You already know it’s good for you to work out. You might think about how it can help you get in shape, lose weight, strengthen your heart, and even make you feel better. But did you know that working out can also keep the lungs in good shape?
How does breathing exercises help in building a strong lung health?
When you exercise, your lungs and heart have to work harder to give your muscles the extra air they need. Regular exercise makes your heart and lungs stronger, just like it makes your muscles stronger. As your exercise levels go up, your body gets better at transporting oxygen into the bloodstream and sending it to the muscles that are working. Over time, you are less likely to run out of breath when you exercise because of this.
Some workouts can also strengthen the diaphragm and the muscles between the ribs, which work together to help you breathe in and out. Visit the best lungs hospital in Coimbatore, to know about different lung diseases and what might suit you the best.
What should you know about the functioning of lungs?
To comprehend how exercise affects lung breathing, it’s important to understand the basics of lung function. The lungs are responsible for exchanging gasses between the air and the bloodstream. When we inhale, the lungs expand, allowing fresh oxygen to enter the body. This oxygen is then transported to the cells via the bloodstream. Simultaneously, the lungs eliminate carbon dioxide, a waste product produced by cells, through exhalation.
Lung capacity refers to the maximum amount of air the lungs can hold, and lung function refers to how efficiently the lungs deliver oxygen to the body and remove carbon dioxide. Several factors influence lung function, including genetics, age, overall health, and lifestyle habits.
What are the reasons for low lung capacity?
There are a lot of things that can cause your lung capacity to go down over time. The main cause is generally getting older, since our bodies slow down on their own over time.
Some other possible reasons are:
- Chronic lung disorders
- Interstitial lung disease
- Vitamin D deficiency
What are the signs that indicate low lung capacity?
Low lung capacity can cause problems like loss of breath, trouble breathing, and tiredness. If you have these symptoms, you should see a doctor to find out if they are signs of a bigger problem.
How long does it take to build a strong lung capacity?
Most of the time, it takes a few weeks of regular breathing exercise for lungs or more physical activity for symptoms to get better. But some people may see effects more quickly.
What are the common types of lung breathing exercises?
Diaphragmatic breathing is another term for abdominal or belly breathing. It helps retrain the diaphragm to function better so that the neck, shoulder, and back muscles don’t have to do all the work to breathe.
To perform belly breathing you:
- Sitting or lying down, put one hand on the chest, and the other hand on your stomach.
- Take a two-second breath in through the nose and feel the stomach move out.
- Close your lips and slowly breathe out through your mouth, putting gentle pressure on the stomach as you do so.
- Continue this for 5 to 10 minutes.
This form of exercise is considered as the best exercise to improve lung function.
Pursed lip breathing:
This type of breathing practice has been shown to make it easier to breathe and lessen shortness of breath. It also helps to get rid of air that gets stuck in the lungs.
To figure out how to breathe with your lips closed:
- Close your mouth, take a big breath, count to two as exhale.
- Put your lips together as if you were about to whistle.
- Slowly let your breath while you count to four with your lips pursed.
- Continue four or five times a day.
What are the benefits of practicing breathing exercises for lung health?
Breathing exercises have shown to have numerous benefits for overall health and it also plays a significant role in improving lung function.
Here’s how exercise positively impacts your breathing:
Strengthening respiratory muscles:
When you engage in physical activity, you use your respiratory muscles, such as the diaphragm and intercostal muscles, more intensely. Over time, these muscles become stronger and more efficient, allowing for improved breathing.
Increase lung capacity:
Exercise, particularly aerobic activities like running, swimming, and cycling, can increase lung capacity. As you engage in cardiovascular exercise, your body requires more oxygen, prompting your lungs to work harder and expand further. This expansion helps increase the volume of air your lungs can hold, enhancing respiratory capacity.
Enhanced oxygen transport:
Regular exercise improves cardiovascular health, which in turn enhances the efficiency of oxygen delivery to the tissues and organs. When your heart and lungs are stronger and more efficient, oxygen is transported more effectively, benefiting your overall lung function.
Improved lung efficiency:
Exercise promotes efficient gas exchange in the lungs. As you engage in physical activity, your breathing rate increases, allowing for a greater exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. This increased ventilation enhances the efficiency of the lungs in removing waste gasses and supplying fresh oxygen.
Individuals with lung conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) often experience breathlessness. Regular exercise, under the guidance of lungs specialist, can help manage these conditions by improving lung function and reducing breathlessness during physical exertion.
Getting older, being overweight, having certain health problems, and not being active can all make it harder to breathe. You can, however, do many things to keep your lungs healthy.
Getting regular exercise, having a healthy diet, and avoiding smoking can all help your lungs work as well as possible. If you have signs of low lung capacity like shortness of breath, you should see a lung specialist in Coimbatore to further analyze in case you have any underlying conditions.