5 Effective Breathing Exercises to Increase Lung Capacity
Having a healthy lung is extremely necessary to live a hassle-free life. And, with the COVID-19 virus affecting the respiratory tracts, taking care of the lungs has become mandatory. Especially in older adults, a good lung capacity can help them keep respiratory issues at a bay. Lung capacity is the amount of air that your lungs can hold, which is crucial for the lung’s healthy function. It is said that, as you age, your lung capacity and functioning start to decrease. Thankfully, with the help of breathing exercises for the lungs, you can maintain and increase the capacity of your lungs, in turn, enabling effective functioning. These breathing exercises are an easy way to keep the lungs healthy, leading to an adequate supply of oxygen to the body.
We have curated a list of 5 effective breathing exercises that help in increasing the lung capacity and ensure its healthy functioning. They are highly beneficial to the body and are easy to do. So, without any further ado, here are the breathing exercises to strengthen lungs that you can practise at home.
1. Pursed Lips Breathing
One of the most effective exercises for elderly people and others; pursed lips breathing helps in improving the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, making it easier for the lungs to function. The pursed lips breathing exercise for lungs is highly recommended and even beginners can practise this at home. One of the advantages of this exercise is that you can do it any time of the day. For this technique, all you have to do is
• Slowly inhale through the nostrils
• Purse your lips, like you are going to blow on something or pouting
• Breathe out slowly through the pursed lips. The rate at which you breath out should be at least twice as long as the rate at which you inhaled
• Repeat a few times.
2. Coordinated Breathing
Shortness of breath can lead to anxiety that makes you hold your breath, which makes breathing difficult all the more. To help prevent this from happening, you can practise coordinated breathing. Coordinated breathing is an effective breathing exercise to help the lungs function properly and can be practised when you are feeling anxious or even when you are exercising. It is a very simple breathing exercise that has only two steps
• Inhale through the nose
• Purse your lips. Here, you have to breathe out while you are pursing your lips.
3. Deep Breathing
One of the highly recommended breathing exercises to increase lung capacity as well as maintain healthy functioning, deep breathing helps in preventing the air from getting trapped in the lungs. Trapping of air in the lungs can lead to shortness of breath and a deep breathing technique simply eliminates that. To practise deep breathing lung exercise, you have to
• Sit or stand, keeping the elbows slightly at the back, which allows the chest the expand.
• Inhale deeply through the nose
• Hold your breath and count to 5
• Exhale the air slowly through the nose
• Repeat a few times throughout the day.
4. Diaphragmatic Breathing
The diaphragm is an important muscle for effective breathing. The diaphragmatic breathing exercises can help in retraining the muscle to work more efficiently. This technique is also called the abdominal breathing exercise and is a highly recommended lung strengthening exercise. For this, you have to
• Sit or lie down while relaxing your shoulders. Put one hand on the chest and the other one on the stomach.
• Breath through the nose for 2 seconds. If you feel the stomach is moving outwards, then you are doing the exercise correctly. It is a balance exercise for seniors as they can lie down and practise it, without stressing any other part of their body.
• Purse the lips and breathe out slowly through the most while pressing lightly on the stomach. This improves the diaphragm’s ability to release air.
• Repeat this breathing exercise to strengthen the lungs 2-3 times or as you can.
5. Rib Stretch Breathing
Yet another best breathing exercise for lungs that you can practise at home for increasing your lung’s capacity is rib stretch breathing. This exercise helps in expanding the ribs every time you breathe, which enables the lungs to take in as much air as possible. To perform this lung strengthening exercise, you have to
• Stand in the upright position and keep your hands on the hips.
• Slowly inhale till the lungs are filled and hold your breath for about 20 seconds.
• After 20 seconds, slowly breathe out the air.
• Repeat the exercise about 5-6 times or as you can.
Apart from these five exercises, here are some of the other breathing exercises for lungs that you can do
Yawn to Smile – helps in opening the chest muscle that enables the diaphragm to expand and manage the flow of oxygen in the body. This breathing exercise for lung’s health can be easily done at home.
Humming – chanting or humming ‘Om’ like mantras can improve the intake of oxygen into the lungs with every breath. This is also an effective mental exercise for elders as the chanting is very soothing and calms the mind.
Emoha Elder Care is one of the leading home care services for elders, offering assistance with various chores, lifestyle activities, helping elders with breathing exercises for lungs, and so on. We believe in making the life of senior citizens easier as for us it is always #EldersFirst.