How to Keep Your Lungs Healthy as You Age

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Many people want to get healthier and care for their body, but we often don’t think about what organs we want to target. Losing weight and eating better is good for you, but if you want to make real change you must look at caring for each part of your body. If you want to keep your lungs healthy as you age, follow this guide.


Exercising can help more than just your weight. Regular exercise is a great way to improve your lung capacity. Exercising keeps your lungs in shape, just as much as your body and heart. As you exercise and begin to get out of breath, your heart beats faster. This makes your lungs work harder to draw air in and out. 

It is important to do exercises that get you out of breath to get the best effect for your lungs, and this will be different for every person. Your usual breathing should go from around 15-20 breaths a minute to 40-60 breaths a minute. The muscles between your ribs will get a workout, as will the small air sacs in your lungs that work to exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide. 

Ultimately, the more you choose to exercise, the more efficient your lungs will be. This can help with aging and reduce the chance of disease. Even for those with lung disease, regular exercise can slow down the progression of the disease and keep you active for longer. 

Avoid Smoking

It is a well-known fact that smoking is bad for your lungs, so if you are ready to make a healthier change, now is the time to quit. Smoking significantly increases your risk of lung cancer, which is one of the leading causes of death and the leading cause of cancer deaths in both women and men. Smoking for a long time can change the normal cells in your lungs to cancerous, due to the toxic chemicals found in cigarette smoke. 

Smoking can also be linked to almost any lung disease or illness, including asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Even if smoking is not the cause of the illness, it can make lung diseases more severe, causing more symptoms and a higher risk of complications. Lung blebs can also be caused by smoking. A lung bleb is a cyst on the lungs which usually cause no symptoms. Ezra has written this guide to lung blebs, which can give you more information on how to get checked for lung blebs. 

People who smoke regularly and have COPD are 12 times more likely to die from the disease than those who do not smoke at all. When we smoke cigarettes, we inhale toxic chemicals into our lungs, such as tar, carbon monoxide, and nicotine. All of these cause damage to the lungs which leads to coughs and reduced lung capacity. Smoking can also increase the amount of mucus our lungs produce, making it harder for our lungs to clean out. This can cause the lungs to become irritated and inflamed. 

If you continue to smoke, your airways will become narrow, meaning you find it harder to breathe than those who do not smoke. Smoking can also cause your lung age to increase. Even if you have been smoking for most of your life, it is never too late to quit. Making a positive change to take control of your lung health is vital for reversing some of the effects that smoking has caused. 

After a few months of quitting, you can expect your lung health to improve. This can also help if you already have lung disease. The longer you stay without cigarettes, the better you will feel. Quitting is not easy and should not be attempted without help. Speak to your doctor if you want to quit smoking, as they can provide helpful support and advice

Avoid Pollutants

There are many pollutants in the air which can damage your lungs, and this can speed up the aging process of your lungs. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to avoid pollutants, but where we can, we should be avoiding things like secondhand smoke and exhaust fumes. Those who live away from big cities are less likely to come into contact with pollutants. 

If someone you live with smokes, ask if they can smoke outdoors, to minimize secondhand smoke. If you go out for a run, try to stick to parks or country lanes, rather than near heavy traffic. This could increase the amount of exhaust fumes you inhale. If you do work in a job where you are exposed to any pollutant, make sure that your employer is taking the necessary steps to keep you and your colleagues safe. This includes wearing the appropriate PPE. 

When you are young, your lungs are strong and are less susceptible to infection. As you age, your lungs become vulnerable to disease and infections. If you want to give your lungs a well-earned break, try to avoid pollutants where you can. 

Prevent the Risk of Infections

Infections can make us feel terrible and are harmful to the lungs, especially as we get older. If you already have lung disease, this also makes you more at risk of catching infections. To prevent the risk of infections, make sure to keep your hands clean, especially when out and about. Avoid touching your face and if you feel more comfortable, continue to wear a face mask. 

Take things that can boost your immune system, such as supplements and vitamins. Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables can also keep your immune system strong. Drink plenty of water and make sure to get all relevant vaccinations for your age group each year, such as the flu shot. If you are over 65, you are also eligible for the pneumonia vaccine. 

Your lungs are one of the most essential organs and as we age, we tend to overlook them. Following this guide can help you to keep your lungs healthy as you age.

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