Keep those lungs happy and healthy! We generally think about keeping our bodies in shape, but have you ever considered that your lungs should be part of that health and there are things you can do to help keep them in shape. Simple Deep Breathing Deep breathing can help you get closer to reaching your lungs' full capacity. As you slowly inhale, consciously expand your belly with awareness of lowering the diaphragm. Next expand your ribs, allowing the floating ribs to open like wings. Finally, allow the upper chest to expand and lift. After this, exhale as completely as possible by letting the chest fall, then contracting the ribs and, finally, bring the stomach muscles in and up to lift the diaphragm and expel the last bit of air. Counting on your breath You can also increase your lung capacity by increasing the length of your inhalations and exhalations. Start by counting how long a natural breath takes. If it takes to the count of five to inhale it should take to the count of five to exhale. You’ll want them to be of equal length. Once you’ve discovered the count for your average breath, add one more count to each inhale and exhale until you can comfortably extend the length of time it takes to fill and empty your lungs. The point is to avoid straining or being uncomfortable. It should be a gradual and easy process. Stay Hydrated Getting enough water is as important for the lungs as it is for the rest of the body. Staying well hydrated by taking in fluids throughout the day helps keep the mucosal linings in the lungs thin. This thinner lining helps the lungs function better. Be Active Regular moderately intense activity is great for the lungs, and when you increase your daily activity you get three things done at once: healthy lungs, a healthier heart and a better mood. Consider aiming for at least least 20 minutes of consistent, moderately intense movement daily, like a brisk walk or bike ride. Love your lungs. They keep you breathing.
Asthma affects your lungs. It is one of the most common long-term diseases in children, but affects adults as well. With symptoms such as breathlessness, chest tightening, wheezing, and coughing at night, early morning, or in the cold air, asthma attacks generally only happen when the lungs become bothered. Studies have uncovered very few causes of asthma, but in some cases it has been linked to genetic traits. Often if one family member has it, someone else in the family is more than likely to have it as well. When diagnosing asthma, your physician will check your lungs for allergies, chest tightness, wheezing, and colds lasting more than 10 days. They will generally also do a breathing test called spirometry, to find out how well your lungs are working. If having an asthma attack, you may experience chest tightness, wheezing, and trouble breathing. The attack happens in your body’s airways causing a loss of air to your lungs. During the attack lungs swell and airways shrink decreasing the amount of air that is reaching the lungs, which also causes mucus to clog the airways even more. Have additional questions about asthma and how to control it? Ask your physician for more information.
May is Asthma Awareness Month. If you or a loved one is an asthma sufferer, you know the importance to treating this life-threatening disease. Asthma is one of the most common lifelong chronic diseases. There are roughly 25.5 million Americans living with asthma, a disease affecting the lungs, causing repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing. Although asthma is incurable, it is possible and relatively easy to manage asthma successfully to reduce and prevent attacks. Successful management include knowing the warning signs of an asthma attack and avoiding elements that may trigger it. Speak to us today if you think you may have asthma or would like more information about asthma.