Lungs Recovery After Quitting Smoking
The process of recovering your lungs might not be easy for everyone. Is the thought of extremely changing your lifestyle terrifying to you? If so, don’t worry and just take one step at a time. Here are few ways to recover your lungs after quitting smoking. Introduce at least one the following pieces of advice every week. That way you will gradually strengthen your new habits and your body will adapt quickly.
1. Air Environment
The bottom line is to avoid smoke and toxins altogether. The first thing is to keep fresh air circulating.
Stay in Ventilated areas
- If possible, try to stay away from smoke and other smokers (while they smoke).
- Consider investing in home air purifiers to remove allergens and small particles from the air. Pick a device with a HEPA filter; it is more efficient than Ozone air cleaners. Besides, the latter may irritate sensitive lungs.
Keep your Home Clean
- If you have carpets, have them cleaned in a dry cleaner if they are dirty. Make sure to use the vacuum cleaner as soon as need be.
- Remove dust from your shelves, books, objects. Do it every 2-3 days, because dust keep accumulating very quickly.
- Make sure to often clean your home.
- If you have a wood-burning stove or a fireplace, stop using them for a while. The toxins released in the smoke are harmful to your lungs.
Good Plants and Bad Pollen
In daylight, green plants absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants in exchange for oxygen. That leaves us with cleaner and oxygenated air to breathe. Just don’t keep them in your bedroom, because without light, the plants will switch to absorbing oxygen.
Some examples: Aloe Vera, Spider plant, Snake plants, Chrysanthemum, Seeping Fig, English Ivy, Palm Tree, Peace Lily, and more. Ask for advice at your local flower store.
Food to Avoid
The reason why you are coughing is the mucus accumulated in your lungs. Therefore you should avoid food that triggers mucus production:
- Processed meat
- Frozen convenience food
- Fast food in general
- Dairies (milk, cheese, and yogurt)
What to Eat?
Smoking is one of the factors that generate an acidic pH in your blood. Too much acid in your body fluids is a condition called acidosis. If it goes too far, this could lead to kidney stones or even kidney failure.
To compensate for this, you should eat more alkaline foods.
- Vegetables such as root vegetables, leafy greens, artichokes, broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes
- Fruits such as apples, bananas, lemons, berries, oranges, watermelons, blueberries, cranberries, grapes, blackberries
- Protein rich foods such as almonds, chestnuts and sprouted seeds
To increase oxygen uptake in your body, you could also foods rich in chlorophyll to your diet. It also cleanses blood and tissues.
- Staying in good physical shape is essential for providing oxygen to all your organs and your overall health. It helps to deal with your cravings by postponing it even an hour after the physical efforts.
- It also releases endorphins, commonly called the feel-good hormones. They relieve pain and generate feelings of pleasure.
- 150 minutes per week (30 minutes 5 times a week) of moderate aerobic activity. That can be swimming, walking, gardening.
- 75 minutes per week (25 minutes 3 times per week) of vigorous aerobic activity OR strength training. That can be jogging, biking, dancing, or playing soccer.
If you enjoy being surrounded by nature, try doing outdoor sports as much as possible. Football in a park, jogging in woods or swimming in a lake – these are all health improving and relaxing physical activities.
Yoga is an excellent choice regardless if you are in good shape or not. There are different types of yoga, starting with the relaxing, meditative styles to the vigorous Ashtanga style.
Benefits of yoga are numerous. For ex-smokers, there are two main reasons to choose yoga:
a) You Learn to Breathe Efficiently. You will learn and practice to breathe from your diaphragm. That helps to expand the lung capacity and strengthens belly muscles involved in breathing.
b) Your Posture Will Improve. A straight back position provides optimal space for your lungs and muscles to work on breathing.
You should avoid Hot Yoga for a while, which consists in vigorous physical activity in high temperature. Your lungs might not be ready for this.
Visit a local Yoga school and ask them, what form would be ideal for your physical condition.
5. Alternative Home Made Detox
Start your day with a spoon of raw honey (without added sugar). You can also drink it dissolved in a glass of water. Its antibacterial and antiseptic properties will decrease your coughing already after a week.
And Honey contains minerals that promote tissue repair.
Use Cayenne pepper in solid food. It relieves irritation from coughs and sore throats.
Add 2-3 drops of Oregano oil daily to water, milk or juice. It will stop harmful bacteria (like staphylococcus aureus and pseudomonas aeruginosa) from growing.
Apply Peppermint balm on your chest and back to soothe the respiratory muscles. Menthol is a popular decongestant effective remedy. If you prefer to avoid the smell you can also chew peppermint leaves (but NOT chewing gum).
Add Eucalyptus drops to steam inhalations to remove congestion and mucus. But first, ask your doctor or pharmacist about possible interactions with medications you might take.
After quitting smoking, many people generally say that they have strong cravings, and they become nervous, or they need something to do with their hands. You can have a bracelet or bangle on your wrist to play with or have some relaxing fidget toy at hand. Quit together with a friend and stay in a supportive, non-smoking environment. Ask your family and friends to hold you accountable. Finally, be proud of the everyday improvements you have already achieved!