According to a study published in the journal Thorax, if you are a smoker looking for ways to improve your lung function, regular physical activities might be the answer for you. The study conducted by the researchers in the Barcelona Institute of Global Health (ISGlobal) found that leisure-time vigorous physical activities are directly associated with better lung function among smokers.
The study was conducted over a period of 10 years with 3,912 participants, in the age group 27-57 (at the start of the study). Researchers used information from a joint-effort between 25 European research centers in 11 countries.
People who exercised for two or more times a week and duration of one hour a week or more were considered as “active”. The researchers concluded that the participants who were active at the end of the study, either by becoming active or remaining active throughout, had a considerably higher lung function than those who remained inactive consistently.
The lead author of the study, Elaine Fuertes said, “One possible explanation for this result may be that physical activity improves respiratory muscle endurance and strength via a short or moderate-term effect that requires sustained physical effort to maintain it.” Another researcher added, “This result highlights the importance of physical activity among current smokers specifically, which are a group at higher risk of poor lung function.”
“The results of this study strengthen the epidemiological evidence supporting an association between physical activity and respiratory health,” said co-author Judith Garcia-Aymerich, Head of the Non-Communicable Diseases and Environment Programme at ISGlobal.
“This evidence should be used to inform and support public health messages that promote increasing and maintaining physical activity as a way of preserving respiratory health in middle-aged adults,” Garcia-Aymerich noted.