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Five Easy Tips For Healthier Lungs.

November 19, 2015 by  
Filed under Health, News, Weekly Columns

( You breathe without thinking, so it’s easy to take your lungs for granted. You depend on your lungs, but do you know how to care for them? Most lung care advice begins and ends with “don’t smoke, or quit if you do.” With smoking on the decline, you may think there’s nothing more you can do to protect your lungs. However, even nonsmokers can take care of their lung health. The health care experts at NurseWise, a national multilingual nurse triage and health education provider, are pleased to provide tips to keep you breathing easily in honor of November’s Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

According to the CDC, lung cancer is the deadliest cancer for both women and men in the United States, killing more Americans than breast, colorectal and prostate cancers combined. And not all lung cancer cases happen in current or former smokers: Nearly 18% of lung cancers are diagnosed in people who never smoked. Try out these tips for maintaining healthy lungs:

1. Filter it out! You clean your floors, your kitchen counters and your bathroom. So why not the air you breathe, too? Replace your furnace filters and clean the filters on air conditioners and dehumidifiers every one to three months. For additional air filtration, plants like aloe vera, the peace lily and the spider plant © Copyright 2010 CorbisCorporationscrub out many indoor pollutants.

2. Check for hidden household dangers. Radon, a colorless and odorless gas, is one of the biggest overlooked household dangers. Fortunately, you can buy inexpensive testing kits at any home improvement store to check the levels in your home. Another often-missed source of indoor pollution can be found in the paint on your walls. When painting, make sure to buy paints with low or no “VOCs,” or volatile organic compounds, to cut down on the fumes you breathe in.

3. Make sure you clean green. Traditional cleaning products like bleach and ammonia give off fumes that can permanently damage your lungs and, when mixed together, can kill you. Other cleansers contain VOCs, such as rug and oven cleaners. Try using safer household products like baking soda for scrubbing, and vinegar and water to clean glass and mirrors. If you do use chemicals, remember to read all labels and work in a well-ventilated area, with open doors and windows.

4. Channel you inner superhero. Masks aren’t just for crime-fighters and bad guys. Before you start work on your home, remember to put on a mask. Stirring up dust or knocking down walls can cause dangerous materials to enter the air and then into your lungs. By wearing a mask, you filter out many of the airborne pollutants, so your sinuses and lungs don’t have to.

5. Workout more than just your muscles. Your lungs are like your muscles: The more you work them, the better they perform. When you sit, your lungs aren’t working as much as they can. During exercise, you take bigger breaths, making your lungs expand larger to get more air. Exercise also strengthens your heart’s ability to pump oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body.

Whether you are a smoker, used to smoke or never lit up in the first place, there are actions you can take to help your lungs. For more tips on protecting your lungs or for more information about your lung health, visit the American Lung Association’s website at

Columnist; Mary Moore

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