The lungs are the soul of the respiratory system, the bodily system all about breathing, where oxygen enters the body and carbon dioxide is pushed out. Oxygen gives your cells the power they need to keep going. Getting rid of carbon dioxide, or used air, is important too: if you don’t properly eliminate it from the body, there can be a buildup of gases.
The anatomy of the lungs is detailed, but relatively easy to understand. Every time you breathe in fresh air through your nose and mouth, it is pulled through the windpipe, or trachea, and into your lungs. From your windpipe, the air moves through two large passageways called the bronchi. From those passageways, an intricate system of smaller tubes called bronchioles carry oxygen to the most important part of the lung – the millions of air sacs known as alveoli. These small sacs, which are shaped like tiny folded balloons, have very thin walls that are full of blood vessels. These walls are made very thin so that oxygen in the air you breathe can pass through them and enter the bloodstream, to fuel the cells in your body.
Taking care of your lungs is simple and incredibly important for maintaining your overall health and well-being. While some lung diseases or other issues are outside of your control, by eating right, exercising, educating yourself and not smoking, you can keep your lungs safe and healthy.