If you’ve recently quitted smoking, congratulations, you’ve taken the most important step to clean your lungs. If you’re still hesitate to quit smoking, here may be your concern: Can you really get back your healthy lungs after quitting smoking? How long should it take?
Research has shown that quitting smoking can have immediate effects. Your heart rate and blood pressure return to normal in 20 minutes after the last cigarette. After 12 hours, the carbon monoxide levels return to normal, and sense of taste and smell start to improve after 48 hours.
The longer you stay away from cigarettes, the more you will benefit:
After 1 month
Your lung function begins to improve. You may notice that you are not as coughing and short of breath as you used to be.
After 1 year
The risk for heart attack decreases by half and continue to drop to normal level of nonsmokers in around 3 years.
After 5 years
Compare to when you are a smoker, the risk for lung cancel are roughly cut in half.
Stay away from Smoker
Once you quit smoking, you should try to keep yourself away from smoking altogether. It is best to stay away from other smokers to reduce the risk of second-hand smoke and reduce the temptation to smoke again.
Maybe your friends and family members also smoke. Politely ask them not to smoke around you and encourage them to quit smoking too!
Healthy eating can improve your overall health. It will clean and improve your lung. You should avoid junk food, and eat anti-inflammatory foods, including blueberries, pineapples, cherries, spinach, kale, olives, almonds, etc. Research shows eating a diet high in anti-inflammatory can reduce inflammation in body.
Regular exercise will improve your body and respiratory system, as it forces muscle to work hard, increase your body’s breathing rate, and provide more oxygen to the muscle. Exercises like walking, jogging, swimming, strength training and yoga are the best choices.
Try Breathing Exercises
Don’t forget breathing exercises, while physical exercise helps your lungs a lot. Breathing exercises boost your endurance and lung capacity and help reduce shortness of breath caused by limited lung function.
Pursed lip breathing
Pursed lip breathing can help keep the airways open for longer, faster air into lungs.
Sit up straight – good posture can help lung movement;
Slowly and deeply breathe through the nose;
Purse the lips – The lips almost touch like making a “kissing” face;
Breath out through pursed lips – ideally, the exhalation should be twice as long as the inhalation was.
Belly breathing allows a person to take a deep breath as it specially focuses on strengthening the diaphragm muscle.
Put a hand on the stomach;
Slowly breathe in through the nose, and note how far the stomach rises;
Breathe out through the mouth;
Breathe in through the nose, and try to get the stomach rise higher than the previous one;
Breathe out, try to breathe out two or three times longer than breathe in;
Periodically, roll the shoulders forward and backward, head from side to side, to free the body of tension during exercises.
5 – 10 minutes breathing exercises every day can greatly enhance lung function. Opump can be your great helper. It is the breathing exercisers to test your lung capacity and provides various breathing exercises courses.