Our organs change and shift as we become older. There is more attention that must be paid to keeping them as healthy as possible. With certain environmental factors as a conduit to lung issues, a study found that consistent exercise has shown to keep the ability of lungs at a healthy level in aging adults. There is an exchange of gases that the lungs partake in: one being oxygen and the other being carbon dioxide. Oxygen is for the body and carbon dioxide is expelled from the body.
When lungs begin to deteriorate, which is a normal sign of aging, the circulatory system becomes faulty. The surface area of the air sacs tends to decrease and the blood vessels also get smaller. This reduction is known to compromise the necessary exchange that oxygen and carbon dioxide undergo.
A team in Rochester, Minn. set out to make some determinations about lungs, age and activity as they took four sample groups of varying ages and fitness levels. All individuals participated in an exercise test that measured their exertion and stamina. Aspects such as heart rate, lung capacity and intensity were measured. The hypothesis going into the study was that the older group would likely have impaired lung function after such activities but that wasn't necessarily the case. Given the exercise level, lung diffusing capacity was the strongest and most notable in the groups that stayed relatively active.
It turns out that the correlation between healthy aging and fitness is incredibly strong and that the lungs respond positively to steady and consistent exercise. There isn't a need to exercise very vigorously or intensely in order to get the benefits of leading a healthy, active, fitness-filled life. The age-related changes presented in pulmonary circulation are diminished when the lungs are used to their full capacity regularly.
There are a few outliers that may compromise the lungs such as environmental factors and lifestyle habits. Obviously, the presence of smoke and regularly smoking is bad for your pulmonary mechanisms so if you are a smoker, quitting is definitely in your best interest.
Not only can smoking negatively affect your lungs and various other aspects of your health, it can make working out and maintaining a certain level of fitness increasingly difficult. We use so much more lung capacity and dexterity when we are working out. This is why smokers can't necessarily be very fit because so much of their lung capacity has already been used and compromised from their smoking habit. This is especially true if they smoke several cigarettes a day.
Once giving up this very bad habit, exercising may seem difficult as your lungs start to understand what it means to not be filled with smoke. The lungs can come back from being in such unsavory situations, but consistent exercise is absolutely key to this transition.
Establishing an activity plan, whether it be brisk walks, cycling or yoga, will help to refashion the way that your lungs displace carbon dioxide and ingest oxygen. All of these things beget the overall health and ability of the lungs and the body as a whole. Keep them in good shape and use them often. Even breathing exercises while doing physical activities will help in this way.