Did you know that your lungs also need exercise to stay healthy?

How much thought do you give to the health of your lungs?

Your body depends on oxygen. Your lungs deliver the oxygen to each part of your body, and there are some exercises you can do to help your lungs absorb maximum oxygen.

Healthy, they help keep sickness at bay and ensure that every single part of your body gets the oxygen it needs.

4 lung exercises that help increase oxygen capacity, giving me the ability to breathe deeper.
  1. The Hundred
If you’ve ever attended a Pilates class, you’ve done the hundred!
  • Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent
  • Keep your arms flat at your sides with the palms facing down
  • Take a deep breath in and roll your head, neck and shoulders off the floor, as well as your arms
  • Lift your knees and straighten your legs
  • Take give short breathes in and then exhale five short breaths
  • As you’re practicing your short breaths, pump your arms up and down slightly and with control
Do 10 full breaths, each counting as five inhales and five exhales. That should bring you up to 100 arm pumps! The hundred really pays off since it teaches you controlled breathing and builds seriously solid abs.
  1. Pursed Lip Breathing
This exercise helps keep your airways open for longer, encouraging greater air flow. It’s easy, too, so you can do it anywhere – in the car, waiting for coffee, you name it.
  • Sit straight up – good posture also promotes better lung capacity
  • Take a deep breath in through the nose, using a slow and controlled manner
  • Purse your lips as if you’re making a pouting, kiss face. Your lips should be close together but not quite touching
  • Exhale through your lips with the aim of breathing out for twice as long as you breathe in
If you want to, set a timer and focus on inhaling for 5 seconds and exhaling for 10 seconds! This is a great exercise if you’ve not been too active lately or you really need to wake up those breathing muscles.
  1. The Rib Stretch
This one is all about exhaling through your lungs to encourage your ribs to expand and contract as you breathe. It’s also a pretty cool way of training the lungs to inhale the most amount of oxygen you can.
  • Stand upright with a straight back and exhale, emptying your lungs
  • Slowly breathe in and hold in as much air as you can
  • Hold your breath for about 10 to 15 seconds
  • Slowly exhale
You can do this exercise a couple of times a day to greatly improve your lung capacity.
  1. Baby Pushups
Finally, try these baby pushups for maximum lung health. They do look like pushups, but there’s no effort on the shoulders and they’re great for loosening up tight muscles and improving your posture. They also really help with shortness of breath and increasing lung capacity.
  • Get yourself into a pushup position with your body flat on the floor
  • Look downward so your neck’s aligned with your spine
  • Press your hands to the ground and inhale as you lift your head, neck, and shoulders
  • Keeping your arms bent just a little at the elbows, lift yourself up around 60 degrees off the floor
  • Slowly lower yourself down while exhaling slowly
You can repeat these baby pushups about 10 times. Each time you breathe in, it opens up your chest, deepening your lung capacity and encouraging deeper breaths.

When your lungs are healthy, your body is healthier in general. What’s more, improving your ability to take deep breaths is relaxing! When you’re feeling stressed, anxious or just literally need a breather, these are great exercises to try.

Best of all, when you’re ready to up the weights or push yourself harder on your next run, you’ll find that having a better lung capacity can really help you go the distance!

 

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