Earth Day 2023: Reduce air pollution and make lungs healthy

Air pollution can damage your lungs. So, on Earth Day 2023, take steps to reduce air pollution and improve lung health.
World Earth Day tips to protect lungs
On World Earth Day, here are some tips to protect your lungs. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Updated: 17 Oct 2023, 18:34 pm IST
  • 166

Whether it is your car or your child’s school bus or industries, they all emit mixtures of air pollutants. Many of them are harmful to our health. According to World Health Organization, globally it is estimated that air pollution causes nearly 30 percent of lung cancer deaths. So, on Earth Day, which falls on April 22 every year and is about creating awareness about the environment and its protection, let’s try to reduce air pollution. That in turn, will help to keep your lungs healthy.

Health Shots connected with Dr Nimish Shah, Consultant, Pulmonology, Jaslok Hospital & Research Center, Mumbai, to know about air pollution and lung health.

Air pollution and its effect on lungs

You can’t breathe without your lungs, so they are vital organs that also help to transfer oxygen throughout our bodies. Dr Shah explains that when the quality of air deteriorates due to a variety of factors such as air pollution, particles from the air and toxins build in the lungs. They may lead to sore throat and cough, which is widely known as bronchitis. If this is left on for a long period of time, it might cause irreversible changes and damage to the lungs. So, air pollution has a direct impact on our lungs.

air pollution and lungs
Air pollution can damage your lungs. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Ways to reduce air pollution

This Earth Day, we must take initiatives to reduce air pollution, at least for the sake of our lungs and health. Here’s what we can do:

• Plant more trees.
• Use public transportation as much as you can.
• Use environment-friendly cars and ensure that the vehicles adhere to emission standards such as Bharat Stage VI. Avoid diesel because it causes more pollution.
• Hybrid and electric vehicles are the way forward because they emit almost zero emissions.

Tips to keep lungs healthy

While protecting the environment, don’t forget to take care of your lungs. Air pollution won’t disappear in an instant, but you can take steps to keep your lungs healthy. Try these tips!

1. Exercise

Exercising is not just about weight loss or strengthening your arms and legs. You should sweat it out regularly since it improves lung function, says the expert. This means you should do a good amount of cardio, ranging from 30 to 60 minutes every day or at least five days a week. People with limited mobility like those with arthritis can also opt for something like swimming, which helps in overall body fitness and lung health.

air pollution and lungs
Keep your lungs healthy by exercising and eating well. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Healthy diet

Having a good green diet and drinking more juices instead of aerated drinks can also help you to improve lung function. You should eat high fibre foods like raspberries, chia seeds, quinoa, pears and broccoli.

3. Yoga

Yoga is also quite helpful for maintaining lung health, with various Pranayama or breath exercises like Anulom, Vilom and Kapalbhati being particularly helpful.

4. Maintain a normal BMI

Your weight has a direct impact on your lung function, says the expert. Those with a higher Body Mass Index have poorer lung function, so maintaining a normal BMI is critical.

Select Topics of your interest and let us customize your feed.


5. Avoid smoking

Avoid smoking, polluted locations, and going unprotected to business industries that produce a lot of poisonous fumes. Smoking is not just about cigarettes, shisha and hookah are also harmful for your lungs. You should also try to avoid being around people who smoke.

So, this Earth Day, let’s save our planet and keep our lungs happy.

  • 166
About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

Next Story