5 Ways to Increase Lung Capacity and Improve BreathingPosted: Jul 02 in Lifestyle by Staff
Lung capacity typically starts to decrease as you approach your late twenties, leading to reduced lung function that gradually worsens as you age. Chronic lung conditions, such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), can further reduce lung function, making it more difficult to breathe. Taking steps to increase your lung capacity helps to improve breathing and protect your lungs.
Breathing exercises that engage the diaphragm and focus on taking long, deep breaths help to clear stale air from the lungs and, over time, will improve your lung capacity and lung function. There are many different types of breathing exercises, some of which are specifically designed to help people with common lung or breathing problems, such as asthma and COPD. Experiment with different breathing exercises to see which are best suited to your needs.
Smoking has a major impact on lung health and contributes to a number of lung diseases. Breathing in second hand smoke can also damage the lungs and aggravate breathing problems. Environmental pollutants and other irritants, such as household mold, dust mites, pollen and air fresheners, can all affect your lungs and cause shortness of breath in some people. Avoiding or limiting your exposure to these harmful pollutants is essential for the long-term health of your respiratory system.
Regular exercise improves lung function, especially when physical exertion causes deep breathing. Running, brisk walking, cycling and swimming are all great exercises for respiratory health. However, if you have a health condition that affects your respiratory system, it’s important to talk to your doctor before increasing or changing your exercise routine, as sudden changes to physical activity levels can cause breathing difficulties.
Free radicals, such as those found in processed food, fried foods and food additives, can cause oxidative damage to cells, including cells in the lungs. Cutting down on junk food and eating a diet high in antioxidants, which help to protect against free radical damage, helps to keep your lungs healthy. Antioxidants can be found in a wide range of fruits and vegetables. You can also take antioxidant supplements to boost your intake.
Stress and anxiety have a detrimental impact on the respiratory system, as they can cause shallow breathing, hyperventilation and shortness of breath. Learning to manage levels of stress and anxiety can make a huge difference for many people. Meditation, relaxation exercises or simply taking the time to read a book can reduce stress levels and help to manage anxiety.
Lung capacity decreases with age and can be affected by COPD and other lung diseases. Daily breathing exercises, avoiding environmental pollutants, taking regular exercise, eating a healthy diet and managing your stress levels will all help to improve your breathing and increase lung capacity.