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Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic unexpectedly wreaked havoc on the world, people have been prioritizing their health. In a bid to get healthier, they are trying to do whatever they want to keep themselves away from diseases. However, they rarely give importance to protecting and maintaining the health of their lungs.
The truth is that, like your heart, joints, and other body parts, your lungs age over time. They may become less flexible and strong, making breathing more challenging. You can improve the health of your lungs and keep them performing effectively even as you become older by adopting certain healthy practices.
We talked to Dr Ravi Shekhar Jha, Additional Director & Unit Head Pulmonology, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad, Pulmonology to understand some ways to have better lung health. He explains, "Lungs are one of the unique internal organs that are in constant contact with the outside atmosphere. It is constantly exposed to ambient temperature, humidity and pollutants. It is one of the reasons why lung issues have become pretty common these days. There are ways to deal with it. First, we need to prevent the exposure as much as we can and second, we can enhance the capacity of our lungs so that our lungs handle the situation adequately."
Explaining some of the best strategies to safeguard your lungs and keep diseases at bay, Dr Shekhar Jha shared the following tips:
Quitting smoking is the best gift that we can give to our lungs. Not only active smoking, but we must refrain from passive smoking also. Wearing a mask, especially at a time when AQI is bad can prevent harmful chemicals from entering our lungs. We must refrain from doing exercise when air quality is bad because when we exercise, we tend to breathe heavily, and more dust particles enter deep into our system.
Also, to keep our lungs healthy, we must regularly do breathing exercises. Certain types of breathing exercises like pursed-lip breathing and diaphragmatic breathing are specifically good for those who already have diseased lungs. Even for those with healthy lungs, regular balloon blowing and practising diaphragmatic breathing can enhance our resting ling capacity.
We should eat a diet which does not cause bloating and acid reflux. Patients with acid reflux have this tendency of having repeated microaspiration, which keeps on damaging the mucosa of our windpipe. Therefore, we should consume a high fibre diet and a diet which is non-spicy and non-oily.
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