Love your LUNGS
Woman & Home Feel Good You|July 2020
It’s time to show our respiratory system the TLC it deserves
ALI HORSFALL

Never has it been more important to look after our lungs. These vital organs are responsible for every breath we take, and keeping them healthy will help fight against respiratory infections, deadly viruses and serious, long-term lung conditions.

According to the British Lung Foundation, 10,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with lung disease every week, but by prioritising lung care we can reduce our risk. Here’s how…

EXERCISE REGULARLY

Sweating and panting is actually good for our lungs. ‘Physical activity improves breathing, and raising your heart rate regularly boosts lung power, increases stamina and reduces breathlessness,’ says Dr Noel Baxter, GP and medical adviser to the British Lung Foundation.

Exercise also supports the immune system, which helps to fight colds and viruses. Attempt at least 180 minutes per week of activity that raises your heart rate and makes you breathe faster. ‘But, even if you can’t do much, just standing up sometimes instead of sitting down all the time can bring benefits,’ says Dr Baxter.

DON’T SMOKE

Despite the number of smokers in the UK being at an all-time low, there are still 6.1 million adults who light up, harming themselves and others with toxic fumes. ‘Tobacco smoke contains over 5,000 chemicals including nicotine, which is highly addictive,’ says Dr Baxter. ‘Smokers smoke for the nicotine fix, but are harmed by the tar and other chemicals, many of which can cause cancer.’ These chemicals directly damage lungs and pass into the blood, affecting every part of the body, from the skin to the brain. ‘By quitting, you’ll live longer, feel better and have more money to spend on activities you like doing. You’ll also protect people around you who breathe in your smoke,’ says Dr Baxter.

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