Breathing properly without gasping is natural when your body is at rest. But with age or different lung diseases, we tend to face shortness of breath frequently. It’s common knowledge that the lungs enhance their functions during lungs exercise. So, exercising will help you expand your lungs and remedy any minor breathing ailments.
Has that piqued your interest? If yes, join us, as we walk you through complete details of a few helpful lung exercises that you can follow at your home. The point is to keep your lungs healthy and remedy minor ailments. However, if issues persist, see the doctor immediately.
Why does Lung Exercises matter?
Lungs are tasked with performing a gas exchange, a process known as respiration. These organs intake oxygen and distribute it throughout the body via blood while also gathering CO2 for exhalation. When you exercise, your muscles work harder and make your body function more efficiently. Thus, the exercises help in gaining strength and preventing illnesses. Also, it ensures that all body parts get enough oxygen for optimal functioning.
As long as we stay young, lung functioning is optimal. However, as age catches up, and our lungs capacity starts declining. This leads to lung health issues that can manifest in various forms. It is only with time, we realize the effects and often it’s too just too late. In lack of timely action, minor issues can grow into some serious issues like asthma, shortness of breathing, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases), and more.
However, the possibility of lung diseases at an early stage can be reduced significantly. Many can even be remedied through some convenient lung exercises.
Benefits of Lungs Exercise
Regular exercises and breathing habits help prevent chronic lung ailments. Here’s how:
- Enhances the capacity of our lungs
- Increases blood circulation to allow lungs to deliver more oxygen into the blood.
- Relaxes your body and enhances energy levels
- Detoxifies the body.
- Treats lung ailments, such as COPD, Bronchitis, Asthma, and Emphysema, etc.
Top 6 Lungs Exercise to enhance Lung Health
Here are some of the best lung exercise for adults to maintain perfect lung health:
A popular lungs exercise, Rib stretch helps increase lung capacity. True to its name, the exercise stretches the ribs with each move. Here are the steps to follow:
- Stand upright and keep your hands at your back.
- Next, inhale slowly and fill your lungs.
- Hold your breath for a while until you are uncomfortable.
- Exhale slowly and repeat the procedures several times over.
Oriental breathing is one of the prominent breathing exercises to help the lungs. Follow the steps to perform oriental breathing:
- Start with a simple breath in and breathe out.
- Next, inhale thrice with your nose and exhale.
- Then, inhale (2nd) again while raising your hands parallel to your shoulder.
- Again, inhale (3rd) and stretch your hand as wide as you can.
- At last, exhale while lowering your hands to their normal position.
When it comes to how to increase lungs capacity, Aerobics could be the answer. It supports the large muscle sets’ movement in a rhythmic, swift manner. That makes your lungs and heart strong and boosts your stamina. It leads to improved respiration, which in turn helps better energy stimulation and other benefits associated with lung exercises. The stationary biking aerobic technique is perhaps your best bet. Else, long and brisk walks can help.
Cardio exercises are designed for the heart but they can also aid lungs function. Perform them for at least 30 minutes a day and expect increased lung capacity. The fact here is, when a body performs a brisk and rapid workout, the lungs have to work hard.
Among all the cardio exercises available, only a few helps enhance the lung capacity:
- Gym and heavy workouts on machines
Follow appropriate protocol before and after cardio exercises to avoid repercussions.
Water-based exercises help the body to work hard, which boosts lung capacity and function. Your water-based exercise options are vast but the best breathing exercise for the lungs is stretching and weight lifting in the water.
However, maintain some precautions for safety’s sake. Don’t start aggressively. Instead, let your body cope up with exercising in water first. Also, the water level should be up to your neck. Continue rapid and constant breathing during workouts in water to feel the body compression.
Lion Pose or Simhasana
It seems funny as this pose needs you to make a sound while exercising. This sound of simhasana reflects a roaring lion. Here are the necessary steps:
- Touch both of your toes together and try to stretch your knees apart according to your comfort.
- Then, bend your body slightly forward and use your palm to touch the floor between your knees.
- Following, arch your back to some extent and move the head towards the back.
- Next, you need to open your mouth and bring the tongue out to the chin.
- Now, exhale via the mouth and make a sound like “aah” straight from the throat.
- Once done with inhaling and exhaling, you can close your mouth.
- Make your body feel relaxed and calm at last.
Lungs Issues in Elderly
Lung issues are commonplace, especially among the ageing population. However, given the growing pollution and habits like smoking, even younger people aren’t immune to lung issues. The elderly might find the above-mentioned lung exercise difficult to perform. So, we have compiled a list of easy-to-do breathing exercises for lungs for the elderly.
Abdominal or belly or Diaphragmatic breathing is an easy lungs exercise that involves simply lying on your back. The breathing uses the dome-shaped muscle sheet between the abdomen and chest (diaphragm). Hence, it is named Diaphragmatic or abdomen exercise. To perform it, do as follows:
- Relax and lie down straight on your back. Put both of your hands on your abdomen and chest, respectively.
- Next, inhale through your nose ensuring the abdomen is out and the chest remains motionless. Hold on to your breath.
- Exhale using your mouth. Make sure you throw out all the air from the abdominal muscles by squeezing your stomach.
- Repeat the same steps over and over again.
Exercises that strengthen the abdominal muscles also work great for the lungs. By simply humming, you can increase the capacity of their lungs. Humming breathing helps our lungs to throw out the air from lungs and make space for fresh air to enter. Here is a brief process of Humming Breathing:
- Sit straight and exhale. Start humming while releasing the air.
- While humming and exhaling, squeeze your abdominal muscles in.
- Relax and repeat this entire process.
This will help reduce stress and boost lung function.
Breathing lungs exercise always have a calming effect, making them one of the best relaxation methods for healthy living. Concentrating on breathing helps the diaphragm and chest to inflate and deflate smoothly. The exercise involves the following steps:
- Inhale at a comfortable speed.
- Clear your thoughts while inhaling.
- When you exhale, picture that all your stress and tension is going down through your body towards your feet.
- Once you do this, you will feel relaxed. Then, follow the steps again to continue.
For people dealing with lung ailments, such as asthma, Buteyko breathing is a safe bet. This lungs exercise help decrease the rapid and gasping breath cycles. Here’s how to perform it.
- Find a quiet and comfortable place at your home.
- Avoid breathing deeply.
- Instead, take slow and shallow breaths through your nose.
- Carry on with these simple steps again.
Pursed-lip exercise is one of the easiest exercises you can perform anytime and anywhere. It helps in maintaining an open airway to offer a smooth flow of air to the lungs for longer. That translates into better lung capacity and function for the elderly. Here is a stepwise procedure to follow:
- Sit with your back straight for healthy lung activities.
- Inhale with your nostrils
- Pout your lips (Pursed-lips)
- Exhale with your pursed lips
- Repeat the procedure for some time.
Believe it or not, counting your breaths is an efficient way to enhance lung function and correct minor lung issues. Here are the necessary steps involved:
- Close your eyes and inhale deeply.
- Squeeze your lungs and exhale.
- Inhale again and start counting. Consider it your first breath.
- Exhale after holding your breath for some time.
- Again, inhale. It’s your second breath.
- Repeat the process until you reach number 10.
There’s a misconception that indulging in daily activities like playing with kids and walking enhances lungs capacity. While these activities help, you need lung exercises for healthy lungs. We have provided a comprehensive list of breathing exercises for lungs for all age groups. Hope, that helps. However, if you still experience breathing issues, see a doctor.
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