The Importance of Loving Your Lungs

From the June 21st-27th this year, there is a focus on lung health and “breathing easy”. As a young boy, and pretty much until the age of 16, I suffered with asthma. I also have a friend who’s dad sadly passed away due to an asthma attack. This is incredibly important to me.

One of the main things of importance to me in bettering lung health is staying smoke free. There are different components to this. Firstly, it is important to be in a smoke free home, so that the effects of such can’t harm you or your family members. The other component is to not surround yourself with individuals who smoke and end up suffering the effects of passive smoking.

Something that has also been one of the main talking points is being in an environment with clean air. Electric vehicles help the equation, as vehicles without petrol mean less harmful fumes billowing into the air, thus affecting people’s airways. Hopefully further down the line, there will be less cars on the road. But to achieve the end goal, there must be logical elements.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been funding put into the world of cycling and people have been given vouchers and other means to switch to cycling rather than driving. Of course, cycling is all well and good if you don’t live too far from the workplace or from a friend you may want to visit. It also depends on if you are judged as safe enough to ride a bike without support. As a child, at the age of 11 I was told by the Cycling Proficiency at school that I wasn’t safe enough to ride a bike without someone experienced by my side. So therefore the way I mostly get around is by walking or using public transport (or a lift if available).

In the future, people would be more likely to use the bus, and then less cars would be on the road. Or there could be people who do car shares, which would also reduce the effects to people’s airways. This could definitely become more realistic as time moves forward and people are considering new ways to work, they’d all be considering travel at the same time. This will have a huge say on the long term for people’s lung health and being able to breathe easy.

Another perspective of how we can help people’s lungs is by getting into an environment full of trees. Trees, as we know, provide oxygen and absorb the CO2 from the environment, making the world a healthier place. We need to all make an effort to visit spaces where there are trees or take part in replanting projects that are available.

Indoor air pollution is important to discuss too. During the pandemic, I don’t think its completely out of the realm of possibility that people have become crazy about cleaning products. They were like needles in haystacks in supermarkets in 2020 in particular. You just couldn’t get the stuff! But even now, people are still in a way obsessed about using so many cleaning products, and these can in turn be of harm to your airways. Luckily for me, I have an Aloe Vera plant in my bedroom. These plants are things of beauty. The great thing about Aloe Vera is that it purifies the air around the house. There are different air purifying plants out there- but Aloe Vera is by far my favourite. They are also easy to look after. During the summer it needs watering once every 2-3 weeks and in the winter once every 4-6 weeks. Or you can just tell if it needs attention if the soil is all dried up!

Without a doubt, there are more ways than one to make strides towards a world of great lung health and easy breathing. I find a technique of in for 5, out for 5 helps me to regulate my breathing and remain calm and mindful. But as one person chooses to walk 20 minutes rather than do the same journey in a car, hopefully this inspires other people to do so. And by one person raising awareness about the impacts of smoking, hopefully this will set the alarms off for people to help them remain smoke free or become smoke free. It is all about cooperation and working together for the good of people’s health. That is a goal we can accomplish!

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