Blue illustration of upper chest area of human with lungs and airway in red

While you hear a lot about heart health, taking care of your lungs is just as important. Lungs provide the rest of your organs with essential oxygen to flourish and fight disease. As time goes by, it’s easy to pick up bad habits that can be hard on your lungs. However, with a bit of effort, you can help your lungs get back to full health.

Stronger lungs mean a stronger body, so learning how to improve lung health is an integral part of any commitment to live a healthier life.

1. Get Regular Exercise

There’s just no getting around it—exercise is good for just about every organ in your body. You don’t have to start training for a marathon, though, to reap the benefits. The American Lung Association¹ recommends following the national guidelines to exercise for 30 minutes, five times a week.

If you already have a robust exercise routine, keep it up! But if you are primarily sedentary, find opportunities and pockets of time to get moving. It can be something simple like:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Park the car further away
  • Housecleaning
  • Gardening/yardwork
  • Walking the dog
  • Washing the car

Just as working out helps strengthen your muscles, exercise also strengthens your heart and lungs. Making your heart and lungs work harder helps them be more efficient in getting oxygen into the bloodstream and out to the cells of your body. 

CTA: A lung CT scan is an excellent option to see how healthy your lungs are now. Book your appointment online today!

2. Practice Deep Breathing

As a natural part of aging, your lung function and lung capacity slowly diminish². Practicing deep breathing exercises, such as diaphragmatic breathing or pursed lips breathing, can impact lung health and increase lung capacity. All the stale air in your diaphragm is expressed when you breathe deeply, ultimately making more room in your lungs for oxygen-rich air. 

The basic principle is to inhale deeply, and then exhale out 2 to 3 times longer than your inhale. Practicing deep breathing³ for 10 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day, is a simple and relaxing way to improve lung function.

3. Drink More Water

Water is just as important for your lungs as it is for every other organ in your body. Ideally, men should drink about 15.5 cups of fluids a day and women 11.5 cups⁴. Keeping your body well-hydrated allows the lungs to work more efficiently.

The lining of your lungs contains mucus. If you’ve ever had the unpleasant experience of coughing up thick phlegm, you know how it can affect your breathing. Drinking enough water helps keep the mucosal linings in the lungs thin, so it doesn’t interfere with your ability to take deep, long breaths. 

4. Focus on Proper Posture

Sitting up straight can benefit your health in more ways than one. It may not have crossed your mind before, but good posture allows the lungs to open up more space for air. Studies show that poor or slumpy posture can significantly reduce lung capacity⁵. When possible:

  1. Sit with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Make sure your shoulders are back and relaxed.
  3. Focus on making your back tall.
  4. Keep your neck and spine in alignment.

Utilizing these positions can help your lungs work more efficiently. If you struggle with COPD or asthma, paying attention to your posture may provide relief from symptoms. Sitting or standing with a straight back and slightly leaning forward can sometimes help ease breathing problems as well.

5. Limit Air Pollutants

Depending on where you live, air pollutants may or may not be an everyday issue. Air pollution can come from many sources such as:

  • Factories
  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • Dust
  • Wildfires
  • Second-hand smoke

Pollutants can aggravate a cardiovascular or respiratory illness, add stress to the heart and lungs, damage cells in the respiratory system, and even increase the risk of a heart attack.

CTA: Results from our low-dose CT scanner can help you stay on top of your lung health.  Contact us today for more information. 

6. Prevent Illnesses That Have Long-Term Effects

Working to promote good health and a strong immune system is vital in protecting your lung health. Following your doctor’s advice, eating right, exercising, and adding lung health supplements or vitamins for lung health (such as a vitamin D supplement) are additional steps in preventing serious lung issues down the road. Check with your doctor to see what is best for your individual needs.

Some conditions and types of lung disease can damage the lungs by excessive fluid build-up, coughing, clotting, scarring, or inflammation, including:

  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Emphysema
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Pneumonia
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Tuberculosis
  • Pulmonary embolism,
  • Pneumoconiosis

Take Control of Your Lung Health Today

Paying a little extra attention to your lungs can significantly benefit your health. Genetics may increase your risk of lung cancer or put you at high risk for other lung issues, but a healthy lifestyle and regular checkups can go a long way in promoting strong lungs.

If you struggle with breathing or have issues with your lung health, it’s essential to see a healthcare provider as soon as possible. They may recommend a lung scan or chest x-rays to pinpoint problem areas.

A low-dose CT scanner provides detailed diagnostic results with a much lower amount of radiation than a standart CT scanner. Talk to your doctor or call us today to see if Preventative Diagnostic Center in Las Vegas is the right option to help you get your health back on track.


¹The American Lung Association. (13 July 2020). Exercise and Lung Health. Retrieved 14 January 2022.

²Gulshan, S Sharma and Goodwin, J. (September 2006). Effect of aging on respiratory system physiology and immunology. Dove Press. Retrieved 14 January 2021. 

³Cronkleton, E. (9 April 2019) 10 Breathing Techniques for Stress Relief and More. Healthline. Retrieved 14 January 2022.

⁴Mayo Clinic. (14 October 2020). Water: How much should you drink every day? Retrieved 14 January 2022. 

⁵Kang, K.W., Jung, S.I., Lee, D.Y., Kim, Lee, N.K. (May 2016) Effect of sitting posture on respiratory function while using a smartphone. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. Retrieved 14 January 2022.

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