Have you ever wondered how to increase lung capacity? The answer is yes it is! There are different ways of increasing your lung capacity in a healthy way. Increasing lung capacity can be necessitated by damages to the lungs which reduce their capacity. That is when challenges set in, such as shortness of breath, respiratory distress including severe respiratory symptoms, Covid 19 pandemic-related symptoms, and eventually lung failure or even lung cancer.
This should not be scaring you out though because the tips in this article should help you learn how to repair and maintain healthy lungs.
How to Increase Lung Capacity All By Yourself
It is easy and perfectly normal to get worried if you are directly affected by a compromised lung capacity. This need not be the case though because there is always a way around this challenge. These tips should get you sorted out on how to improve your lung health. Even Covid 19 affected patients can apply these practices directly to ease the Covid 19 recovery process.
The lungs alongside the respiratory system make it possible for us to breathe. Without proper functioning lungs, you will experience detrimental breathing difficulties that can be extremely harmful to your health. Breathing becomes a problem when the lungs are affected. This implies that working around your breathing is one of the surefire ways on how to increase lung capacity.
Learn and practice the following tips on how to increase lung capacity including breathing and coughing techniques.
#1 Improve your daily postures
Poor postures in your daily activities may restrict your airways. This might limit the capacity and effectiveness of your lungs especially if you are an office person or most of your daily activities are spent while seated on a chair.
You are therefore advised to maintain a straight spine, in a comfortable position. Keep your chest open always to improve the airflow of your lungs hence improving their capacity.
While going about simple activities during the day, be sure to stand up or sit up straight and also practice taking deep breaths. Your posture should be 90 degrees when seated on a chair and 180 degrees while standing straight. This will greatly improve your lung function and your general health.
#2 Deep breathing exercises
Deep breathing prevents trapped air from getting into your lungs because when it does, that is when you feel shortness of breath.
- Sit down with your elbows behind to fully expand your chest.
- Take a deep breath through your nose.
- Hold your breath for like 5 seconds.
- Release it slowly as you breathe out through the nose until you feel like all the air is released.
- It is advisable to do this physical activity with other daily breathing exercises three to five times a day.
#3 Join a breathing club near you
There are several support groups for simple breathing techniques, lung health education, and encouragement both online and offline. These clubs serve the purpose of supporting each other emotionally and practicing breathing exercises together.
You should ensure that your club has at least one qualified physician who will be able to give sound advice, diagnose and refer members where necessary.
These clubs also have people with inspiring stories that will go a long way to help keep your lungs healthy, properly functional, and also to improve your quality of life. Some clubs might have a culture of sending regular email updates to their members, which is important for staying up to date on lung health. Look for one around your area and be sure to register membership.
#4 Engage in regular cardiovascular exercises
Cardiovascular exercises can increase your heartbeats and help you breathe faster. When this happens, it improves your lung capacity and also strengthens your heart muscles.
Here are some of the major cardiovascular exercises that you can indulge in.
- Dancing sessions
- Doing aerobics
- Frequent jogging
- Cycling and biking
- Zumba dance
Consult your physician or physical therapist for professional medical advice before you engage in all these intense activities especially if you have any underlying conditions as they may worsen due to vigorous activity.
#5 Take vitamin D supplements
Vitamin D is widely known for reducing the risk of lung cancer and a lung condition known as osteoporosis. It also helps in reducing flare-ups, inflammation of the lungs, pre- lung infections, hence maintaining a healthy lung capacity.
Low Vitamin D levels in the body will lead to low lung capacity hence exposing you to infections related to the respiratory system such as pneumonia, common cold, and the like. You can also supplement Vitamin D with immunity-boosting vitamins such as Vitamin C which is found mostly in fruits and green leafy vegetables.
Great sources of vitamin D include are:
- Yogurts and fermented milk
- Orange and lemon juice
- Almond milk
- Egg yolks
- Freshwater fish
#6 Play musical instruments
Playing musical instruments while singing at the same time will do your lung capacity well. Play any mouth musical instrument while taking average breaths. This approach will strengthen the diaphragm, the stomach, and accessory muscles.
practice whistling if you do not have access to any mouth musical instrument. Some of the musical instruments you can play are:
- French harp mouth organ
- Lip piano
- Tremolo Harmonica
#7 Avoid primary and secondary smoking
Smoking effects are risky and one of them is that it can cause a type of lung failure condition known as emphysema which causes damage to air sacs in the lungs. It is also related to chronic bronchitis with very severe symptoms.
When the lungs get affected by these two conditions, the capacity declines instantly causing more severe and persistent symptoms.
It is mostly characterized by severe chest pains on the upper chest, persistent cough, and chest tightness. The road to recovery is a hard one, and as they say, prevention is better than cure!
#8 Practice diaphragmatic breathing
Diaphragmatic breathing is also known as belly breathing or abdominal breathing. It involves engaging the diaphragm muscle as well as the abdominal muscles mostly by lifting slightly heavy objects.
Follow the following procedure while doing the diaphragmatic breathing for great results.
- Start by relaxing your shoulders while seated back, you can also lie down.
- Place your right hand on your belly and your left hand on your chest.
- Breathe in through the nose for around two to three seconds and feel the air move through your belly. Your stomach should stretch out more than your chest area.
- Breathe out now slowly for like 3 seconds through the lips while pouting them. As you do this process press your belly to let out all the air.
- Repeat the process severally as you exercise breathing control.
#9 Practice interval breathing
In case you encounter shortness of breath or breathlessness while doing your exercises the best thing to do is interval breathing.
It involves having alternate breathing between short periods of more strenuous and less strenuous exercises. When working out in the gym or at home, do not do only hard workouts and lifting. Try the simple ones to ensure that the lungs get some rest before the next exercise. For beginners, do not work out for many hours a day as this may be strenuous to your lungs and cause them to collapse.
For example, when cycling you can try cycling faster than slower. When walking you can run at a fast pace followed by a slow pace.
It is always advisable to slow down and rest for some minutes whenever you encounter the slowness of your breath. Practice lip breathing while resting.
#10 Try out pursed-lip breathing
This is achieved by breathing in through the nose and letting out the air by mouth. It makes it easier for their lungs to function properly because it keeps the lung areas open for a long time. This improves the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the respiratory system, instantly improving lung capacity.
Here is how to practice the deep breathing technique:
- Breath slowly through your nostrils for about 3 seconds.
- Pout your lips the way you do when blowing up a bubble to form sound ‘o’.
- Exhale slowly by slowly through the pouted lips. This should be twice slower than breathing in.
- Keep repeating the process by deep breathing.
#11 Try huff coughing
When your lung capacity is low, it can cause mucus to build up in your lungs leading to a lung infection which greatly reduces lung capacity. If not attended to, it might result in pneumonia-related conditions.
The huff cough helps eliminate mucus without a lot of strain. Here’s how to do it:
- Sit down comfortably, recommended at 90 degrees.
- Breathe through the mouth slightly more than a normal breath.
- Blow out the air in three breaths with your mouth while making the sounds ho..ho..ho.
- Combine this exercise with other simple activities and repeat regularly.
As we conclude, note the following steps to undertake for a noticeably increased lung capacity:
- Avoid crowded places to keep lung infections at bay.
- Embark on a workout routine, start slowly and increase the pace as you take keen notes on the changes
- Take your Vitamin D supplements religiously.
- Consider singing and playing mouth instruments as a hobby
- Get a couple of friends and start a lung capacity improvement club; it’s not only fun but also a healthy initiative.
- Visit your physician often when you feel like your lung health is compromised even after following all these tips
Did you enjoy the article, do you love yourself? Then practice the above tips, share with your friends and family and also leave us a comment in the comments section.
Best of luck as you take care of yourself and one of the vital organs in the human body, your lungs!