Lifestyle – Air and Respiration

If all hindrances to good circulation have been minimized and/or prevented, then good oxygenation of the blood and tissues is dependent upon a healthy respiratory system.

Let’s look at the anatomy of respiration. With a normal inspiration, about one pint (500 cc) of air is moved into and out of the lungs with each breath taken. Approximately 16 breaths are taken per minute, totaling 23,040 times each day, moving about 3,000 gallons (12,000 liters) of air per day through the lungs. This air, with the carbon dioxide waste products produced by the body, is processed within the 300 million tiny air sacs in the lungs. In these air sacs, oxygen is exchanged for carbon dioxide and is then circulated to every cell in the body.

There is much that can be done to maximize or hinder breathing efforts. Having an erect posture while sitting or standing allows the diaphragm to fully contract and relax. The diaphragm is the large muscle that separates the chest and abdominal cavities. If the posture is slumped, full expansion of the diaphragm is hindered by the stomach and increases the work of the lungs, resulting in less oxygen to the body or a faster breathing rate. With full expansion of the diaphragm, abdominal movement will be noticed with breathing. This can be promoted by doing deep breathing exercises, with the abdomen moving up and down slightly with each breath. After daily practice, this correct breathing will become natural, benefiting the body with health-giving oxygen.

The type of clothing worn can affect breathing. Clothes that are tight around the chest and the waist can hinder full respirations. It is important for clothes to be loose enough to allow full, unhindered movement of both the chest and abdomen. Tight fitting undergarments and tight constricting waist bands or belts should be eliminated from our wardrobe.

Exercise is a friend to good lung function, speeding up not only the respiratory rate but greatly increasing the amount of air moved with each respiration which helps open every tiny air sac and remove any waste products in them. This directly helps prevent lung infections and also gives a boost to the immune system, producing a double benefit, so some form of exercise on a daily basis is excellent for improved lung function. If the exercise can be obtained outside in fresh air and sunshine it is even more beneficial. Having fresh air circulating in the home and bedroom daily is also beneficial for the lungs and improves sleep.

Adequate hydration is beneficial to good lung function. Approximately one quart (liter) of water is lost per day from the lungs. Water helps with the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. It makes the lungs more mobile, and helps the lining of the lungs to have adequate fluid, helping trap and remove harmful particles in the air.

A healthful, temperate lifestyle that avoids smoking is of great benefit. Air pollution can be very detrimental to the lungs, preventing pure oxygen from being brought into the body. Irritated eyes, irritability, headache, decreased job efficiency and lung problems can be signs and symptoms of poor quality of air and can also be a contributing factor to heart disease.

With this in mind, it would be wise to avoid polluted or poor quality air as much as possible in order to have healthy lungs, efficient respiration, and pure oxygen circulating to all cells in the body.

Always remember that our lungs and voice should be used to raise praise to our Lord who created this wonderful body. “Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.” Psalm 150:6.