The respiratory system is essential in providing oxygen to the cells through inhalation and removing carbon dioxide through exhalation. In other words, breathing in nourishes us and and breathing out detoxes us. It’s no surprise then, that the lungs need to be cared for on a daily basis for emotional and physical benefits. Part of successfully establishing and maintaining this self-care is being clear on what makes this part of the body so amazing, what sabotages respiratory health, and what truly supports it.
Our respiratory system connects us all in an incredibly intimate way because we’re continually sharing each renewed breath that circles the Earth, millennium after millennium. This exchange can happen because the planet has its own “respiratory system” which predominantly relies on robust forests, mangroves, kelp forests, and coral reefs to keep CO2 levels in check and oxygen production abundant. As a result, our species’ survival (as well as millions of other species) depend on us choosing a low-carbon diet and sustainable lifestyle to help protect the atmosphere and the “lungs” of the earth.
Individually, breathing is so critical that life can be jeopardized in moments without it, but with it, we are practically given wings. Just imagine how good it feels when you breathe in clean, fresh air or take several calming, deep breaths.
To help motivate you in caring for your lungs and respiratory system, here’s some key information…
THE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM INCLUDES THE:
- Nose and nasal cavity
- Pharynx, larynx and trachea
- Bronchi, bronchioles and alveoli
- Diaphragm (a muscle below the lungs for respiration)
Fascinating Facts About the Lungs & Respiratory System
There are about 600 million alveoli (tiny air sacs) in your lungs. If they were stretched out they would cover a whole tennis court.
Alveoli allow oxygen to pass into your blood.
The left lung is smaller than the right to allow enough space for your heart.
Your respiratory system can send oxygen faster throughout your body when you have a larger lung capacity.
Lung capacity can be increased through breathing exercises, good posture, cardiovascular activities, swimming, singing, playing wind instruments, and working out at high elevations.
Potential Signs of Compromised Respiratory Health
- Chronic coughs
- Excessive Mucous
- Lung cancer
- Recurrent colds and flus
- Related cancers, diseases, disorders
- Sinus infections
- Shallow breathing
- Sighing frequently
- Sneezing frequently
Stress Factors for Respiratory Health
- Carbon monoxide
- Ceramic dust
- Congesting and mucous-forming foods: dairy, refined sugar, as well as gluten for some
- Household and industrial pollution
- Heaters that dry out the air
- Indoor, wood-burning stove
- Inhaling fiberglass particles
- Inhaling talcum (like baby powder)
- Lack of fresh air
- Lack of oxygen in the body
- Low levels of air oxygen content in the region due to pollution
- Outgassing and/or fumes from petro-based items like carpets, furniture, new cars, paint, varnishes, sealants, conventional yoga mats, and PVC shower curtains
- Particulate matter from construction projects and factories
- Shallow breathing
- Synthetic fragrances in perfumes, colognes, air fresheners, cleaning products, incense, and beauty products
- Smoke and/or various chemicals from tobacco products (like cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vapes, cigars, and pipes) and other drugs
Holistic Secret: Always strive to minimize health risks and contributing to air pollution by choosing zero VOC or low VOC products such as natural, household cleaners, all-natural beauty products, low/zero VOC paints, glues, and sealants, as well as natural, household decor.
Find out which foods, herbs, and healthy habits are best for the lungs, the respiratory system, and overall mind-body health in my Radiant Health program.
My mission: As a Holistic Health Coach & Eco Expert, I’m dedicated to leading you straight to the core of what it takes to enjoy a new level of vitality, desired weight loss, sustainability, and detoxification. Enjoy my transformative programs and experience true health with true purpose!
 KidsHealth.org. “Your Lungs & Respiratory System.” Accessed September 12th, 2015. http://kidshealth.org/kid/htbw/lungs.html#