6 Strategies for Taking Care of Your Lungs

From quitting smoking to exercising, explore practical steps to preserve lung health and reduce the risk of respiratory issues.

By URLife Team
15 Dec 2023

Taking care of our health often means treating and prioritising the visible aspects of our health. We manage symptoms like fever with medicines or addressing deficiencies with specific supplements. But when it comes to our lungs, we often overlook proactive care. It's tricky because we can't easily gauge how well they're doing or their overall health. We tend to overlook the importance of lungs until trouble strikes or the symptoms become severe and visible.


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Avoid Smoking or Second Hand Smoking

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), exposure to air pollution results in 4.2 million deaths worldwide each year.


Smoking harms not just the smoker but also the people around them. Everyone is aware that smoking is injurious to health, but not everyone knows that secondhand smoke is also detrimental to health. Secondhand smoke exposure is particularly harmful to children, pregnant women, and individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions. Even if you don't smoke, avoiding places where others smoke and advocating for smoke-free environments can contribute to overall lung health.


Smoking cigarettes is the main reason behind lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It also leads to chronic inflammation, causing chronic bronchitis. With time, smoking damages lung tissue and can cause changes that lead to cancer.


If you smoke, quitting is the quickest way to help your lungs get better. Cigarette smoke can make it harder to breathe by making your airways narrow. The more someone smokes, the higher the chance of developing conditions like ongoing swelling in the lungs, which might lead to lung cancer or COPD. Breathing in smoke from others can cause issues too, like infections and long-term chronic lung diseases. But here's the good news: as per  2023 research quoted in American Lung Association, just a day after you quit smoking, your body starts fixing itself. Your heart rate drops to a normal level just 20 minutes after quitting smoking. The longer you stay away from cigarettes, the lower is the risk of unhealthy lungs.


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Detoxify Your Lungs

According to the American Cancer Society, when a person stops smoking, their lung circulation and function may start to improve within 2 weeks to 3 months.


Detoxifying your lungs can be helpful in keeping them healthy. While the lungs have their self-cleaning mechanisms, certain practices can support their function. Activities such as brisk walking or jogging, helps to improve lung capacity and circulation. Deep breathing exercises such as diaphragmatic breathing, can assist in clearing out stale air and strengthening the lungs. Also, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water supports the natural cleansing process of the lungs by thinning out mucus and removal of the same.


Consume Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Inflammation in the airways can make it harder to breathe and leave your chest feeling heavy and congested. But eating certain foods with anti-inflammatory properties might help ease these symptoms. Foods like berries, fatty fish rich in omega-3s, green leafy veggies, nuts, and spices like turmeric have anti-inflammatory effects. These foods are known to subside inflammation and make breathing easier.


Incorporate Exercise

Doing exercises helps keep our lungs strong and healthy. When we exercise, our body needs more oxygen, so our lungs work harder to bring in that extra oxygen. This makes the lungs stronger, just like how lifting weights makes our muscles stronger. When we keep exercising regularly, it helps our lungs get better at using oxygen and removes waste gases more easily. This means we can breathe better and have more energy for all the things we love to do!


Also, when we exercise, our heart beats faster, and that helps the lungs too. A stronger heart pumps more blood around the body, carrying oxygen to all the muscles, including the ones we use for breathing. So, when we make exercises part of our routine, we're giving our lungs a good workout and helping them stay healthy for a long time.


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Steam Therapy

When you breathe in steam, the warm and moist air helps to loosen up the mucus in your airways. This makes it easier to cough up all the gunk that might be sitting in your chest, letting you breathe better. Steam therapy also soothes irritated air passages while reducing inflammation and giving your lungs a gentle, refreshing cleanse.


Controlled Coughing

Controlled coughing is like a workout for your lungs. It helps clear out mucus and irritants, keeping your lungs healthy and reducing the risk of infections. When you cough on purpose, it's different from the sudden, uncontrollable coughs when you're sick. Controlled coughing involves taking a deep breath, holding it for a moment, and then coughing firmly but not harshly. This technique helps move mucus from the lungs' smaller airways up to the larger ones, making it easier to cough out or swallow.


Guide for Controlled Coughing

  • Step 1. Sit upright and take a few slow, deep breaths.
  • Step 2. Cough gently from your chest, not your throat.
  • Step 3. After the first cough, inhale deeply and cough again to clear out mucus or irritants.
  • Step 4. Repeat this process a few times, ensuring you're not coughing too forcefully to avoid discomfort or strain.


Regular health checks are essential for everyone, but they are particularly important for individuals who are at risk of or already have any respiratory conditions. Taking regular health checks can help detect the condition at an early stage when it is easier to manage and treat. With the UR.Life HRA, we help you to invest in your well-being through seamless interventions and targeted medical treatments. Our holistic wellness approach caters to all aspects of your well-being. We ensure that you can bring your whole self to work.

With our medical professionals by your side, routine health check-ups will never be an issue. Advanced laboratory technologies back UR.Life’s Occupational Health Centers (OHC), and with highly qualified experts/technicians, we’re committed to delivering trusted and quality recommendations, modifications and advice to you.



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