Your lungs are a vital part of the engine that powers your body. Every inhale brings nourishing oxygen to your cells, and every exhale expels carbon dioxide. While being unable to catch our breath causes stress and panic, being able to take long, deep breaths relaxes the nervous system.
Optimizing your lung health can improve your stamina, stress levels and overall vitality. Are you wondering how to make lungs stronger? From herbs for lung health, a supplement for lung health, and a guide to healthy lungs, we have you covered!
In this short guide, we’ll go over our eight favorite ways to improve lung health and experience all the benefits that come with a healthy pulmonary system.
#1 Avoid Smoking and Vaping
We all learned as kids that smoking is bad for your health.
Smoking cigarettes and cigarette smoke can:
- Damage your alveolus. These are the small sacs in your lungs that minimizes lung capacity.
- Lead to emphysema and chronic bronchitis
- Result in lung cancer, Smoker's Lung or overall lung problems such as respiratory disease and chronic inflammation
- Shorten your lifespan
While we all know at least some of the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke, vaping was at first presented as a safer alternative, because nothing was lit on fire—it was vaporized.
However, after more than 2,000 people were hospitalized with lung injuries due to vaping, it became clearer than ever that there’s still much we don’t know about vaping and its long-term health effects. Pod manufacturers may add any number of chemicals to vape cartridges, and some of these can have an incredibly damaging effect when inhaled.
The best advice for lung health is to stop smoking and vaping entirely. If you’re a heavy smoker and trying to get healthy lungs again, you may need to learn how to detox your lungs.
If you’re looking for another way to combat nerves or feel relaxed, try taking CBD orally. Nonpsychoactive and safe for most people, CBD can help soothe stress so that you can unwind, get healthy sleep and feel better—all without damaging your lungs.
#2 Practice Mindful Breathing
Ever wonder why your yoga class starts with deep breathing exercises?
Paying conscious attention to the breath has a number of health benefits, including benefits for the lungs:
- Airflow through our lungs is controlled by a muscle: the diaphragm. Healthy lungs have a “springy” quality, meaning they are able to move between their full and empty positions with ease. Like other muscles, our diaphragm can be strengthened with consistent use.
- Taking longer, deeper breaths is more efficient than taking short, shallow breaths. Practicing longer breaths can help you breathe better in daily life.
- Bringing attention to your breath can help soothe your nervous system. When your body is in homeostasis, you have more resources for any health threats that affect the lungs or other parts of the body.
If you’re wondering how to strengthen your lungs, look no further than deep, diaphragmatic breathing. Just about any exercise you can do to bring conscious attention to your breathing is helpful. Some of our favorites include:
- Deep belly breathing – Sitting seated or lying down, place one hand on your belly. Take deep inhales, feeling your belly rise. Breathe out, feeling your hand fall.
- Equal breathing – Practice inhaling and exhaling for an equal amount of time. Start with a count of four seconds. You can gradually work your way up to six seconds or higher, but stop if you experience any stress or chest tightness.
Focusing on your breath for just a few minutes a day can have beneficial effects over time.
#3 Use Herbs and Superfoods for Lung Health
You may already use herbal allies for sore muscles or frazzled nerves. In fact, many of us inhale essential oils like peppermint or boiled pine needles to open up our breathways when we’re feeling ill.
There are several potent herbs that can help support your lung health on a daily basis. These include:
- Astragalus – May benefit immunity, particularly in the lungs
- Mullein – Traditional remedy for coughs, sore throats and breathing difficulties
- Thyme – Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
- Licorice Root – May help promote thicker respiratory tissue
- Platycodon – Helps produce mucus to lubricate respiratory passages
What’s the best way to take these herbs? Rather than browsing the aisles of the local organic food store for each and every item, get them all in one supplement with Advanced Lung Guard.
This compound also contains reishi mushrooms, known colloquially as the “mushroom of longevity” because of its potent immune-boosting properties.
Advanced Lung Guard is formulated with vegan capsules and organic ingredients, so you’ll never have to worry about pesticides and additives that could potentially harm your lung health.
#4 Avoid Household Toxins
The substances in your home may degrade your lung health over time. If you already suffer from allergies or shortness of breath, you understand the importance of keeping toxins and allergens out of your home.
Make your home your sanctuary by taking the following steps:
- Have your home tested for radon to ensure this harmful substance isn’t lurking and damaging your lungs.
- Use natural cleaning products whenever possible. When cleaning with bleach and other chemicals, wear a mask.
- Vacuum and clean regularly to remove potential allergens and irritants from your home environment. Regularly change your bedding, and replace your pillows and mattresses if irritation arises.
- Purchase a HEPA air filter for your bedroom. This can help filter out harmful particles, including environmental pollutants.
We already talked about the need to work out your diaphragm. However, when it comes to lung health, that’s not the only muscle that could use some attention!
- Cardio gives your lungs and your heart the exercise they need to maintain healthy function.
- The lungs and diaphragm work in concert with the muscles of the neck, chest and between the ribs. Strengthening these muscles can help support efficient breathing.
Make sure to get at least twenty minutes of movement a few times a week. To target the small muscles that support lung health, try out weight lifting or pilates.
#6 Spend Time Outside, but Stay Aware of Outdoor Pollution
Convalescing used to mean retreating to a spa in a mountain resort town. Does it really help?
Fresh air is great for your lungs, assuming the air quality is healthy!
Clean air can help your lungs to cleanse themselves of phlegm, to clear inflammation and to regain healthy function. When you can, get outside into nature.
However, it’s increasingly important to stay aware of unhealthy air quality.
- Check your weather app or local news for air quality alerts.
- Heed government mandates or recommendations to stay inside when necessary.
- When going out with unhealthy air quality, wear a filtration mask.
When it comes to supporting your health, there’s nothing better than a tall glass of water.
Unhealthy lungs have a thick mucus lining that can cause difficulty breathing. Drinking plenty of water can help thin this lining, while giving your organs the lubrication they need for comfortable breathing.
Beyond its immediate effect on your lungs, water has a beneficial effect on your immune system as a whole, helping you to:
- Maintain your body temperature.
- Eliminate toxins and waste.
- Transport nutrients through the bloodstream.
If your daily liquid intake typically comes in the form of coffee or soda, try swapping in a few glasses of water throughout the day. Start with one and work your way up to eight for the best health benefits.
#8 Nourish Your Overall Health
Taking good care of your lungs requires a holistic approach to total-body health.
We’ve already talked about some of the healthy habits we all know we should be practicing, from drinking plenty of water to getting adequate exercise. A few more habits to incorporate into your routine include:
- Eating a healthy diet – Eat plenty of fresh fruits, veggies and whole grains, along with your choice of protein. Avoid highly processed foods and excess sugar. Some of our favorite foods for lung health include beets, orange veggies and tomatoes.
- Decreasing stress – Stress can send your immune system into overdrive. That means fewer resources are available to combat pathogens and maintain your overall health. Look for healthy ways to cope with stress, from meditation to CBD and beyond.
- Getting plenty of sleep – Our bodies do their best reparative work when we’re asleep. Plan your schedule to allow for eight hours of nightly shuteye. If you want some help promoting relaxation before your sleep routine, consider trying CBD oil for sleep.
The better your overall health, the better your lung health—and vice versa.
Plant People: Herbal Formulas to Help You Thrive
Take a deep breath—you got this.
Maintaining great lung health may require a few lifestyle changes, but you don’t have to be perfect to start developing healthier, stronger lungs.
We’ve formulated Advanced Lung Guard to support you on your journey towards better pulmonary health. Taking these capsules with your morning tea is an easy way to improve your lung immunity and get inspired to keep making lifestyle changes.
We’re here for your other wellness goals, from better sleep cycles to overall vitality. All our products are formulated with organically grown, sustainably sourced herbs, mushrooms and plants so that you can experience the full spectrum of plants’ nurturing benefits.
American Lung Association. Breathing Exercises. https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/wellness/breathing-exercises
American Lung Association. Exercise and Lung Health. https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/wellness/exercise-and-lung-health
CDC. Outbreak of Lung Injury Associates with the Use of E-cigarette or Vaping Products. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html
CDC. Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/index.htm
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