According to the American Lung Association, we breathe in and out 20,000 times a day.
The air that we breathe every day contains pollutants, such as polluted air, dust, chemicals, and secondhand smoke.
Indoor air pollutants can also be dangerous to your health. Sources include pet dander, cooking fumes, humid air, cleaning chemicals, as well as dust in pillows and other items.
All these pollutants might reach the deeper parts of the lungs.
Exposure to such particles may affect your lungs or even other organs – and may even lead to mild to severe illnesses, such as:
- Pulmonary infection.
- Excess mucus
- Lung cancer.
- Heart attack.
- Blocked blood vessels.
Although the lungs are self-cleaning organs, there is nothing wrong with implementing some natural ways to clean your lungs. This is done to restore your lung performance – especially if you are a person who is frequently exposed to airborne impurities.
1. Steam Therapy
Steam therapy involves inhaling water vapor to help dry out the mucus in your lungs. The simple way to do this is that you can fill your bucket or tub with hot water and let the steam fill the room. Then, start to breathe normally for about 15 minutes. You can do this every day. Make sure you have a clean room with good ventilation to optimize this method.
2. Controlled Coughing
As strange as it may sound, controlled coughing is actually one of the ways to remove toxins from the lungs. To do this, you sit on a chair, make sure your body is relaxed and your feet are flat on the floor. Fold your arms over your stomach, then start inhaling slowly through your nose. Then, exhale slowly through your mouth while leaning forward.
While doing this, push your arms against your stomach and cough two to three times while exhaling. This exercise can be repeated as necessary. Make sure that you take time to rest between exercises so that your throat does not hurt.
Performing regular exercise is known as a way that can nourish and strengthen your body’s resistance. For those of you who rarely or have never exercised before, you should start with light exercises first.
Walking is one of the light exercises that you can do everyday. On a daily basis, you should spend at least 30 minutes a day walking on a regular basis. Walking can increase breathing capacity, increase energy, and strengthen your lungs.
Yoga can help your body release toxins, also known as detoxing. If done regularly every day for just 15 to 30 minutes, yoga can help the detoxification process in your lungs. Yoga exercises can also relax your mind and improve your flexibility.
Yoga is also considered a light exercise. Apart from doing light exercises, you can also do sports with higher intensity, such as swimming. Swimming increases oxygen levels in the blood and removes carbon dioxide. Swimming is basically similar to breathing exercises; you have to inhale, hold your breath, and exhale in during the process.
5. Breathing Exercises
A breathing technique to strengthen your lungs is abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing. To do this, you just need to lie on your back and relax on a flat surface, then place your hands on your stomach with your palms under your ribs without pressing. After that, hold your breath for a while, exhale slowly through your mouth as well. You can do this for about five minutes. To make you feel more relaxed, you can do it while having your eyes closed.
6. Green Tea
Green tea is rich in antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation in the lungs. Daily consumption of 2 cups of green tea is safe and recommended. Green tea also offers many other benefits for your health.
7. Anti-inflammatory foods
Inflammation is the body’s immune system response to an irritant. Irritants could be foreign objects, viruses, bacteria, and pollution in the lungs.
Examples of anti-inflammatory foods include berries, high-fat fish (such as salmon, sardines, or mackerel), green vegetables, avocado, turmeric, as well as dark chocolate or pure chocolate. Avoid foods that are too oily, too sweet, or processed foods. Furthermore, anti-inflammatory foods will supply more antioxidants into your body.
Tips to Keep Your Lungs Clean
To keep your lungs clean, apply some of these additional methods:
- Changing the filters on your air duct system regularly. Use an air purifier with HEPA type filter or high-efficiency particulate air. HEPA filters are able to filter out lice, mites, dust, pollen, and cigarette smoke.
- Use an exhaust fan in the kitchen to remove smoke. Turn on the exhaust fan before you start cooking and let it run for a while after you finish cooking.
- Vacuum your sofa, bed, or carpet regularly and change the sheets every week or every two weeks.
- Reduce the use of regular candles, scented candles, or other air freshener tools. Although it can make your room more fragrant and comfortable, the chemicals are harmful to your health. Replace your air freshener with natural ingredients such as coffee beans, cinnamon, or lemon.
- Open the windows every day to supply fresh air. This will prevent humidity in your house.
- Cleanse your house furniture and other household objects from dust
- Avoid smoking inside and outside the house.
- Put indoor plants to increase the oxygen levels inside the house
- Conduct medical check-ups regularly to monitor overall health conditions. To get hospital recommendations and book medical check-up appointments at home and abroad, contact Smarter Health.
You should always maintain your hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water regularly. If you cannot find soap and water near you, you may use hand sanitizer instead.
Avoid crowds if you are not in good health and make sure you maintain a clean environment around you.