Experts say kicking the smoking habit is enough to improve lung function but many ex-smokers what to know the little little things they can do to improve their lung function after smoking cessation. That is the basis of this article.
Findings of a research conducted at the University of Glasgow indicate that kicking the smoking habit can better lung function test scores by over 15% in less than 8 weeks. The test was conducted on smokers with asthma and published in the July 2006 edition of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
The researchers examined 11 smokers who had asthma and continued to smoke and 10 who dropped off cigarettes for one and a half months. After only 7 days of no cigarettes, the study group of 8, led by Neil C. Thomson, M.D., of the Departments of Respiratory Medicine and Immunology at the University of Glasgow concluded that the lung function test outcome of the non-smokers had developed to an appreciable level.
Aside quit smoking, what are the other ways to improve lung function after smoking cessation?
Tip No 1: Just like nature, your lungs will take time to heal. Be prepared to give it the time it needs. No matter what you do, your lung capacity will not improve overnight. The American Lung Association states that your lungs utility should improve on its own by about 30% in less than 14 days to 12 weeks after dropping off cigarettes. And that shortness of breath will decrease in one to nine months. Lifestyle changes, including regular exercise, a healthy diet and continued abstinence from smoking will help improve the capacity of your lungs over time.
The respiratory system is lined with thin and hair-like structures called cilia which constantly move to sweep toxins, mucus and debris out of your lungs. Smoking immobilizes and destroys the cilia. That is why you acquire a smoker’s cough. It will take a few months after smoking cessation for the cilia to re-grow and commence their job again. You really can’t do much besides regular exercise, eating a healthy diet and getting adequate sleep to raise your total metabolism. Just be patient, don’t push it too hard.
Tip No 2: Make exercise a daily habit. In the initial phase of quitting, aerobic or cardiovascular workouts may assist to desiccate your desire to smoke. Making exercise a daily routine will make going back to cigarettes less fascinating. Experts say participating in aerobic exercises like cycling, walking, hiking, running, swimming or other cardiovascular activities for 30 to 60 minutes a day can better your lung function after you kick the smoking habit.
Swimming is said to be the best sport to strengthen your cardiovascular fitness as swimmers’ lungs will utilize oxygen three times more expeditiously than a non-swimmer. Swimming also uses more muscular tissue and requires greater lung capacity than any other type of cardiovascular exercise.
When exercising, make sure it is consistent and regular. 30 minutes to one hour daily. Don’t go off for 7 days and abruptly try to make up for it by running hard for 3 hours. That’ll do you no good. Meanwhile, check out how to establish a daily exercise routine before you kick the smoking habit.
Tip No 3: Inhale deeply and exhale completely. This will better your lung function. Take a deep breath and recite the alphabets for as long as you can. Practice it when you have time and each time recite the alphabets and start another round of recitation. For instance, if you were able to recite all the alphabets the first time, the second time, recite all the 26 alphabets twice and then go higher. Also, take in more air with each breath. When you want to breathe out, do so completely, without any reservations. Don’t let any air remain in your lungs. This allows you to take in more air on the next breath.
Tip No 4: Change your diet to improve your lung capacity. Eat a lot of foods containing Vitamins C and E as well as omega-3 fatty acids. They strengthen the health of your lungs, reduce redness and defend the lungs. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids include mackerel, tuna, herring, lake trout, salmon, and other cold-water fish. Foods high in vitamin E include spinach, tomatoes, kiwi, peanuts, almonds, broccoli, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts and oils, like safflower, corn, soy bean. Foods high in vitamin C include lemons, oranges, grape-fruits, mangoes, papayas, kiwi, tomatoes, jicama, broccoli, potatoes, red peppers, orange peppers and yellow peppers.
Tip No 5: The popular saying that “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away” also rings true in the stop smoking process. A British study of 2,500 men documented in the journal “Thorax,” indicated that regular intake of apples was connected with increased lung function. The men who ate five or more apples per week had the strongest lung capacity. Other studies hint that consuming apples may bring down your risk of lung cancer and strengthen your immunity to respiratory problems or infections.
Tip No 6: Playing a wind or brass instrument is a great way to exert the lungs and improve lung function or capacity. Highly recommended musical instruments for accelerating lung strength include a flute, oboe, tuba, clarinet, trombone or trumpet. Singing may also assist.
Tip No 7: A word of caution, though. Abstain from smoke-filled environments to keep your lungs in perfect working condition. Don’t expose your lungs to passive smoke. It could lead to diminished lung capacity.
Tip No 8: Aside increasing lung capacity, exercise also helps keep off weight gain after kicking the smoking habit but please consult your doctor before commencing any concentrated or vigorous physical workout.
Tip No 9: If you recently quit and find yourself coughing all the time, please allow your Doctor check you for lung cancer and COPD, as delaying treatment for either condition considerably reduces the success of treatment. In some cases, it’s just a smokers’ cough that will eventually go away but you don’t want to leave anything to chance,so, see your doctor right away.
Tip No 10: Drink a lot of water daily. This will help your cough expel mucous more easily.
Aside improving your lung function, you may want to know if lungs do heal or repair themselves after quit smoking. I dare say they do. The human body is an amazing machine which quickly sets out to reverse any damage that may have been done to your lungs as a result of smoking. Find out how the lungs heal after stop smoking and if your lungs, as an ex-smoker, can ever be like that of a non-smoker.