Hey there! If you’re looking to level up your lung power, you’re in the right place. Strong and healthy lungs are key to feeling your best and maximising your physical performance. And guess what? You can increase your lung capacity through some simple breathing exercises. In this blog, we’ll dive into 5 breathing exercises for increase lung capacity that’ll help you breathe deeper, breathe better, and take your lung capacity to the next level. Let’s get started!
How To Increase Lung Capacity?
To increase your lung capacity you do not need any fancy medical equipment or rocket science. Just by mastering the art of inhales and exhales you can achieve this winning feat. Below are 5 breathing exercises that can help you in increasing your lung capacity.
1. Diaphragmatic Breathing: Strengthen Your Lungs with Deep Belly Breaths
Diaphragmatic breathing is the perfect breathing exercise for increasing lung capacity. To perform it, sit or lie down comfortably in a relaxed position. Place one hand on your abdomen, just below your rib cage.
How to do it:
- Inhale deeply through your nose, focusing on filling your lungs with air.
- As you breathe in, allow your abdomen to rise, feeling it expand like a balloon.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth, feeling your abdomen fall as you release the air.
By fully engaging the diaphragm, this exercise promotes efficient breathing and allows for deeper inhalations, increasing lung capacity. In addition, deep belly breaths enhance the oxygen exchange in the lungs, leading to improved oxygenation of the body’s cells, heightened energy levels, and overall well-being.
2. Pursed Lip Breathing: Control Your Breath for Improved Lung Function
Pursed lip breathing can be a great breathing exercise for smoker lungs. To perform it, sit or stand in a relaxed position.
How to do it:
- Inhale slowly through your nose for a count of two.
- Pucker your lips as if you were going to blow out a candle.
- Exhale slowly and evenly through your pursed lips for a count of four.
By controlling the rate of exhalation, it allows for a more complete and controlled release of air from the lungs, improving overall respiratory function. For individuals with lung conditions such as asthma or COPD, pursed lip breathing helps prevent the trapping of air in the lungs during exhalation, reducing discomfort and improving breathing efficiency. By maintaining open airways and promoting efficient air exchange, this technique enhances lung function and supports optimal respiratory health.
3. Box Breathing
Box breathing, also known as square breathing, is a simple yet effective breathing exercise for lungs that can greatly improve breath control and expand lung capacity.
How to do it:
- Sit comfortably in a relaxed position.
- Inhale deeply through your nose for a count of four.
- Hold your breath for the same count of four.
- Exhale slowly through your nose or mouth for a count of four.
- Hold your breath again for the count of four.
- Repeat this cycle for several rounds, gradually increasing the count as you become more comfortable.
By consciously regulating the rhythm and depth of your breath through deep inhalations, breath retention, and controlled exhalations, box breathing enables you to have greater control over your respiratory patterns. This practice helps stretch and expand the lung tissues, gradually increasing their capacity over time. Additionally, the intentional and rhythmic pattern of box breathing activates the body’s relaxation response, reducing stress levels and promoting a sense of calm and well-being.
Interval breathing, also known as rhythmic breathing, is a technique that combines specific breathing patterns with exercise or physical activity to enhance lung capacity and respiratory efficiency.
4. Interval Training
How to do it:
- Choose an activity such as running, cycling, or swimming.
- Begin with a warm-up to prepare your body for the exercise.
- During the exercise, focus on establishing a rhythmic breathing pattern that matches your movement. For example, if you’re running, synchronise your breath with your strides.
- Take a deep breath in through your nose for a specific count, such as three or four steps.
- Exhale slowly and fully through your mouth for the same count of steps.
- Continue this rhythmic breathing pattern throughout your exercise session, adjusting the count as needed to match your intensity and comfort level.
Interval training with targeted breathing techniques is a powerful way to boost lung capacity and overall respiratory fitness. By challenging your lungs with intense bursts of activity and maintaining deep breathing, you increase the demand for oxygen and strengthen the respiratory muscles. This leads to improved lung function, increased oxygen uptake, and enhanced respiratory efficiency. Interval training not only improves your cardiovascular fitness but also optimises your lung capacity, supporting better overall respiratory health.
5. Kapalabhati Pranayama
Kapalabhati is a dynamic breathing technique from the yogic tradition that offers numerous benefits for respiratory health and overall well-being. It is your answer to how to increase lung capacity by doing pranayama.
How to do it:
- Sit comfortably in a relaxed position with an upright spine.
- Take a deep inhalation, filling your lungs with air.
- Forcefully exhale through your nose by contracting your abdominal muscles. The exhalation should be short and quick, while the inhalation happens passively without effort.
- Repeat this cycle at a rapid pace, focusing on the forceful exhalation and allowing the inhalation to occur naturally.
- Start with a few rounds of Kapalabhati and gradually increase the duration and intensity as you become more comfortable with the technique.
Kapalbhati helps cleanse the respiratory system by eliminating stale air, toxins, and impurities, allowing for a fresh supply of oxygen to the lungs. Through its rapid exhalations and passive inhalations, Kapalabhati enhances lung capacity by training the respiratory muscles and improving their strength and endurance. Additionally, this pranayama technique generates a sense of energy and vitality throughout the body. Its rhythmic and vigorous nature stimulates the nervous system, awakens the mind, and promotes a feeling of rejuvenation.
Increasing your lung capacity is a valuable endeavour for overall health and physical performance. By incorporating these five breathing exercises into your routine, you can strengthen your respiratory system, improve lung function, and experience the benefits of deep, efficient breathing. Remember to practise these exercises regularly, start gradually, and listen to your body. As your lung capacity expands, you’ll notice improvements in your overall well-being and a greater sense of vitality in your daily life.