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Caring for Your Respiratory System

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Caring for Your Respiratory System

In the average day, a person may take as many as 20,000 or more breaths in an often-unnoticed process that involves the airways, lungs and upper-body muscles. Caring for your respiratory system is a vital part of maintaining health and improving quality of life during daily activities, and seniors can take many simple steps today to begin safeguarding their ability to breathe.

Exercise

Exercising deepens breathing and gives lungs a healthy workout that boosts their efficiency. It also aids physical strength and overall health, increasing resistance to illnesses and injuries. Seniors can speak with their doctors and caregivers to determine the best ways to pursue their fitness goals.

In addition to taking advantage of Park Regency Thornton's fitness center and exercise programs, seniors can also try adding breathing exercises to their daily routines. These activities often only take five to 15 minutes to complete and provide a simple way to increase lung function.

Air Quality

Dust, pollen, chemicals and smoke can irritate and weaken the lungs and worsen chronic conditions such as asthma and COPD. Seniors can reduce their exposure to pollution by avoiding prolonged outdoor activities on days when local air quality levels are considered poor and by leaving their apartments while they are being cleaned by staff members.

Air purifiers and houseplants are also a great way to manage indoor air qualities. Several popular houseplants are both easy to tend and absorb high amounts of toxins from the air. Peace lilies, schefflera, mother-in-law's tongue, spider plants and pothos are just a few of the varieties scientifically proven to improve the air.

Nutrition and Hygiene

Forming good habits, such as washing hands regularly with soap and water, helps prevent colds and illnesses that weaken the respiratory system. More ways that seniors can protect themselves from germs include being careful not to rub their eyes or nose when in public places and practicing good dental hygiene.

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and antioxidants strengthens the immune system and helps seniors maintain a healthy weight, which can ease the strain on lungs caused by obesity.

Hydration

Proper hydration thins mucus secretions in the lungs and keeps the lining of the nose and sinus cavities moist, which aids the body in removing harmful bacteria and irritants naturally.

Seniors with allergies and chronic congestion may also find relief through simple remedies such as drinking warm tea, applying warm compresses, breathing steam or using nasal rinses.

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