Lung capacity is the amount of air our lungs can hold. As we age, our lung capacity decreases. There are also a variety of conditions and complications, such as COPD, that lead to diminishing lung capacity.
The outcome can be shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.
The good news is, there are a number of things you can do to help maintain and improve your lung capacity. Don’t just sit back and let your lung capacity diminish!
Think about your lungs as if they’re a muscle on your body, like your biceps or your quads. If you want to improve the strength of them, you need to exercise them, right? The same thing applies to your lungs.
A few effective breathing exercises are:
- Pursed-lips Breathing
- Diaphragmatic Breathing
- Rib Stretch
- Numbered Breathing
Learn more about these effective breathing exercises!
Performing cardiovascular exercises will increase your heart rate and make you breathe faster. It will also help to improve your lung functionality and strengthen your heart!
Some great workouts are:
Contact your doctor before making a dramatic change to your exercise regimen.
Improve Your Posture
Posture and breathing go hand-in-hand. Poor posture can restrict your airways, limiting the capacity and effectiveness of your lungs.
By keeping your spine straight and your chest open, you’ll improve the air flow of your lungs– improving their capacity.
Throughout the day, be sure to stand/sit up straight while taking deep breaths.
Take Vitamin D
According to a study published in The Lancet Reparatory Medicine journal, vitamin D supplements can protect against COPD flare-ups and inflammation and allow you to breathe more comfortably.
People with COPD also have an increased risk of osteoporosis – which vitamin D can help to reduce.
Good sources of vitamin D include:
- Egg yolks
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Milk or almond milk
- Orange juice
Drinking enough water is crucial for the health of your lungs – and the rest of your body. Water keeps blood flowing to and from the lungs, allowing them to function at full capacity.
Consider investing in a reusable water bottle that can be easily transported as you go to work or run errands.
While this one is obvious, it can’t be stressed enough. Smoking is one of the worst things you can do to your lungs. Once you stop smoking, your lungs will naturally begin the recovery process.
In addition to recovering naturally, there are variety of other things you can do to improve your lung health and capacity!
Play a Musical Instrument or Sing
Turn up your favorite artist and rock out!
Playing a wind instrument or singing your heart out can really improve your lung capacity and the strength of your diaphragm.
If you have a musical background, this is probably great news for you! If not, just know that you might not be a rock star, but your lungs will love your performance.
Your ability to breath is essential to your health and wellbeing. Utilize the methods listed above to help maintain and improve your lung capacity!
For more information about lung capacity or breathing improvement tips, contact us today!
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