Breathing is an activity that happens subconsciously, so we take it for granted. However, as people age, they are more likely to develop respiratory complications and experience breathing difficulties. Amidst rising health complications, exercise for lungs health has gained prominence with several people adopting this activity in their daily lifestyle.
With the inability to breathe freely and sustain healthy blood oxygen levels, there come a host of other ailments, including elevated anxiety and emotional stress, reduced energy levels, and compromised immune function.
For the cells in the body to work properly, most people need an oxygen saturation level of at least 89% and it is not achieved. Awareness of oxygen saturation levels and the use of pulse oximeters has become a more common practice due to Covid-19’s impact on blood oxygen levels. As it dominantly affects the respiratory system, people have started practicing breathing exercises that help to strengthen the respiratory system and fight the complications which might arise from the coronavirus.
How to Increase Lung Capacity?
Can exercise improve lung function? How Does Exercise Strengthen the Lungs? These are some questions we would have often pondered about. And the answer to both these questions is a resounding yes! It has been proven that adapting lung exercises to our daily routine and staying away from smoking and protecting ourselves from exposure to air pollution can help immensely in improving lung capacity.
Here are some easy and effective lung exercises that you can do to increase your lung capacity:
- Qigong Belly Breathing
Step 1: You need to relax your body.
Step 2: Now, you need to straighten your back, close your eyes and breathe as you do for a few minutes.
Step 3: Now, keep one hand on your chest and the other one on your lower abdomen.
Step 4: Next step is to breathe slowly 9-10 times.
- Diaphragmatic Breathing
Step 1: Sit up straight, with one hand on the stomach and the other on the chest.
Step 2: Inhale slowly and deeply through the nostrils, feeling the stomach expand with each full, diaphragmatic breath.
Step 3: Exhale slowly out of the mouth.
Step 4: Repeat six or more times each minute for up to 15 minutes.
- Pushing Out
Step 1: Take an upright posture and loosen your knees.
Step 2: Now bend down as you push out all the air from your lungs.
Step 3: Get back to the standing position, breathing in the air.
Step 4: Now fill your lungs with as much air as possible and hold your breath as long as you can.
Step 5: Next, extend your arm over your head and lower back to the starting position while exhaling. Perform this exercise 4 times daily.
- Om breathing exercise
Step 1: You need to sit with a straight back.
Step 2: Now, you need to place each hand on the sides of your lower abdomen.
Step 3: Now, breathe deeply and slowly through your nose and keep your mouth closed.
Step 4: Now, exhale while chanting, Om.
Step 5: Now, repeat this process 9-10 times.
- 4-7-8 Breathing Technique
Step 1: Breath out fully through the mouth, creating a wind-like “whoosh” noise.
Step 2: Keeping the mouth closed, inhale through the nose and silently count to four.
Step 3: Hold this breath while counting to seven.
Step 4: Exhale through the mouth for a count of eight, repeating the “whoosh” sound.
Step 5: Repeat steps, two through four, five times.
- Yawn to smile
Step 1: Sit upright on the edge of your bed or chair.
Step 2: Reach arms overhead.
Step 3: Create a wide stretching to yawn.
Step 4: Bring your arms down and finish by smiling for three seconds.
Step 5: Repeat 4-5 times
Humming is a great way to activate not only your abdominal muscles but also your lungs. A simple humming can increase your lung capacity. It also forces stale air out of the lungs so more fresh air can enter. This helps to reduce stress and can help the patient remain in restoration mode.
Who should perform breathing exercises?
- Everyone who wants to reduce stress and be more aware and focused on their everyday life can benefit from performing breathing exercises.
- People who suffer from lung diseases may benefit from breathing exercises, but it would be a good idea to always consult with a doctor first.
- Athletes or people who conduct sports on a high level can highly benefit from performing breathing exercises. The respiratory muscles of the lungs should be trained just like any other muscle in the body.
What are the Benefits of breathing exercises?
- They relax your body
- They improve oxygenation in the lungs
- They help to reduce stress and increase energy levels
- They help detoxify your body
If your lung capacity continues to diminish, or if you are having trouble breathing while resting, please consult the nearest Pulmonologist. This may be indicative of more severe health conditions.
Get to know about some good habits for healthy lungs
Regency Hospital has a dedicated Pulmonology department in Kanpur with doctors having years of experience treating ailments concerning the lungs. Visit today to get a consultation from the experts!