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Breathing Exercises To Help Lungs: How to Improve Your Lung Strength

Breathing Exercises To Help Lungs: How to Improve Your Lung Strength

Breathing is something that most of us tend to overlook when it comes to our health. Additionally, activities such as breathing exercises to help lungs sound foreign to a lot of people. After all, it’s something that we do unconsciously, and so long as we’re breathing, everything’s fine right?

However, the reality is that a lot of us can benefit from doing breathing exercises to help lungs. There are numerous benefits to be gained from doing breathing exercises; so much so that even healthy people can directly benefit from doing these exercises1.

How do breathing exercises work?

Whenever a person breathes, most of the work is done by our diaphragm, and the muscles in our chest and neck. Because these are muscles, this means that we can strengthen them through certain types of exercises.

The stronger these muscles are, the more efficient they can be at helping our lungs pump air in and out of our bodies. This in turn, keeps our body healthy and provides us with a rich supply of oxygen in our bloodstream2.

One of the best examples of how strong lungs improve health is when it comes to athletes. Studies have found that efficient breathing has a direct impact on performance. Top athletes have very healthy lungs, and in turn, this helps them perform at the highest level of their sport.

So, how exactly would you go about with doing breathing exercises?

5 Breathing Exercises to Help Lungs:

Breathing exercises are very simple, and don’t require any equipment. Even persons with lung problems can benefit from these exercises, so it’s a good idea to do these exercises for about 5 to 10 minutes per day.

Purse lip breathing

This type of breathing exercise helps more get in and out of your lungs. You can do this simply by breathing in through your nose, and breathing out your mouth with pursed lips. The key is to do it slowly and steadily. This helps keep your airways open for longer, and allows you to inhale more air.

Belly breathing

Belly breathing is a breathing exercise where you train your diaphragm to take in more air.

To do this, place on hand on your chest, and another hand on your belly. When you inhale, make sure that your chest doesn’t move, and you use your diaphragm to breathe. You should feel your belly move as your lungs get filled with air.

When you exhale, you should do so using your diaphragm as well, and you should be able to feel your belly become smaller.

This type of breathing is ideal because it maximizes your lung capacity, and allows you to take in more oxygen compared to breathing by puffing up your chest3.

Relaxed deep breathing

This breathing is similar to belly breathing, and you can even do it while doing belly breathing. To do relaxed deep breathing, you’ll need to relax your shoulders and avoid tensing up any part of your body. Next, breathe in deeply, and as slowly as you can. Try to keep it as smooth and relaxed as possible, and then slowly breathe out.

Prolonged breathing out

Another of the breathing exercises to help lungs is prolonged breathing out. To do this, breathe in, and breathe out slowly. When breathing out, make sure to prolong it; ideally it should be twice as long as when you breathed in.

This exercise helps your lungs completely expel any stale air, so that you have room for fresh air4.

Aerobic exercises

Lastly, aerobic exercises are good for your lung health. This is because aerobic exercises increase both your breathing and your heart rate. Aerobic exercises are also a good way to put into practice all of the breathing exercises above.

Learn more about Respiratory Health here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

  1. Respiratory Muscle Training – Physiopedia, https://www.physio-pedia.com/Respiratory_Muscle_Training, Accessed August 12, 2021
  2. Exercise and Lung Health | American Lung Association, https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/wellness/exercise-and-lung-health, Accessed August 12, 2021
  3. Breathing Exercises | American Lung Association, https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/wellness/breathing-exercises, Accessed August 12, 2021
  4. Breathing problems and exercise – Better Health Channel, https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/breathing-problems-and-exercise, Accessed August 12, 2021
  5. Breathing and Exercise: Strength Training for Your Diaphragm – Penn Medicine, https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/musculoskeletal-and-rheumatology/2018/october/breathing-exercises, Accessed August 12, 2021
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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Aug 19
Fact Checked by Kristel Dacumos-Lagorza