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Your respiratory health is crucial to your overall health, yet many people neglect this system. This week is respiratory care week, so take a look at your lung health. With just a few simple improvements, you’ll take a big step to helping yourself breathe easier. Whether using these strategies preventative or to reduce symptoms of a condition such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you can make a positive difference in the health of your respiratory system.

Here are five ways you can improve your respiratory health:

Cardiovascular exercise

One way to improve your respiratory health is to engage in vigorous cardiovascular exercise. Running, skiing, bicycling, swimming, and aerobics are all examples of exercises that will strengthen your heart and your respiratory system. This means your lungs will be able to function more efficiently and help circulate oxygen through your bloodstream. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week to improve health.

Quit/Avoid smoking

Smoking and second-hand smoke’s adverse effects on your lungs, and the rest of your body, is well documented. The American Lung Association reports that smoking is directly responsible for approximately 90 percent of lung cancer deaths and 80-90 percent of emphysema and chronic bronchitis deaths.

Eat Healthier

You can choose from plenty of nutritious meals to improve your respiratory function. Eating foods rich in vitamins A, C and E and the minerals zinc, potassium, selenium, magnesium and zinc can prevent lung disease and promote overall health. Fruits and vegetables contain many antioxidants that protect your respiratory system from infections and toxins. Fish is also a good addition as it is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve respiratory functioning. Chicken and lentil soup are rich in nutrients that battle the mucus-linked ailments that can block the air flow to your body.

Stay Hydrated

Paired with eating healthy, drinking plenty of water every day helps maintain healthy weight and thins the mucus lining your airways and lungs. Dehydration can cause that mucus to thicken, which slows down overall respiration and makes you more susceptible to illness.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Excess weight puts increased stress on your lungs and compresses all respiratory muscles, making them work harder and less efficiently. Make sure your diet is nutritionally sound, easy to follow, and most importantly, that it works so you can maintain a healthy weight. Whatever nutrition and exercise program you choose, commit to losing the excess weight.

Improving the efficiency of your respiratory system will help you feel healthier and breathe easier! Taking these steps will not only strengthen your respiratory functions, but also your overall health as well. For more ways to protect your health, just call us at 724-929-2300! We will do the comparing for you and tailor a health or medicare plan to best fit your needs.