If you weren’t already aware, World Lung Day was on September 25th. This is a day set aside for lung health advocacy and action, while giving people all around the world an opportunity to promote a more lung-healthy planet.
But if you didn’t know about this or it went over your head, don’t fret! In the United States, the month of October is Healthy Lung Month, so if you haven’t already gotten involved, now is the perfect time to do so.
When it comes to respiratory health, both your actions as an individual and the actions of your community play an important role. On an individual level, you should take the time to ensure your lifestyle promotes healthy lungs. While, on the other hand, the community needs to take steps to clean up their environment so that everyone can breathe cleaner air. In other words, everyone needs to get involved during Healthy Lung Month in order to make the world a healthier place to live.
Start With Self-Awareness
The first thing you should do to get involved during Healthy Lung Month is to simply become more aware of the lifestyle choices that may be affecting your lung health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 39 percent of deaths due to chronic lower respiratory illness are preventable.
Chronic lower respiratory disease is comprised of three conditions: asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema. While asthma typically isn’t preventable, the other two most definitely are. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are referred to by their umbrella term, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is primarily caused by inhaling cigarette smoke or pollution.
Unfortunately, the problems don’t stop there. Smoking has long been the primary cause of lung cancer across the world, and recent events have called into question the adverse health effects of vaping as well. The bottom line here is that inhaling any substance other than clean air is unhealthy and should be avoided at all costs.
Adapt Your Lifestyle
Awareness is necessary, but it’s only the beginning. Now that you’re aware of the control we have over our lung health, it’s time to take action. If you currently smoke or vape, it’s time to call it quits.
When a cigarette is burned, it produces more than 7,000 chemicals. These chemicals rip into your lungs causing inflammation and damaging cells. And if that isn’t enough, it’s worth noting that cigarette smoke puts you at a higher risk for systemic conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
Avoiding air pollution is another thing you can do to build healthier lungs. Vehicle exhaust, cleaning supplies, dirt, dust, and pollen are all substances that can damage your lungs, causing either acute or chronic illness. If you can, look for ways to eliminate exposure in your life. This could mean moving to a more rural area with cleaner air or maybe you just need to spend more time outdoors breathing fresh air.
Last, but certainly not least, you need to reconsider the way you eat and exercise. There’s no understating the important role daily exercise plays on your lungs. Going for a daily walk or run will strengthen your lungs and heart muscle, improving your posture and allowing you to breathe easier. Additionally, eating right and drinking enough water will give your body the nutrients it needs to maintain healthy lungs, in turn promoting whole-body wellness.
Get Others Involved
You’d be remiss to not get others involved in your new lung-healthy lifestyle. Healthy Lung Month is usually celebrated across the country with local events like charities, conferences, or races, all of which help raise awareness for the importance of lung health. However, if you can’t find any events in your area, why not start your own? Whether you want to put on a major event in your community or just have a small gathering of friends, anything helps!
If you have a friend that’s struggling with lung health, Healthy Lung Month is a great time to reach out to them and see how you can help. No matter your age, it’s never too soon or too late to make positive lifestyle changes. And if you’re struggling with figuring out where to begin, the American Lung Association has some valuable resources available to you that can help you get involved.
This post has been sponsored by LPT Medical
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