7 Tips for Healthy Lung Aging
As we age, our bodies go through many changes. One of them is lung changes. From Alveoli shape changes to thinner ribcage bones, our lungs go through during this time period. That is why it is important to look after our lungs. After all, thanks to our lungs we can breathe! In this blog, we will be discussing some simple steps you can take (at any age) to get your lungs in the best shape possible and help them age healthier.
- Don’t smoke
Making the decision to quit smoking is one of the best things you can do for your lungs. Cigarette smoking causes more cases of lung cancer than any other risk factor (1). Ten years after you quit smoking, your risk for dying from lung cancer drops by half (1).
2. Avoid air pollution when possible
This includes both indoor and outdoor pollution that consists of secondhand smoke and outdoor air pollution from transportation or climate change. Avoid chemicals in your home and workplace including fragrances. These can all cause or worsen lung disease. You can take easy steps to reduce air pollution. They are: sharing a ride to work, conserve electricity, and ensuring there are no signs of mold anywhere (2).
Practicing physical activity can help keep chest muscles strong (3). Being active helps by strengthening bones which become weaker as we age, and reduces weight gain which plays a big role in lung health.
4. Watch your weight
Abdominal fat can hold back the diaphragm’s ability to expand the lungs (3). To help avoid this, you should eat healthily and exercise to avoid this from happening. Researchers have linked weight gain to a decline in aging lungs (4).
5. Get up and move more
Lying down in bed for too long allows mucus and fluid to settle in your lungs – affecting your lung capacity (3). Try your best to take walking breaks or sit up instead of laying down. This will help your lungs do their job easier and keep all the bad things out. If you have an aging parent, try encouraging them to participate in activities where they need to move around and stand up (if they can). That is why our activities are specially designed to promote health and wellness in our residents.
6. Schedule regular check-ups
Even if you feel healthy, it is still important to check in with your doctor from time to time. Unfortunately, lung disease can be undetected until it becomes serious. However, there are some signs of lung disease you should keep an eye out for. This includes trouble breathing, shortness of breath, feeling like you’re not getting enough air, decreased ability to exercise, a cough that won’t go away, coughing up blood or music, pain or discomfort when breathing in or out (5). If you or a loved one experiences any of those symptoms, you should schedule an appointment to chat with your physician.
7. Get your flu shot
Pneumonia can be prevented by getting vaccinated annually. Getting the flu shot will help decrease your chances of getting pneumonia since flu is the common cause (6).
By implementing these steps in your daily routine, you can help keep your lungs working for life! Whatever your lung condition may be, at Eden Senior Care, our team of professionals work hard daily to help residents dealing with pulmonary and respiratory illnesses.