There are many things you can do to keep your lungs healthy and strong for life. Here are a few good starter tips:
- If you don’t smoke, don’t start!
- If you smoke or use tobacco, quit; quitting is the most important thing you can do to keep your lungs healthy and prevent disease. Smoking damages your lungs and increases your risk for a number of diseases including lung cancer. It’s never too late to quit.
- Teach your children about the dangers of smoking and be a role model by not smoking or by quitting now.
- Avoid second-hand smoke. Breathing the smoke from cigarettes and pipes increases your risk for the same diseases that affect people who smoke. Don’t allow smoking in your home, in the car, or at work.
- Fight germs by washing your hands properly and covering your coughs and sneezes- this will help you prevent infectious lung diseases like the flu, colds, and others.
- Do your part to control outdoor air pollution and keep the air we breathe clean. For example, avoid open air burning and don’t let your car idle.
- Learn about indoor air pollution and what you can do to reduce your exposure. For example, turn on the exhaust fan when you cook and avoid using aerosol products (i.e. can of hairspray).
- Get moving! Regular physical exercise is good for your whole body and especially your lungs. Exercise makes your lungs stronger and better at giving your body the oxygen it needs. It also helps your body fight germs that could make you sick.
- If you have a chronic lung disease like asthma or COPD, work with your doctor to manage your symptoms and avoid flare-ups.
- Pay attention to lung health at work. Avoid breathing toxic fumes from chemicals, solvents, and paints. Wear a protective mask when you work with chemicals and report unsafe working conditions.
To learn more about lung health, visit Ontario Lung Association.