Like your brain, your lung function can diminish with age, especially if you don’t take care of them. No matter what your age, it's still possible to keep your lungs working at an optimal level. "Your lungs finish development by age 25, and their function remains stable for about 10 years. After that, they begin to gradually decline. By age 65, you've typically lost up to a liter of lung capacity compared with when you were younger", says Dr. Aaron Waxman, director of the Pulmonary Vascular Disease Program at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.
When you inhale, air flows into the lungs to fill tiny air sacs. Blood circulates around these air sacs through small blood vessels. The point where the blood vessels and air sacs meet is also where oxygen moves into the bloodstream and carbon dioxide passes out of the blood to be exhaled. As you age, both the airways and blood vessels become stiffer, and the air sacs expand, which make it more difficult for gases to move into the bloodstream. The result: you may get more winded doing everyday activities, like walking a short distance or climbing a small flight of stairs. You also may now have trouble doing strenuous exercise, or you may feel more fatigued afterward.
A number of factors can accelerate your lungs' aging, including smoking, exposure to air pollution, and repeated respiratory infections. If you smoke, quitting is without a doubt the best way to help your lungs' health. Other issues can affect lung function, too. For instance, bones can become thinner as you age, which can lead to osteoporosis and changes in posture that make your chest cage smaller and stiffer. This makes it harder for your chest to fully expand when you breathe and reduces the volume of air your lungs can hold. Your diaphragm, the muscle that supports breathing, also can weaken with age and prevent you from taking in full breaths.
During this challenging health environment, we should all take additional steps to preserve your lung function and maybe even slow its natural decline. Implement these five things and your lungs will thank you:
1. Eat more fruit & vegetables – a study in the Dec. 1, 2017, European Respiratory Journal found that a higher intake of antioxidant- and flavonoid-rich fruits, like bananas, apples, and tomatoes — about four servings of fruit per day — was associated with a slower decline in lung function, especially among ex-smokers.
2. Stay away from toxins – pollution, bacteria, viruses, molds, chemical and gas fumes…all can aggravate your lungs and accelerate aging. When they’re young and strong, your lungs can easily resist these toxins. As you get older, though, they lose some of that resistance and become more vulnerable to serious health issues. Use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter at home to filter out irritants, especially if you have pets. Opt for natural cleaning agents as opposed to ones that may irritate the lungs.
3. Exercise Regularly - fitness strengthens breathing muscles and improves the respiratory system while adding a detoxifying effect. Try to incorporate weight training with aerobic exercises and stretching each day. Regular weight training can increase bone strength, aerobic exercises increase your lung capacity and stretching can help you maintain a healthy posture.
4. Clean out your lungs - drinking clean water and green drinks can help to rid your lungs of germs and toxins. Also seek out open spaces in your neighborhood where you are most likely to enjoy clean, fresh air each day if possible.
5. Targeted lung supplementation – vitamins and minerals can bring an additional boost to your breathing and immunity. The respiratory system plays a pivotal role in our immunity - all that air coming in may contain potentially harmful invaders, and the respiratory system needs to act quickly and effectively against them.
• Vitamin C & D – protects cells and reduces inflammation and boosts immune function.
• Zinc - studies show that many people are deficient in zinc, and this deficiency is associated with reduced immunity.
• Quercetin – a plant flavonoid with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
These powerful ingredients for your lung and immune system can be found in Procera Protect and Procera Essential Immune Multi