Saturday, February 14, 2009

Health Tips for February 14

Happy Valentine's Day!

Health Tip: Help Reduce Your Risk of Lung Disease

By keeping your lungs healthy, you may be able to help prevent conditions including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The National Women's Health Information Center offers these suggestions for good lung health:

  • Quit smoking, and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • Avoid exposure to environmental pollutants such as asbestos and radon gas.
  • If you work around dust or chemical fumes, make sure the area is well-ventilated and that you wear a mask.
  • If you are at a high risk of lung disease, test your breathing function regularly.
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which may help reduce your risk of cancer.
  • If you have a persistent cough that doesn't appear related to a cold or allergy, see your doctor.

Health Tip: Breathing Polluted Air

When the air you breathe is polluted, it can cause symptoms such as labored breathing; irritated eyes, nose and throat; burning of the eyes; cough; and tightness in the chest.

To minimize these side effects of air pollution -- especially if you have heart or lung disease -- the American Academy of Family Physicians offers these suggestions:

  • When pollution levels are high, stay inside as much as possible.
  • If you must engage in outdoor activities, try to schedule them first thing in the morning or in the evening, after sunset.
  • When air quality is poor, don't exercise outdoors.
  • Avoid any outdoor activities that require you to exert yourself. Taking in more air also means breathing in additional pollutants.

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