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Women's Health

Mercy Women's Care at St. Anne
3404 W. Sylvania Avenue
Toledo, OH 43623

Mercy Women's Care at St. Charles
Navarre Medical Plaza
2702 Navarre Avenue
Suite 101
Oregon, OH 43616

Mercy Women's Care at St. V's
2213 Cherry Street
Toledo, OH 43608

What if You don’t Have Lung Disease?

separator If you don’t have lung disease now, the best way to avoid getting it is not to smoke. If you do smoke, well, what else can we say besides—it’s time to quit. Work with your doctor on this. Quitting can be very hard for lots of people, but your chances of success are highest if you get help from your doctor.

If your lungs are healthy, and you want to keep or build up your lung capacity, aerobic exercise is an efficient way to go. This includes activities that get your heart rate up and keep it there. Brisk walking, jogging and swimming are common aerobic activities.

There are other activities that focus on deep, regular breathing. Yoga might not look like a lung-building exercise, but when you hold a difficult position for a period of time and breathe deeply, you can see how it works. Qigong, another exercise that originated in the East, can also help you learn to slow down your breath and breathe more deeply. Give one of these a try if you’re looking for something a little on the peaceful side.

You’ll find it hard to get out of the habit of exercising once it has become part of your routine. Tell yourself that next few months, you’ll exercise three times a week, the same days each week, the same times. After three months, you probably won’t want to break this habit. And remember, exercise needs to feel a little bit like work. Challenge yourself.

  • Perform your activity more quickly than usual, or double the amount of time you usually devote to exercise.
  • Add weight training to your routine. This can increase muscle mass, and muscle burns more calories than fat.

Your doctor can give you advice about starting a safe exercise program, and recommend a healthy heart rate to reach when you’re exercising.

Kids and healthy lungs
One of the best ways to help your children have healthy lungs is to keep them away from second-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke comes from the burning end of a cigarette, pipe or cigar. It also comes from smoke exhaled from the lungs of smokers.

Second-hand smoke

  • Increases the frequency and severity of asthma attacks
  • Causes 150,000 to 300,00 lower respiratory infections per year in children 18 months old and younger
  • Causes fluid build-up in the middle ear
  • May contribute to sudden infant death syndrome.

If you smoke and need help quitting, talk to your doctor. People who get the help of a doctor have higher success rates. Your doctor can talk to you about the different options available, and together you can pursue the method that is likely to work best for you.

American Association for Respiratory Care; American Journal of Respiratory and Clinical Care Medicine; American Lung Association.
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