October is Healthy Lung Awareness Month
It is officially October, which of course means Breast Care Awareness month, but it is also National Healthy Lung month.
Lung Health Day is October 28th, so this is a perfect time to bring awareness. Lung health is important to me because over the course of a year, I watched two very loved and loving people pass away from lung cancer (awareness in November). I stood by as my husband’s uncle and then his grandmother battled this disease and while they didn’t give up, they didn’t lose, they both fought like hell, it took their lives.
Unfortunately I was not allowed the privilege of knowing his uncle as well, but his grandmother was a beautiful hilarious woman who deserved so much out of life. She had a beautiful family who loves her dearly and she is intensely missed.
With all of that said, I would like to commemorate those who have suffered from lung cancer or lost those to this disease, and together raise awareness this month on ways to keep our lungs healthy.
How to Keep Your Lungs Healthy
Exercise to Work Your Lungs
Although the lungs do not have skeletal muscle tissue of their own, when you breathe you are working the diaphragm, the muscle between your ribs, in your neck and abs. As you exercise and breathe harder your lungs are working harder to take in more air. Therefore, you want to focus on strenuous exercise that makes you work hard, such as aerobics.
As the diaphragm expands and contracts, your lungs are working to exchange air more quickly: Out with the old, in with the new. Just like with practice, the more you exercise, the more efficient your lungs will become, leading to healthier and stronger lungs.
Limit Your Exposure to Pollutants
Indoor and outdoor pollutants can take a toll on your lungs. While you are young and healthier and can easily fight disease and infection, your body is wholly capable of repelling these pests. As you age, your lungs lose their ability to resistance pollutants, making you more vulnerable to infection or disease.
To limit your exposure to pollutants, try to exercise away from busy areas with a lot of traffic, steer clear of secondhand smoke, and if you work in questionable environments, consider wearing a mask.
As far as indoor pollutants, keep your home clean, vacuumed and dusted. Change your air filters routinely and avoid unnatural products, candles, and room sprays.
Smoking is Okay Never
I think everyone is now aware of how bad smoking is on your lungs and overall health and the threats it poses to the smoker and people around them. While I cannot empathize with a smoker, I can understand addiction. It’s a constant battle and I know it’s not always as simple as just quitting. That being said, smoking accounts for more than 80,000 deaths a year. It can cause:
- Lung Cancer
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
And that’s just a few things it can do to your lungs, it also affects your brain, circulation, lungs, mouth, throat, skin, fertility, and more. Smoking affects your whole body, but also those around you.
Practice Deep Breathing
The American Lung Association suggest that by practicing deep breathing exercises, you can rid your lungs of stale air and improve your breathing capacity. This can also be beneficial during exercise and help make your workouts more effective. Overtime, stale air can build up in your lungs, which leaves less room for your diaphragm to contract properly and allow for fresh air.
How to Practice Deep Breathing
- Begin with your mouth and eyes closed.
- Breathe in deeply through your nose. Try for a count of 3.
- Purse your lips, exhale through your mouth slowly.Try to double your count on your exhale to a count of 6.
As your lungs get stronger and you get more practice, you may be able to breathe deeply for longer counts.
FAITH ENGEN ELLIS
Faith is a southern girl, born and raised in North Carolina. She enjoys spending time with her husband and fur-baby.
Faith is living a healthy lifestyle and her ultimate passion is to inspire others to do the same.
She decided to change the way she was living 4 years ago, but she wasn’t expecting to actually fall in love with it!
Now she enjoys experimenting with different kinds of fitness and challenging her body to new heights whether it be pilates, plyometric training, or weight training, and she aims to inspire others to realize the strength within themselves as well.
Faith’s favorite product for pre-workout is the Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy line. Her favorite flavor so far has been the peach lemonade, but next on her list is Mocha Cappuccino, yum! The use of natural caffeine sources is a real win for this product and it mixes easily, so there is no grainy texture.
For protein sources, she enjoys Oh Yeah! One Bars for a quick and filling snack on-the-go, of which she has many favorite flavors! Or Gaspari Precision Protein to mix up a shake. Faith’s favorite recipe uses 1 scoop of the Cinnamon Cereal Crunch flavor, mixed with 1/2 a banana, 1/4 a cup of vanilla Greek yogurt, 1 tsp cinnamon, 8 ounces of unsweetened almond milk, and 1 cup of ice.
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