According to the American Lung Association, adults typically take 15 to 20 breaths a minute, which comes to around 20,000 breaths a day. Though breathing seems simple, it is a very complex process and one we often take for granted. Lucky for us, the human body has perfected the art of breathing throughout several very intricate systems. The body needs to have all of it’s parts correctly functioning together to deliver oxygen throughout our systems.
Even though many people don’t think twice about taking a breath, there is a huge majority of our population that are painfully aware of how important each breath is. These are the individuals affected by lung related diseases. In just the Midwest states alone, that number is projected to reach over 10 million Americans in 2016. These will range from inherited diseases to conditions developed over time.
The Giveaway bandit knows the pain lung disease can cause family’s they affect. Some are preventable, some are genetically inevitable, and some are results of our environments and daily life. The specific types of lung diseases can be very rare or affect millions. Two examples that I’d like to discuss are the progressive genetic disease cystic fibrosis and the rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, mesothelioma. Each affect one’s lungs and each deliver very grave prognoses to those they affect. Cystic fibrosis leads to a mucus build up within the lungs that clogs the airways trapping bacteria within the lungs. Cystic fibrosis has no known cure, but is usually maintained through treatment and therapies so individuals are able to live longer fuller lives. Mesothelioma develops in the lungs and is caused by exposure to asbestos. Like cystic fibrosis, there is no known cure and the mesothelioma prognosis for individuals is typically very aggressive and short lived. This rare cancer has a very long latency period, which leads to its poor prognosis.
Both of these diseases are just two examples of the hundreds of other lung related diseases that can affect an individual. So in order to celebrate Healthy Lung Month and Lung Cancer Awareness Month, The Giveaway Bandit is going to point out things you can do to be more mindful of your lung health and to truly appreciate every breath you take!
First, maintain your aerobic health. The best way to do this is by performing at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 2-3 times a week. There are several different way to perform aerobic exercise. A few include walking, running, and swimming. These exercises will help to improve your lung health and your body’s overall health as well.
Next, be mindful of your diet and what kinds of foods you are consuming. A higher fat diet has been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer. Here are a few healthier alternatives that are typically lower in fat. While a diet high in fruits has shown to lower these risks. Most importantly you should consume lots of clean water. Water helps to keep blood flowing to and from your lungs.
Last, you should always be very diligent about visiting the doctor’s office for yearly check ups and visits. Many diseases in the lungs can easily be attributed to other ailments. Visiting the doctor regularly and receiving the proper immunizations and checkups can help to prevent and/or predict lung related issues.