31st of May! How about you leave your ‘Smokes’ in your drawer today for No Tobacco Day?
World Health Organization celebrates the day every year with partner organizations and every year they focus on a particular topic on which the entire campaign is based. This year its lung health, cancer and respiratory diseases.
Lung Capacity – It’s an age thing
Now lung capacity is something that starts deteriorating a little after you cross your mid-twenties. Why does that happen? It’s something that just happens averagely around the world to everyone. I personally think it’s because your activities change. You go from jumping around and having a laugh to being stressed behind an office desk.
According to specialist, routine daily activities only use 50 percent of your total lung capacity. So naturally you need to challenge your lungs a little more to increase capacity rather than further hampering their performance due to underutilization.
But smoking speeds it up
Now about smoking! Deprive an already naturally deteriorating system of what it needs to get by, what do you think’s gonna happen?
Cells that produce mucus love smoke and grow in size and number around it. So now the inner lining is thicker making it harder for your lungs to function, which eventually leads to clogged airways.
Apart from irritating lung tissue, smoke causes inflammation which means a serious decrease in the amount of air they can hold.
Cilia, small broom-like hairs that clean lungs, get coated with nicotine and smoke residue grow lethargic, and eventually reduce in number. This means a serious reduction in the lungs ability to cleanse itself of pollutants.
Now all this is without going into the details of what exactly happens to your lungs when you smoke. This isn’t even scratching the surface of the more severe health issues like cancer and coronary disease associated with smoking tobacco.
You can reverse the damage though
While turning back the clock on the process of natural depreciation of your organs is YET not possible, there is much you can do to reverse the damage caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. Eating healthy. Work out. STOP SMOKING!
When it comes to food, focus on omega-3, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E, and Carotene. Foods rich in antioxidants are what you need to go for. Together, they boost lung function, protect from pollutants, and help reverse inflammation. Vitamin A for example, supports track linings and lowers infection risk.
But since this is something that basically starts happening because you’re not pushing your lungs enough, let’s focus more on giving them a run for their… air?
Exercise in general is great for increasing lung capacity. It gets your heart pumping, which means you need more oxygen, which means your lungs work double time. The more they do just that, the more they’ll get used to it. Like building a muscle! Kind of!
Cardio’s one great way to do it
Cardio in particular for example! Low to high intensity exercises that depend on the use of oxygen to meet energy needs. Normally people refer to it as muscle endurance, but I think a very appropriate term could also be ‘Lung Endurance’.
You can look up plenty of great Cardio exercises online so I’m only going to talk about the one that’s my favorite, ‘Jump Roping’.
Why’s it my favorite? I like to keep things simple. And it doesn’t get much simpler than swinging a rope around yourself jumping to the beat of your favorite song. Put it on repeat and by the time it ends for the fourth time, you’ve burned around 250 calories, and reigned hell on your lungs.
So how’s that for a start, maybe you’ll commit, maybe not today, but definitely worth a try yeah? Celebrate the day with us, and every time you wanna go out for a smoke, grab that rope and put on your favorite song.
Go checkout RDX Sports if you’re looking to get one!