Canadian Lung Association Blog

Breathing: More than gas delivery

Five added benefits of controlled breathing Breathing is a fascinating process that, unlike many other natural processes in the body, can be done voluntarily or involuntarily and can be done with one of two body parts. You can breathe through the mouth (this is a great alternative to breathing through the nose when unpleasant smells surround your area or when you want to win a bet by pretending you can hold your breath longer while secretly breathing nasally) or through your nose. Breathing through the nose offers several advantages. This inconspicuous holder of glasses and canvas for piercings offers a

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Breathing: the greatest thing for hipsters since return of vinyl

Breathing is not merely a life-sustaining process that powers the body and brain. For hipsters everywhere, this process is the most valuable of life functions altogether because the various elements make them who they are. Many of the benefits might be too obscure even for true hipsters to spot, but The Lung Association is here to help shed light on the benefits of breathing in the life of a hipster. The Nose Many might see the nose as simply the filtration system that allows inhaled air to enter the lungs. While the nose’s ability to filter out polluting particles and

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Breathing Towards Victory: How Olympians Use their Lungs

As the Olympic torch arrives in Rio, elite athletes will get ready for performances of a lifetime. During the days that follow, we will hold our breath as we watch our athletes perform, exhale with relief as the athletes finish a feat and shout in exhilaration as medals are hung around the necks. But as we breathe together with our athletes, our athletes breathe even deeper. Elite athletes must use their lungs more effectively than any of us. Oxygen powers performance. This is true for all level of athletes. Each of us can exercise to increase the volume of our

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Posted in Lung Health, Uncategorized

Season’s Sneezings : April showers bring May flowers

For most people, spring time is a time of the year when we shed winter coats and breathe in the long-forgotten smells of budding flowers and trees. But almost a quarter of Canadians suffers from allergies in the spring that make this time of the year difficult to enjoy. Jaimie Peters is a Registered Nurse and Certified Respiratory Educator with the Canadian Lung Association’s Helpline. She shares her tips on dealing with seasonal allergies. What causes springtime allergies? Most spring allergies are caused by pollens that are released from grass, trees, and flowers. Spring allergies cause hay fever, otherwise known as allergic

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Posted in Air Quality, Asthma, Lung Health

Got milk; need answers: New research looks at breast milk in asthma prevention

Imagine a nutritional food source that gives your baby exactly what she needs, when she needs it. Breast milk is just that. It provides your baby with nutrients, helps fight off infections and changes as the baby’s needs change. And yet, it might have even more benefits than that. Dr. Meghan Azad is a Winnipeg-based researcher and a recipient of Canadian Respiratory Research Network ERLI award, who is committed to learning just what other super powers this nourishment holds. “We’re looking at how breast milk potentially protects babies from developing asthma,” she explains, adding “So far, we’re seeing early signs

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Posted in Asthma, Research

On love, laughter and lungs

They say you cannot fall in love with someone you cannot laugh with. True as that might be, laughter is not only the tell-tale sign of compatibility. Is it in fact the best medicine as the old adage suggests? Well, we won’t suggest that laughter will fix a broken bone, treat strep throat or help with a stomach ache. There is better medicine than laughter for those ailments. But while laughter does not replace medicine, it certainly plays a valuable role in good respiratory health. Here are three things that good laughter can do for your lungs and respiratory system.

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A man of his word: Smoke Free Grad 2000

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Curtis signed a contract in grade one, decades later, he has never broke his promise. There were a lot of exciting events happening in 1989. The Swift Current Broncos won the Memorial Cup in Saskatoon. The Riders won the Grey Cup that fall for the first time since 1966. My family was moving into a new house on the farm. It may have been these exciting events that forced The Lung Association’s Smoke Free Grad 2000 pledge to stick in my head. Maybe the exciting times made me think positively about my future. Based on statistics, I was unlikely to

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Posted in Smoking & Tobacco, Stories

Eight Years Tobacco-Free and Counting. Honouring a loved one by honouring yourself!

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Kristie’s Breathe Story While I was in high school and in my early 20’s, I lived a very unhealthy lifestyle. I ate anything I wanted, rarely exercised and smoked a half a pack a day for 15 years. Shortly after I turned 31, I was hit by a bomb—my mother was diagnosed with terminal lung and brain cancer. I was devastated beyond belief and it triggered a rollercoaster of emotions. For years, as I grieved the loss of my mom, I never made my health a priority. I spent countless hours searching for a way that I could honour my

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Posted in Smoking & Tobacco, Stories

Quitting Smoking – We are here to help!

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Today marks the start of National Non-Smoking Week. This event was established in 1977 by The Canadian Council for Tobacco Control.  However, The Lung Association likes to think of everyday as a great day to quit smoking. It is in fact the best thing you can do for your health! The Certified Respiratory Educators at The Lung Association are always eager and happy to help anyone with their quit journey.  I am grateful to be part of this small but mighty Health Promotion team that empowers everyone to breathe easier.  I find that each person’s quit experience is different.  However,

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How safe is that ‘new smell’?

Britt Swoveland, RadonAware Manager at The Lung Association – British Columbia, shares her knowledge about indoor air quality. Like most soon-to-be parents, my husband and I couldn’t wait to set up our baby’s room. We spent weeks looking for the perfect crib and matching dresser, material for sewing curtains, and of course, a new colour for all the walls. The bedding was new, the furniture was new and the walls received a fresh coat of paint. A few weeks before my due date, I started to organize baby clothes, when I noticed a strong ‘chemical’ smell upon opening our new dresser’s drawers. I

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Life as a Quit Coach – Kelli’s story

Every time you call the QuitNow phone line, type a question into Live Chat or even interact on Facebook, an amazing, qualified Quit Coach is there to help you, support your quit, and answer any questions you may have along the way. Kelli is one of those Quit Coaches. Kelli’s story Even before beginning her nearly five years as a Quit Coach, Kelli was no stranger to helping those in need. Having worked with young pregnant women in crisis and gained an educational background in social work, she has been blessed with a natural ability to build a rapport with

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Posted in QuitNow, Smoking & Tobacco, Stories

When quitting runs in the family: Darlene & Verla

“I was very young when I started and addicted before I even grew into a woman.” – Darlene Bjork In families where smoking is prevalent, it can be difficult to break the cycle of addiction. Darlene and Verla know this all too well, as both have struggled to quit at different times in their lives. When we first met Darlene (right), she was ready to give up on her most recent quit attempt of one week. Cigarettes had formed an incredible hold on her after smoking for 45 years, and because it was publicly accepted, she’d never found the motivation

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Posted in COPD, QuitNow, Smoking & Tobacco, Stories

QuitNow in the Community – Nancy Viney, Regional Nursing Lead: Tobacco Reduction for Northern Health

At QuitNow, we help British Columbians quit smoking, but we couldn’t do it all on our own. In fact, much of our success relies on community partners. One of these partners is Nancy Viney, who has dedicated the last eight years of her career to decreasing tobacco use and increasing smoke-free spaces in Northern British Columbia As a registered nurse, Nancy has witnessed firsthand both the physical and financial consequences of smoking. “I would see low birth weights in babies, and impoverished families spending 700 dollars a month on their addiction,” she says. “After working in a sexual health clinic

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A Mother’s Love: Stephaine’s Story

In August 2016, Stephaine celebrated two years as a non-smoker. She had been addicted to cigarettes for 34 years and hated it, but felt completely helpless to quit. Nothing seemed to help her succeed, including medications, meditation, and changing her routine – until she found a reason that motivated her more than ever before. When Stephaine’s daughter’s spouse passed away, the impact was significant. The couple had been planning to hike the Pacific Crest Trail together, and, as part of her healing process, her daughter asked Stephaine to join instead. With the knowledge that she wouldn’t be able to complete the

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