PORTSMOUTH — The start of a new year marks a fresh beginning, and as Americans prepare to ring in 2019, the American Lung Association in New Hampshire offers five tips on how to improve your lung health all year long.

1. Quit Smoking

Quitting tobacco is the best thing you can do for your lungs, and your health. Smoking is a serious addiction, and it may take several attempts to successfully quit for good. Set yourself up for success in 2019 with proven quit smoking methods through Freedom From Smoking, and join the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have quit with support from the Lung Association. 

2. Take the Stairs

Physical activity is recommended for all Americans, but not everyone has a gym membership, so the Lung Association encourages taking the stairs at home, at work and anytime possible. Stair climbing burns more calories than walking or running, but if you need more motivation, sign up for a local Fight For Air Climb. This unique event allows you to climb landmark buildings with friends, family and your community, with proceeds going to support lung health and healthy air. 

3. Test Your Home for Radon

Naturally-occurring radon gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer. What makes it so dangerous is that it’s invisible, odorless and tasteless, and can also build up in homes and buildings to dangerous levels undetected. One in fifteen homes is estimated to have unsafe radon gas levels, so testing is recommended for all American homes.

4. Breathe Easier with Lung Disease

If you’re living with a lung disease, you’re not alone. Management strategies and techniques to improve your health may be available, allowing you to live a full and healthy life. Speak to your doctor to see if an asthma management plan or Better Breathers Clubs might be right for you. The American Lung Association’s toll-free Lung HelpLine, 800-LUNGUSA, is staffed by respiratory therapists and registered nurses who can provide support and answer lung health questions.

5. Learn Your Lung Cancer Risk

Take an online quiz at SavedByTheScan.org to learn about your risk for lung cancer and see if you are eligible for lung cancer screening. The newly available test can help diagnose the disease in its earliest stages, when it’s most curable. In fact, if everyone eligible were screened, 25,000 lives would be saved. Screening isn’t for everyone, so take the online quiz and talk to your doctor to see if screening might be right for you. For those eligible for the test, screening is covered by Medicare and most health insurance plans without cost sharing.

To learn more about how to protect your lung health, visit Lung.org.

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