While advanced technological and infrastructural developments have made life easier for all of us, they have also had a disastrous impact on the environment, particularly on air quality. Air pollution has become one of the biggest problems of our time. Fine particulate matter polluting the air can easily penetrate your bloodstream and adversely impact your overall health, especially your lungs. According to the data collected by the World Health Organization (WHO), ambient air pollution was the cause of 4.2 million deaths in 2016 and is estimated to lead to about 16 percent of all lung cancer deaths.
So, how can you keep your lungs healthy while living in a polluted city? Here we’re revealing how a few lifestyle tips can keep lungs healthy.
Follow these 9 tips to keep lungs healthy and strengthen them to fight pollution:
1. Keep an eye on pollution forecast
There are many applications and websites that provide nearly accurate predictive outdoor air quality reports every day. With their colour-coded system, these apps help you comprehend just how much pollution you will expose yourself to when you step outside that day.
2. Stay indoors on bad AQI days
Spend as much time indoors as you can, particularly on days when the pollution forecast or the AQI (air quality index) shows an alarming number. In case you need to step out, wear a high-quality face mask at all times to avoid inhaling harmful particles in the air.
3. Don’t exercise outdoors
Whenever the pollution levels are high, avoid exercising outdoors. Walking, jogging or any other strenuous activities that might increase your breathing rate can lead to the inhalation of harmful particles present in the air.
4. Drink enough water
Drinking enough water can help in flushing toxins out of your body. It is advisable to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water every day to stay hydrated.
5. Maintain a healthy diet
One of the best ways to resist harmful effects of air pollution is by building up your immunity against infections. For this, maintaining a healthy diet rich in vital nutrients like vitamins C and E is essential. Make sure that your diet is packed with the nutrients to keep up the health of your respiratory tract.
6. Quit smoking
You need to quit smoking now, especially if you live in a polluted city. Nothing is more damaging to your lungs than smoking cigarettes. The harmful chemicals in cigarettes compounded with the harmful particles in the air can be immensely damaging to your lungs.
7. Get an air purifier
The air inside your home can also be polluted, sometimes even more than the air outside. For this reason, it is a smart choice to invest in an air purifier. Make sure to keep your air purifier clean and replace its filter frequently.
8. Practice breathing exercises
Practicing breathing exercises every day can prove to be helpful in improving lung functions. Some of these exercises include belly breathing and pursed lip breathing.
9. Go green!
Make sure you do everything you can towards reducing air pollution and improving air quality. To do your bit, you can consume less energy in your homes, use hand-powered equipment, and take a bike, walk, or carpool whenever possible.
With air pollution posing such a huge risk to your lung health as well as overall well-being, it is best to follow the above-mentioned measures, especially if you are living in a polluted city. If you experience any respiratory problems or symptoms of lung issues, consult with a doctor right away.
Air pollution, if not more, is as dangerous and harmful to the human body as has been smoking over the years. It’s time we realize it is harmful and take preventive measures to safeguard ourselves from this growing menace.