WHY ARE LUNGS IMPORTANT?
We know lungs provide oxygen to our body and expel carbon dioxide from our body, however lungs are also important to filter out harmful substances like bacteria, virus, pollen and dust from the air we breath in. Hence maintaining a healthy lung is crucial to prevent lung or respiratory disorder.
There are some tips you can practice at home to strengthen your lungs.
Diaphragmatic breathing is a type of breathing exercise to strengthen your diaphragm. This breathing exercise can reduce the level of stress hormone cortisol in your body. It also lowers your heart rate, blood pressure and improve your body’s ability to tolerate intense exercise.
How to do:
- Sit or stand comfortably with good posture.
- Place your hands on your side over your lower ribs.
- Inhale slowly through your nose, feeling your lower ribs expand.
- Exhale slowly through your pursed lip, feeling your lower ribs move down
- Rest after 3-4 breaths
- Practice for 5-10 minutes, several times a day if possible.
PURSED LIP BREATHING
This exercise reduces the number of breaths you take and keeps your airway open longer. More air is able to flow in and out of your lungs so you can be more physically active.
How to do:
- Inhale through your nose for 2 seconds, feeling the air move into your abdomen.
- Purse your lips and then breath out slowly, taking twice as long to exhale as you took to breath in.
- Practice makes perfect. Repeat the exercise about 5-10 minutes every day.
Regardless whether you are singing in your bathroom or karaoke, sing with your lungs and enjoy the music. According to British Lung Foundation, singing can improve quality of life and lung capacity.
IMPROVED INDOOR AIR QUALITY
- No smoking indoors
- Maintain hygiene in your home to control pests like rats and cockroaches.
- Use cleaning and household products that are more natural or organic. Choose products that are cruelty-free, free from dyes, chlorine, phthalates and synthetic fragrance.
- Put some indoor plants because plants are natural air filters
- Diffusing essential oils is 100% natural and highly effective way to get clean and fresh air. You can choose essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree oil, lemon and lavender because they are antiseptic, able to eliminate air-borne pollutants and eliminating unpleasant smells.
SUPPLEMENTS FOR LUNGS
There are some recommendations of supplements proven to strengthen and maintain lungs health. If you have existing medical conditions, it is important to consult medicaal professionals before taking any supplements.
1. Tiger Milk Mushroom
Tiger milk mushroom is a type of fungi that can be found in the rainforest at Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines. It is hailed as Malaysia’s national treasure. It has been recognized as one of the most popular medicinal mushrooms used by indigenous communities for more than 400 years.
Tiger milk mushroom has antioxidant properties and it is able to stimulate our body immune system to defence against respiratory disease caused by bacteria and virus.
2. N-Acetyl Cysteine
Cysteine is a type of amino acid that you can found in high protein food like chicken, eggs, cheese and legumes. Cysteine helps to replenish glutathione levels in the lungs. Being an antioxidant, it reduces inflammation and oxidative damage to the lungs. NAC is the precursor for cysteine and can be found in supplements.
3. Omega 3
Inflammation is one of the symptoms of chronic obstructive lung disease and other lung conditions. Omega 3 can reduce inflammation in lungs and improve the quality of breathing. You can get omega 3 from food like salmon, mackerel, chia seeds and walnuts or omega 3 supplements.
Cordyceps is a fungus used in traditional Chinese medicine as a tonic to sooth the lung for the treatment of fatigue and respiratory disease. Research found that cordyceps had improved immunity score and may have some preventive effect and therapeutic potential for lung fibrosis.
Astragalus also known as ‘huang qi’ and is commonly use in traditional Chinese medicines. The root is believed to be responsible for its potential benefits. It can strengthen and regulate immune system. It is promoted to be used for asthma, upper respiratory infections and allergy rhinitis. You can use the astragalus root in making soup or tea or you may found it in supplement in pill form.
- Ma, X., Yue, Z., Gong, Z., Zhang, H., Duan, N., Shi, Y., . . . Li, Y. (2017). The Effect of Diaphragmatic Breathing on Attention, Negative Affect and Stress in Healthy Adults. Frontiers in Psychology, 8. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00874
- Steffen, P. R., Austin, T., Debarros, A., & Brown, T. (2017). The Impact of Resonance Frequency Breathing on Measures of Heart Rate Variability, Blood Pressure, and Mood. Frontiers in Public Health, 5. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2017.00222
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