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How to increase lung capacity? Top 7 Best Exercise for strong & healthy Lungs

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Lungs are perhaps the most neglected organ in the body, despite being one of the most important and primary organs in the human body. They are responsible for your breathing, without which you would die pretty soon. However, the reality is no one really cares about these lungs. Everyone is busy being ostentatious about their outer body health, but no one really cares when it comes to internal organs. In this article, you will read everything about how to increase lung capacity.

Air quality will not get any better and pollution from vehicles will only damage your lungs.  It is ultimately reducing your lung capacity. Well, if the carburetor of your body fails, how will the system work? Pollution is never going to stop and hence you need to evolve your lungs by increasing your lung capacity.  

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Let’s have a look at the best breathing exercises to help lungs to stay fit and active.

What is lung capacity?

The definition of lung capacity is “Lung capacity or total lung capacity (TLC) is the volume of air in the lungs upon the maximum effort of inspiration”. In simpler words, lung capacity is the maximum amount of air you can take in through maximum effort of inspiration.

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Obviously, the more the lung capacity, the better it is for your health. Well, in day-to-day life, you don’t need the maximum capacity. But you need it if by any chance you found yourself in a crunch moment. On average lungs can hold up to 6 liters of oxygen, though the figure varies from individual to individual.

How to increase lung capacity?

Athletes definitely have much higher lung capacity than any normal human being. They get to that point through some vigorous exercises and workout routines. They never really focus on lung capacity, but it is the by-product of all the exercises.

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A normal human being cannot perform such exercises and hence focus should be solely on exercises to improve lung capacity.

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Best way to increase lung capacity

Exercises to increase lung capacity
Diaphragmatic breathing
Simple deep breathing
‘Counting’ your breaths
Watching your posture
Staying hydrated
Laughing
Staying active

Diaphragmatic breathing exercises to help lungs

How to increase lung capacity - KreedOn
Image Source: Optimal Breathing

During day-to-day activities, you never use your lungs to their full capacity, but Diaphragmatic breathing allows you to use your lungs at 100% capacity to increase lung efficiency.

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Following are the steps to perform in diaphragmatic breathing exercises to help lungs

  • Lie on your back on a flat surface. Bent your knees and keep your head straight. You can preferably use a pillow under your knees to have a support to your legs.
  • Hand position: One hand on your upper chest. Second just below your rib cage. This will help you feel your diaphragm movement as you breathe in and out.
  • Now, slowly breathe in through your nose and let your stomach moves out, this will make your hand to rise. The hand on your chest should remain as still as possible.
  • Tighten your stomach muscles, so that your stomach moves in, causing your hand to lower as you exhale through pursed lips. The hand on your upper chest should remain as still as possible.

You can also perform this exercise while sitting on a chair.

Benefits of diaphragmatic breathing-

  • Helping you relax.
  • Improving muscle function during exercises and preventing strain.
  • Increasing how much oxygen is in your blood.
  • Makes it easier for body to release toxic waste from lungs.
  • Reducing blood pressure.
  • Reducing heart rate.
  • This technique is best when someone is suffering from conditions like anxiety, asthma, COPD, and stress.

Simple deep breathing exercises for lungs

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Image Source: Goodnet.org

Simple deep breathing again takes your lungs to their full capacity.

Inhale slowly, and expand your belly with awareness of lowering the diaphragm. Then expand the ribs, allowing them to float open like wings. Finally, let the upper chest to expand & lift.

Exhale by letting the chest fall, contract the ribs, and, finally, bring your stomach muscles in and up to lift the diaphragm and expel the last bit of air.

‘Counting’ your breaths

Exercises for lungs - KreedOn
Image Source: Contemplative Studies

In this you inhale with the full capacity and while inhaling count the seconds for which the inhaling process occurs. Now exhale and try to exhale all the air out of the lungs taking the same time as that of inhaling. E.g. if inhaling takes 5 seconds, then exhaling should also take 5 seconds. 

Slowly, without compromising with comfort, increase the duration of inhaling and exhaling. The idea is to avoid a sort of discomfort or strain — it should be a gradual and easy process.

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Improve your posture

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Image Source: Easy Posture Brands

These are perhaps the simplest of techniques to build lung capacity. You can either sit tall and reach overhead to make more room for your lungs or lean back slightly on a stable chair and lift the chest, opening the front of your body as you breathe deeply.

It is all about giving as much room to your lungs.

Staying hydrated

lung exercise - KreedOn
Image Source: ABC News

The thinner the mucosal linings, the better the functioning of the lungs. Drinking water not only maintains the water level in the body but also keeps the mucosal lining as thin as possible. So drink water frequently.

Laughing – Best breathing exercises for lungs

Breathing exercise - KreedOn
Image Source: Asia Society

Everyone must have seen laughter clubs in the nearby parks, where people laugh their heads off. Their laughter even makes you smile, right? To everyone’s surprise, laughing is the best way to increase lung capacity and also to be mentally fit and fine.

Laughing clears out your lungs by forcing enough stale air out that allows fresh air to enter into more areas of the lungs.

Staying active

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Image Source: Essential Physical Therapy

Daily workout is the best medicine for every ailment or rather to keep any ailment far away from you. Any workout obviously, tests your lungs to their capacity and will ultimately boost the lung capacity.

Even if you are unable to perform some advanced exercises, activities like walking, bicycle riding, and jogging will still serve the purpose.

Conclusion

Many people suffered from Covid-19 and the virus did affect lung functioning and lung capacity. So if you had covid in the past, it is imperative to perform the above-mentioned exercises and activities. Well, this will not only make your lungs stronger but will also make your lungs fitter and healthier, which would be really useful if, unfortunately, any such wave hits again. So workout regularly, perform breathing exercises, eat healthy food, stay active and take your lung capacity to the next level.

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Saurabh Sameer Karmarkar
Saurabh’s love for Test cricket has no limits. He indulges himself in listening to experts talking about Test cricket. Saurabh absolutely loves the way Aussies play the game. He is quite new to football, but football fever has taken complete control of him. He is an ardent Bayern Munich fan. Saurabh loves to write about sports. Other than sports, he is a voracious reader, a fitness freak, loves physics, loves to stay away from social media, and a Mechanical Engineer too!

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