With Valentine’s Day around the corner, we would like to celebrate one of our favourite couples. These are the left and right lung. They are not exactly the same, but they are vital complements to one another. These unassuming organs allow for our lives to be lived to the fullest. Sometimes, this power couple is challenged by the environment, chronic disease or addictions. While some things – like genetic predisposition – might be beyond our control, we are here to offer you tips for keeping this relationship going strong.
Quit to win
January 1st does not have to be the only time to start a new behaviour. If you currently smoke, take steps towards quitting. Smoking is a difficult addiction to break and it may take several attempts to do so. But, your lungs will thank you. Perhaps shockingly, tobacco remains the number one cause of preventable disease and death in Canada. COPD and lung cancer are just some of the diseases that smoking can cause. Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in Canada and COPD is the fourth leading cause of death. No matter how many times you try to quit, try again until you succeed. For tips on how you can successfully quit, visit https://www.lung.ca/lung-health/smoking-and-tobacco .
With recent popularization of vaping pens and e-cigarettes, it can seem as though these are harmless tools with an innocent fruit puff wafting through your lungs. While there are some for whom e-cigarettes can serve as cessation tools, e-cigarettes are not healthy. Much like you wouldn’t put on a nicotine patch if you weren’t trying to quit smoking, you shouldn’t pick up an e-cigarette. E-cigarettes that are not used as cessation tools are wolves in sheep’s clothing. The flavourful puffs of vapour can easily mislead its users into thinking it’s nothing more than an innocent trend. The fact is that e-cigarette use can lead to nicotine addiction and increase your risk of starting to smoke regular cigarettes. If you don’t smoke, don’t vape.
Breathing might seem like a tip that should be a no-brainer. It just happens. But there is a way to keep your favourite couple functioning as well as possible. Exercise and activities such as yoga that encourage deep breathing are great ways to expand and exercise your lungs, increasing their lung capacity, thus allowing oxygen to travel faster through your blood stream. Deep breathing not only helps to reduce stress, it helps to increase your lung capacity.
These are just some of the tips to keep healthy lungs healthy and prevent lung disease. If you have a chronic lung disease or live with one lung, speak to your healthcare professional. For general tips, you can always reach out to our Health Line and speak to one of our respiratory educators 1-866-717-2673.