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Want To Be Healthier And Live Longer? Increase Your Lung Capacity With These 5 Exercises

Want To Be Healthier And Live Longer? Increase Your Lung Capacity With These 5 Exercises

Most of us believe that our heart health determines our overall well being and longevity, yet, studies have shown that our lungs play a much more significant role in keeping us alive and healthy. Scientists are showing how our lung’s capacity to take in and process enough oxygen is directly related to how our organs will perform and how long we will live. This study from the Mayo Clinic shows that “pulmonary function impairment is a significant risk factor for short- and long-term morbidity and mortality, despite adjustment for potential confounding factors such as age, gender, and smoking status.” This Framingham study also revealed that the determining factor in our longevity is our lung volume.

Decreased lung capacity risks

Our maximum lung capacity is about six liters, yet we can’t preserve this lung volume throughout our entire life. It decreases with age. By the time we are 25 years old, our lung capacity reaches maturity, and it starts declining as soon as we turn 35, making it more and more challenging to supply our organs with enough oxygen. As we get older, our nervous system lung tissue, muscles and bones experience changes which harm the air exchange process. Unfortunately, most people only use 10-20% of their breathing capacity even when their lung capacity is at its fullest. By not getting enough oxygen, our overall health suffers tremendously. Health risks related to decreased lung capacity include:

  • heart failure risk
  • less energy and more fatigue
  • reduced metabolic and digestive functions
  • higher risk of inflammation
  • decreased focus, concentration and memory
  • stamina and endurance decline during activity

Fortunately there are certain methods to increase our lung capacity and avoid health risks associated with low lung volume. Deep breathing exercises are safe, easy and effective ways to detoxify our bodies, relieve anxiety and stress, increase our lung capacity, and improve our overall health.

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Before you start keep in mind essential rules and precautions:

  • Always assume an upright position while performing breathing exercises.
  • Start with shorter periods of time, and slowly increase the time as you progress.
  • Take deep and slow breaths to ensure your lungs are emptied entirely.
  • Pay attention to your body and lung limits and make sure not to push yourself too hard.
  • Relax your muscles.
  • Acclimatize your body to the surroundings and temperature.

1. Pushing out

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    Super-Power Breathing authors, doctors Paul and Patricia Bragg, suggested this exercise for increasing lung capacity:

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    • Start standing up with knees loose
    • Bend over from waist as you push out all air from your lungs
    • Inhale as you slowly return to an upright position
    • Stop inhaling once you reach your fullest lung potential
    • Keep your breath for about 20 seconds with both arms extended fully overhead
    • Slowly exhale

    2. Rib stretch

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      As your ribs stretch during this exercise, your lungs can increase their volume and take in more oxygen.

      • Stand straight and exhale deeply
      • Inhale slowly until you reach your maximum lung capacity
      • Hold your breath for 20 seconds, resting your hands on your hips
      • Exhale slowly

      3. Abdominal breathing

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        via Return 2 Health

        This exercise relaxes and expands your abdomen, allowing your diaphragm to descend, leaving enough room for your lungs to fill with air.

        • Stand straight with one hand on your belly and the other one on your chest
        • Inhale fully through the nose making sure the hand on your belly is higher than the one on your chest
        • Hold your breath for 7 seconds
        • Exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds
        • Tighten your abdominal muscles in order to expel any air left

        4. Oriental breath

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          via wikiHow

          • Inhale and exhale standing in an upright position
          • Take 3 breaths in through your nose without exhaling
          • Inhale one more time, raising your arms in front of you to shoulder level
          • Inhale once again, opening your arms and raising them overhead
          • Exhale all the air as you bring your arms down next to your body

          5. Numbered breath

          Numbered breath exercise gradually increase your lung capacity over time.

          • Stand in an upright position and close your eyes
          • Take a deep breath
          • Expel all air from your lungs
          • Take another deep breath and think of the number 1
          • Hold your breath for a couple of seconds and exhale
          • Inhale and think of the number 2
          • Exhale in 3 seconds
          • Repeat until you reach number 8

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          Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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          Last Updated on January 25, 2021

          What Should I Do Today? 30 New Things To Do Today

          What Should I Do Today? 30 New Things To Do Today

          It’s always fun to do something new, but often we fall into the trap of spending our weekends the same way.

          If you’re stuck in the same old routine, it might be time to try something new.

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          What should I do today? No ideas?

          Everything listed here is something you can easily do no matter where you live, and even on a tight budget! Try out one of these 30 new things today, you’ll be happy you did.

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          Try Out These 30 New Things To Do Today

          1. Visit a suburb in your city that you’ve never been to before, or somewhere you haven’t explored much.
          2. Learn ten phrases in a new language–what about Japanese, Italian or Portuguese?
          3. Listen to a genre of music you haven’t tried before–perhaps Jazz, Punk or Blues?
          4. Have a picnic in your local park complete with a packed lunch and your animal friends.
          5. Start a daily journal to write your thoughts in.
          6. Try a new cuisine–what about French, Lebanese or Korean?
          7. Visit your local library and borrow some books for the weekend.
          8. Plant some flowers in your garden. If you don’t have one, try an indoor potted plant.
          9. Visit a local museum or art gallery and view their latest exhibition.
          10. Learn a new skill–what about sewing, gardening or cooking? You’ll be surprised what you can learn in an afternoon.
          11. Say hello to a neighbor you don’t usually talk to.
          12. Make a card for a friend and send it to them with a handwritten note.
          13. Learn how to cook a new dish for dinner. We all get tired of eating the same thing, why not try making something new?
          14. Re-read an old favorite book. Don’t leave it gathering dust on your book shelf; get it out and read it all over again.
          15. Research the culture of a different country online–what about India, Guatemala or Sweden?
          16. Go for a walk or bicycle ride around your neighborhood.
          17. Watch a classic film like Casablanca, The Godfather or The Wizard of Oz.
          18. Make a photo album of a recent holiday you took. Don’t let your memories get lost on your computer hard drive; make a special keepsake album of your trip.
          19. Visit your local farmers markets and pick out some fresh produce. Farmers markets are full of delicious fresh fruit, veggies and more. Find your local market and take a visit.
          20. Plan a day trip to somewhere outside your city–it might be the seaside, mountains or another city!
          21. Check out what community events are running in your area and attend one.
          22. Make a birthday present for a friend. Handmade gifts are personal and much more special than anything you could buy from a store.
          23. Attend a play at your local theater. Support your local theater and have a fun night out at the same time.
          24. Volunteer with your local nature conservation society to plant some trees. Conservation societies are always looking for helping hands; do your bit and plant some trees.
          25. Be a tourist in your own city and visit all the popular tourist sites you’ve likely never been to (don’t forget your camera!)
          26. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to recently and have a good long chat.
          27. Put on your favorite song and dance your heart out. You might be surprised at how much fun you have!
          28. Invite some friends over for a BBQ. There’s nothing better than an afternoon spent with good friends and good food.
          29. Try out a new form of exercise like Pilates, tennis or swimming.
          30. Organize a clothing swap with your friends. You’ll have a great time, and save some cash and the environment all at the same time!

          Now that you’ve read my list of 30 new things to try today, my question for you is, “what new things will you try today?”

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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