the risks of illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even lung cancer.