If you have recently quit smoking or are thinking about doing so, you’ve made a crucial step and commitment towards improving your lung and overall health! Unfortunately, just quitting smoking does not mean you have magically reversed all damage. Though your lungs will attempt to regenerate on their own, according to Harvard Medical researchers, people who quit smoking decades ago can still be at risk of lung disease, so it is extremely important for ex-smokers to keep on top of restoring their lung health and capacity. Here are the most highly recommended tips to improve lung capacity after years of smoking.
This might seem like a no-brainer but the most important step to giving your lungs the best chance at recovery is to avoid pollutants in your living space. This includes secondhand smoke, dust, pollen and mold, essentially any irritant that may affect your breathing and air quality. For several weeks or months after you quit smoking, you may notice that your coughing persists or that it occurs more frequently as your lungs attempt to finally clear the mucus that has accumulated in your lungs.
You want to give your lungs the best chance at healing and cleaning themselves, so it’s a good idea to take extra care to remove anything that will make that cough worse. Give your house a once-over with a vacuum and duster a few times a week, giving extra attention to cleaning out all fans and vents.
Drink warm fluids
Warm fluids can help thin the mucus in your chest caused by long-term smoking and can also soothe an irritated throat. To accelerate lung capacity after smoking, it is recommended to up your water intake as this will help flush toxins from your body, including those found in cigarettes and tobacco products. Some research suggests combining these two and opting for hot water or tea throughout the day, to thin and dislodge mucus from your lungs and airways.
Exercise increases the amount of oxygen delivered to cells and tissues throughout your body, which can aid the regeneration of damaged lung tissues from long-term smoking. Cardiovascular exercises like brisk walking, swimming, running, and cycling are ideal for helping to clear out your lungs after you quit smoking and strengthening your lung capacity.
When you are physically active, not only does it make your muscles stronger, but it also strengthens lung function by improving airflow and expansion. The American Lung Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week to maintain optimal lung function.
Steam therapy is a highly recommended natural treatment by ex-smokers for dislodging mucus from airways and reducing the persistence of ‘smoker’s cough’. Steam therapy involves inhaling water vapor, and it’s super easy to do from home!
All you have to do is grab a pot or kettle, heat up some water, and then pour it into a bowl. Place a towel over the back of your head, then carefully lower your face toward the bowl until you are a few inches away. Next, take a deep and for two to five minutes. You can also buy an electric steam inhaler device made specifically for this therapy, but using hot water at home can be just as effective.
Use an OPEP device
An Oscillating Positive Expiratory Pressure (OPEP) device is an affordable, efficient, and all-natural way to relieve congestion that is typical in the weeks, months, and years after quitting smoking. It’s easy to use. As you exhale through the device, a metal ball bearing in the cap is forced to move up and down by the positive pressure of your breath, sending vibrations through your lips and down into your airways. These vibrations paired with the positive pressure can loosen phlegm, clear airways, and exercise your lungs.
The Turboforte Lung Physio is an all-natural OPEP device and does not require a prescription. Unlike decongestant medication, which uses medicine to constrict blood vessels to reduce inflammation and allow for easier breathing – Turboforte is much simpler, drug-free, and you can feel it working.
Simply exhale through the device for a ten-minute period, the vibrations will free phlegm and the pressure will encourage it to move upwards through your airways, so be prepared to cough up your now loosened chest congestion, leaving behind nothing but healthy lungs. This short exercise will help increase oxygen circulation in your airways, encouraging the restoration of healthy cells and tissues that were damaged by smoking.
While Turboforte is a drug-free, all-natural way to help and can be used in conjunction with your usual treatment regime, always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. Never disregard the advice of a medical professional, or delay in seeking it because of something you have read that contradicts your doctor’s personal advice.