To keep our bodies ticking over nicely, lung health is critical. It is a cog in the wheel that makes our bodies work effectively. If you suffer oxygen deprivation then it can be serious to your health leading to serious respiratory illnesses and conditions including pneumonia, COPD and asthma. These illnesses attack the lungs causing breathing difficulty. A good way to keep your lungs healthy is by eating a healthy diet. A healthy diet is long term investment to a better lifestyle.
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Water is essential for healthy lungs. Dry lungs are prone to irritation. Each day you should try to drink between six and eight glasses.
Fish high in fat is an excellent choice of food for healthy lungs as they contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids which are linked with lung health.
Apples are the food for adults who want healthy lungs. Apples are effective for adults who want to focus on lung health. A team from St George’s Hospital Medical School, London, studied the diets and lung function of more than 2,500 men aged 45-49. They found that good lung function was associated with high intakes of vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene, citrus fruits, apples, and fruit juices.
Apricots are associated with healthy lungs due to their vitamin A content. The Office of Dietary Supplements notes that vitamin A supports respiratory tract linings, and may lower the risk of lung infections.
Broccoli is a highly antioxidant green vegetable with NRF2-dependent characteristics. As a result, EduBook notes that it is one of the best greens for lung health, especially in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.
Chicken, turkey, and other small poultry birds can benefit your lungs. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, these foods are high in lung health boosting vitamin A, and your body may absorb animal-based versions of vitamin A better than plant-based versions.
Walnuts are a vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids. Eating regular servings of walnuts — about one handful daily — may help fight asthma and other respiratory ailments according to the “Journal of the American College of Nutrition.”
According to the American Cancer Society, beans can support lung health. Kidney, pinto, black and other beans are good sources of antioxidants, which fight off free radicals that may damage lungs.
Berries are rich in antioxidants, which the American Cancer Society notes protects lungs. Acai and blueberry are two of the top sources, but cranberries, grapes, and strawberries are also good for the lungs.
What can you do outside of diet?
You can also help keep your lungs healthy by making them stronger and more resistant to fatigue, which in turn could potentially help them fight off infection.
The phrase ‘use it or lose it’ applies equally well to the inspiratory muscles as it does to your leg muscles. Everyone becomes lazy at some point and a classic example is using the lift because you get out of breath using the stairs. If this is you then you don’t realise it but your inspiratory muscles are getting less exercise.
Most clinical trials that have focused on IMT have all returned positive results. These results indicated that IMT improves sports performance in swimmers, rowers and runners (source: Volianitis et al, 2001; Klusiewicz et al, 2008; Riganas et al, 2008) cyclists (Romer et al, 2002a; Romer et al, 2002b), and swimmers (Kilding et al, 2010; Wells et al, 2005; Mickleborough et al, 2008).
Not only were clinical trials conducted on sports professionals but they were also conducted on people who had respiratory conditions such as COPD, asthma, emphysema and bronchitis, anyone who has heart disease or a lung disorder or anyone who suffers shortness of breath. From all the studies conducted the end result was the same – inspiratory muscle training using a breathing trainer provides the following benefits:
Reduction in dyspnoea during exercise in athletes and during light exercise for respiratory patients.
Reduced medication and improved quality of life in people with respiratory illness.
Increased endurance in patients with improvements in some lung function.
Improves rowing performance
As soon as you introduce IMT into your rowing programme you will notice the benefits almost immediately. Rowing requires you to use your breathing muscles. By using a breathing trainer the rower is able to control their breathing pattern as well as improve their intercostal muscle function.
Improves running performance
Runners who use a breathing trainer will find it allows them to maintain a deeper, slower breathing pattern while also enhancing their core stability and improving their overall postural control when running.
Improves cycling performance
Using a breathing trainer for cycling is very effective. Inspiratory muscle training will improve breathing and improve the cyclist’s ability to maintain a correct breathing pattern. Regular training with a breathing trainer will also allow the inspiratory muscles to operate comfortably in the most extreme of cycling positions.
Using a breathing trainer for inspiratory muscle training can enhance the overall function of the breathing muscles for anyone who participates in high performance sports such as football, rowing and cycling. However, if you suffer from any respiratory illnesses such as COPD or asthma, then a breathing training device is a great supplementary COPD treatment aid.