Eat. Sleep. Eat. Work. Eat. Play. Eat. Repeat. You may not put a lot of thought into the daily rhythm of your life and it is almost certain that you do not give a lot of thought into what is going on inside your body unless something goes wrong. Thankfully, most of the time your body does just fine on its own.
Here’s a quick refresher:
You eat a heart-healthy breakfast of oatmeal with berries and a cup of coffee. Immediately, your digestive system kicks into play as saliva starts to break down the food. You chew and swallow, and breakfast moves into your esophagus, followed by the stomach and later into the small intestine, liver, and large intestine. The glucose that food is converted into during digestion is absorbed into the bloodstream, where it is carried to all your vital body parts.
Now here is the really important part. Without blood to carry the glucose, your organs would not receive the energy they need to function. Furthermore, without healthy lungs to provide the heart with oxygen, the nutrient-rich blood would not be able to reach those organs in the first place.
You breathe roughly 16 times per minute, which equals 960 breaths per hour. This means in a day you breathe about 23,040 times. If you live to be 80, you would breathe about 672,768,000 breaths! That’s a lot of work.
Thankfully, your body has a natural defense system to protect the lungs, but things like cigarette smoke, pollutants, and infections can cause damage. Keep in mind that healthy air can and should be available in your home, work, and outdoors. Click for more information about safe air in these areas and more.
To keep your lungs in good shape, there are several things you can do:
1) You should try to exercise regularly for at least twenty minutes at a time. Any exercise will do, but what is most beneficial is aerobic exercise, which engages large muscle groups and elevates your heart rate. This includes activities such as running, brisk walking, and jumping rope.
2) You can learn to breathe efficiently by breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth with pursed lips. This is especially helpful during exercise because it helps you to breathe out with long, slow breaths. You eliminate carbon dioxide and your body is able to take in more oxygen.
3) You can take up yoga. Yoga helps teach awareness of your breath and because it strengthens core muscles, it also improves your ability to inhale and exhale. Here is a site that can help you to learn yoga poses if you are a beginner.
Now you can breathe easier knowing that you have some power over the health of your lungs. Namaste!