• SARS-CoV-2 virus attacks the respiratory system
  • Having healthy lungs is among the best defenses one could have against coronavirus
  • There are easy ways on how to ensure that the lungs stay healthy 

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, where the disease caused by the infection attacks primarily the respiratory system, the need to ensure that the lungs stay healthy is very important.

The coronavirus pandemic spurred people into action in proactively searching for ways on how to keep their lungs at optimum health. COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus infection, attacks the respiratory system and inflicts physical damage to the lungs, an article from the US News and World Report stated.

While people cannot prevent the infection from wreaking havoc on their respiratory system, there are five easy ways to help them keep their lungs healthy. "COVID-19 has brought respiratory health to the forefront of peoples' attention, but the lungs and respiratory system have always been vital to both duration and quality of life," said Dr. Arielle Levitan, an internal medicine doctor based in Highland Park, Ill. and co-founder of Vous Vitamin, LLC.

keep lungs healthy
keep lungs healthy Gerd Altmann - Pixabay

Avoid Or Stop Smoking In Whatever Form

If you are a smoker or fond of vaping, then this is the right time to stop. Smoking tobacco products can cause lung cancer, particularly if you are predisposed or have a family history of the disease. In the case of vaping, there is already a long list of vaping-related lung damage, injuries and deaths happening all over the world.

Vaping compromises the functions of the lungs and in the case of respiratory problems, vapers are among those who often needed intubation, according to a 2020 review on the electronic delivery of nicotine published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information. There are also studies that add more evidence to the fact that vaping adversely impacts the health, researchers said young adults and teens using e-cigarettes were five times more likely to contract COVID-19.

Minimize Exposure To Toxins And Irritants

Dr. Kathryn Melamed, a pulmonary specialist and critical care physician at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, explained that no two toxins are alike in terms of the impact on the lung’s health. She said that when an individual inhales these particles, they can trigger cellular inflammation and damage to the organ.

Some of these toxins and irritants are products of harsh household cleaners, chemicals used in various industries, and the dust generated in these settings, as well as environmental pollution. Melamed said wearing a mask when using strong disinfectants or even when dusting and vacuuming could help as this prevents allergens and dust particles from entering your system.

Regular Exercise

For Dr. Louis Malinow, a Baltimore-based internal medicine physician, exercising helps a lot in keeping the lungs healthy and strong. “Physical exercise is a tremendous tool for improving pulmonary function,” Malinow said as quoted by US News and World Reports.

The physician explained that strengthening the diaphragm and muscles used by the respiratory system also helps maximize the amount of oxygen that the lungs can take in, as well as the amount of carbon dioxide ejected every minute, and at the same time, mitigate the effects of many respiratory infections. Performing exercises like running, swimming, walking and cycling is very effective in achieving this goal.

Healthy Regular Diet

The type of food consumed affects not only the cardiovascular system but also impacts the lungs in a bigger way than you have imagined. In a 2017 study published in the European Respiratory Journal, consuming antioxidant-rich fruits like apples, bananas, and tomatoes, is linked to a delay in the age-related decline of lung functions. One likely reason is the anti-inflammatory effects of the antioxidants, as well as meeting the recommended intake regularly of vitamins and minerals that support your respiratory health.

Get Vaccinated

Experiencing repeated respiratory infections causes injury to the lungs and can damage the airways, Dr. Levitan said. Getting vaccinated helps you avoid staying in bed with the flu for an entire week. She explained that repeated infections lead to cumulative damage to the lungs, which should be a cause for concern for anyone amid the current health crisis.