Respiratory Health Matters!

Respiratory system is the network of organs and tissues that help us breathe. It includes our airways, lungs and blood vessels. The muscles that power our lungs are also part of the respiratory system. These parts work together to move oxygen throughout the body and clean out waste gases like carbon dioxide.

With the global pandemic upon us, we know that the Corona virus is a respiratory disease that especially reaches into our respiratory tract, which includes our lungs.

You may not think about the importance of your lung health until you actually experience a breathing problem. Your lungs provide oxygen and keep every other organ functioning by removing carbon dioxide from the body.   

Conditions that affect the respiratory system:

Many conditions can affect the organs and tissues that make up the respiratory system. Some develop due to irritants you breathe in from the air, including viruses or bacteria that cause infection. Others occur as a result of disease or getting older. Some conditions include:

  1. Allergies
  2. Asthma
  3. Infection like influenza (flu) or a cold
  4. Disease like lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  5. Aging
  6. Damage

Keeping respiratory system healthy:

Being able to clear mucus out of the lungs and airways is important for respiratory health.  To keep your respiratory system healthy, you should:

  1. Avoid pollutants like secondhand smoke, chemicals and radon (radioactive gas that causes cancer.)
  2. Minimize exposure to outdoor air pollution
  3. Don’t smoke
  4. Get regular checkups
  5. Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water and stay hydrated
  6. Exercise regularly to keep your lungs healthy
  7. Prevent infections by washing your hands often and possibly getting a flu vaccine each year.

(Sources: lung.org, clevelandclinic.org, webmd.com)

As part of our work on Livelihoods for Health and Wellbeing, we have been working with persons with disabilities to adopt organic horticulture practices. We are working with Dr. Bharati Chimmad from University of Agricultural Sciences Dharwad (UASD) who has produced a nutrition card game.  The pack has 73 health and nutrition cards. Each card contains a food produce and its nutritional value. This card game not only is a fun game for kids and adults alike, but also helps in understanding the nutritional value of the food we consume on a daily basis.

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