Lung-Building Exercises

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Simple breathing exercises can help develop lung capacity.

Lung-building exercises are part of an essential daily routine for athletes hoping to reach peak performance and for vocalists to achieve perfect breath control. People suffering lung disease and breathing problems also benefit from lung-building exercises. Pursed-lip breathing is one of the most beneficial and simple exercises for building up lung capacity and is an easy exercise to carry out any time or place. Practicing deep breathing and exercising the muscles of the diaphragm also help to develop lungs.

  1. Pursed Lip Breathing

    • Pursed-lip breathing is a lung-building exercise that can be done anywhere and any time. This is a beneficial exercise as it expels stale air that is trapped in the lungs. This is an easy exercise and you will need to firstly relax your neck and shoulders and breathe in slowly. Purse your lips into a whistling position and blow out slowly. Take at least twice as long to blow out the air as you did to breathe the air in. Repeat this exercise as many times as you feel necessary. This is a good exercise to carry out if you feel breathless.

    Use Your Diaphragm

    • Practice deep breathing using your abdominal muscles and diaphragm to breathe better. The diaphragm is a muscle that can be built up by regular exercise, which will enable you to breathe more deeply and expel stale air better. You can practice using your diaphragm to breathe at any time of day and as part of your normal routine. Allow your neck and shoulders to relax and droop, and rest both hands on your abdomen. Breathe in deeply through your nose, allowing your abdomen to come out as far as possible. Keep your upper chest relaxed and then breathe out slowly through pursed lips. Getting into a habit of using your diaphragm more to breathe will ensure more stale air is expelled from the lungs.

    Weight Training

    • Practice arm curls and deep breathing to build lungs.
      Practice arm curls and deep breathing to build lungs.

      Strength exercises for the upper body will help build up your lungs, and free-weight, upper-limb exercises prove beneficial for most people, even those suffering lung disease. If you don't have access to a gym, you can train using cans of food as weights and practice arm curls, together with deep breathing.

    High Altitudes

    • Working out or training at high to moderate altitudes is another way of exercising lungs. Reduced oxygen levels mean that the lungs have to work harder at higher altitudes, thus increasing lung capacity.

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