The respiratory system is made up of the lungs, throat, nose, and windpipe. It’s used to breathe in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. The respiratory system is an important part of your body, helping you to stay alive.
A respiratory system that is not well cared for can lead to many problems, and some can be terminal. So you have to learn to protect your respiratory system.
7 Tips on How To Protect Your Respiratory System
Below are some vital ways to ensure that your respiratory system is well-protected from diseases and functioning adequately.
1. Quit smoking
Smoking is a major cause of lung cancer and other lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). So the major way to protect your respiratory system is to quit smoking. If you smoke and want to quit, there are many things you can do: one is to talk to your doctor.
Your doctor may suggest nicotine replacement therapy such as patches or gum or may prescribe medication. These can help reduce cravings for cigarettes when you’re trying to quit.
They also can help prevent weight gain and relieve some symptoms of withdrawal such as headaches and irritability. But no nicotine replacement therapy works for everyone — so ask your doctor about other options too.
The second way to quit smoking is to reduce stress in your life. Stressful situations can make it harder to quit smoking or might make you crave cigarettes more often. You might consider learning relaxation techniques, joining a support group, or seeing a psychologist or social worker who specializes in helping people stop smoking.
2. Drink plenty of water
Drink plenty of water each day — at least eight 8-ounce glasses per day if you weigh 160 pounds or more — because dehydration can lead to dry mouth and throat, which can make breathing more difficult.
Drinking water will help to thin the mucus that lines your airways and lungs. However, dehydration causes that mucus to thicken and get sticky, which slows down overall respiration and increases your risk to illness, allergies and other respiratory problems.
Thicker mucus can cause more severe symptoms of illness like bronchitis or pneumonia.
3. Adequate exercise
Be sure you’re getting enough exercise every day by exercising regularly (at least 30 minutes a day). Exercise helps to keep your lungs healthy.
Whenever you exercise, your lungs and heart are working together. Together, they carry oxygen into the body and deliver it to the muscles being used to perform the exercise. Thus, it improves circulation and strengthens the tissue around your lungs, helping them function properly.
4. Stay away from people who are sick with colds or the flu
You can’t catch these viruses by breathing the same air as someone who has them, but you can catch them if they’re coughed or sneezed on you directly. So it is advised that you wear nose masks when visiting any person suffering from a cold or flu.
5. Stay away from secondhand smoke
Secondhand smoke is harmful to everyone, but especially children and adults with asthma or lung disease. Exposure to secondhand smoke increases your risk of stroke by 20% to 30%. If you live with someone who smokes, stay away from them.
6. Stay away from air pollutants
Air pollutants can be dust, smoke from vehicles, factories, wood-burning stoves, and wildfires. These particles can be very small — so small they’re invisible to the human eye. When you breathe them in, they reach your lungs and get stuck in your respiratory system. The result is a variety of health problems:
7. Stay away from allergens
If you have allergies or asthma, try to avoid allergens like pollen or dust mites as much as possible. Avoid using air fresheners or other products that contain chemicals that can irritate your nasal passages or lungs.
Your respiratory system is one of the most vital systems of your body that should be treated with care. It is imperative that you learn an apply these basic tips on how to protect your respiratory system.
Consult a doctor immediately if you begin to notice any form of discomfort in any of your respiratory organs.
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