Oxygen is crucial to our survival; We quite literally can’t live without it. Tissues need a constant supply of oxygen for the vital metabolic reactions that keep us functioning. But the body’s oxygen supply is dependent on our respiratory system, which needs a little bit of extra support to keep it in great shape. The respiratory system’s main task is to provide us with oxygen while simultaneously removing carbon dioxide from our body.
An Overview of the Respiratory System
Our respiratory system is comprised of three major parts: the airway, the lungs, and the muscles. All three are involved in respiration. These parts allow oxygen to enter the body while removing carbon dioxide at the same time.
Like many of our body’s systems, the respiratory system tends to weaken with age, making these processes less efficient and effective. Fortunately, modern medicine and nutrition may provide us with a few ways to slow down respiratory aging.
Don’t Skip Your Workout
You’ve got one life and one body, so take care of it! We all know that cardiovascular exercise strengthens the heart, but did you know that it can bolster the respiratory system as well?
Exercise is treated by the human body as a positive stress. The physical challenges brought on by exercise cause the heart, muscles and lungs to work harder. These challenges cause the various systems in the body to strengthen and become more efficient.
During exercise, the heart pumps harder, thereby supporting the respiratory system by circulating more oxygen to the muscles. The lungs will adapt by learning to use oxygen more efficiently. Your skeletal muscles will also become more efficient with their handling of oxygen; a trained muscle will require less oxygen, thereby reducing the burden of heavy breathing.
With such pronounced and varied benefits, you can’t afford to skip exercise. Generally, results can be seen as soon as two weeks after following a consistent workout regimen. Be sure to consult with your doctor prior to starting a new exercise program.
Refine Your Diet
As our bodies age, metabolic processes tend to slow down. This affects all systems of the body. After the age of 40, we generally require longer recovery times, burn fewer calories and begin to develop various health conditions. Some of these will be heavily influenced by our genetic predispositions, but lifestyle or external factors will also play a major role in our respiratory and overall health.
While we cannot change our genetics, we can change our lifestyles. Following a healthy, balanced diet can prevent excess weight gain and reduce stress on the heart and respiratory system.
Make sure to get the most from your diet by enhancing your digestion with digestive enzymes. In addition, the body also requires systemic enzymes, which play a vital role in the synthesis and breakdown of food and other nutrients. The specialized cells in the pancreas, stomach and salivary glands produce these enzymes, which may help your body to break down fats and protein. They also support nutrient absorption — a critical factor when you’re limiting your food intake.
Lower-calorie diets often lead to nutrient deficiencies, as fewer nutrients are being consumed. Make sure to get the most from your meals and support your digestive system with digestive enzymes.
Oxygen consumption is positively correlated with body weight, meaning that higher body weights will almost guarantee higher oxygen consumption. In your later years, you should take greater precaution to maintain your weight due to a declining respiratory system.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 50 years, you have probably heard about all the damaging effects that cigarette smoke can have on your respiratory system. But it’s even more important that you quit smoking immediately if you’re over the age of 40, and especially if you’ve been smoking for years.
According to the CDC, cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Cigarettes harm nearly every organ in the smoker’s body and will harm their health in general. They also just so happen to take a pretty big toll on the respiratory system.
The smoke inhaled by cigarette smokers can damage the airways and the alveoli of the lungs, and smokers are 12 times more likely to suffer from respiratory diseases and than non-smokers.
Use Supporting Nutrients
Supporting your respiratory health after age 40 should be a part of your overall lifestyle. What you do every day matters. Prevent the need for breathing therapy or uncomfortable respiratory conditions by making sure you have all your bases covered.
A respiratory health supplement will provide nutrients and enzymes that support circulation, respiration and immune health. The human body produces enzymes that catalyze metabolic reactions within our cells. These enzymes regulate our metabolism, breathing and heart rate, among other functions.
Finally… Take the Holistic Approach
Enjoying great respiratory health in your later years requires a holistic, multi-faceted approach. By that we mean that you need to look at the whole body and provide support where necessary to keep your respiratory system in good shape. In addition to a healthy diet and regular exercise, your body needs to be free of burdens caused by cigarette smoke, aging and various other factors for it to function at its best