How to Build Lung Capacity?

Oxygen is extremely vital for the cells of our body to function and without it the body just is not able to survive. The lungs are the oxygen carriers of the body and their function is to transport oxygen to all parts of the body. Hence, a healthy lung is essential for the body to function normally and stay fit for the arduous task that awaits a person daily, especially athletes who spend a lot of time training for their sport and participating in competitive games. A healthy lung also safeguards the body against any illness and protects the body from environmental toxins. A healthy lung with larger capacity to hold in oxygen not only increases the stamina of a person but also is necessary for overall well being and fitness.

How to Build Lung Capacity?

In today’s highly competitive world if an individual ends up having a diminished lung capacity then it may adversely affect the individual’s performance, especially in athletes. A Diminished Lung Capacity may not only lead to below par performance but it may also cause severe complications health wise. Some of the factors which tend to decrease the lung capacity are smoking, suffering from conditions like asthma and lung cancer. Fortunately, there are ways to build lung capacity and this article tells you some easy ways and exercises that can help build lung capacity so that you may stay fit and healthy with the only requirement being that you should perform these exercises regularly and be diligent about it.

How to Build Lung Capacity?

Exercises That Help Build Lung Capacity

Below mentioned are some of the exercises and workouts that you can do to build lung capacity:

Inhale & Exhale Exercise to Build Lung Capacity: To do this exercise, stand upright on a flat surface and bend down from the waist and at the same time exhale. Gently get back to the starting position and inhale air so that the lungs are filled to their capacity and hold your breath for few seconds or as long as you can. While counting the seconds, extend both arms overhead. Now relax and exhale slowly. Do this routine for 5 times or more if possible. You can even do this in sets for better results. Each set comprising of 4-5 repetition of this exercise. 

Standing Deep Breathing Exercise to Build Lung Capacity: This is by far the easiest exercise to do and can be done in the office, home, and at the sporting arena. To do this exercise, you need to stand upright and exhale all the air from the lungs. Now, breathe slowly and take in air as much as possible and hold it as long as possible. Let you hands rest on your waist. Now release the air slowly and do this 5 times or more if you can.

Lying Down Breathing Exercise to Build Lung Capacity: To do this exercise, lie down in a comfortable position on the back. Place one hand on your stomach and the other on your ribs or the chest. Slowly breathe in as much air as possible such that the hand on your staomch raises higher than the one on chest. Now, exhale slowly to an extent that there is no air remaining in your lungs and stomach. Now, inhale filly through the nose and hold the breath for a couple of seconds or as long as you can hold. Now, gently breathe out the air. Do this routine for 5 times or more if possible. You can even do this in sets for better results. Each set comprising of 4-5 repetition of this exercise.

Playing Musical Instruments Can Help Build Lung Capacity: If you enjoy a little bit of music, then try and learn instruments like flute or a saxophone where you have to blow in air to play the instrument. This is also quite an effective way to increase or build Lung Capacity.

Benefits of Pranayama to Build Lung Capacity: Pranayama is an excellent yoga exercise which helps building lung capacity to a significant degree. The two forms of Pranayama specifically used for building lung capacity are as follows:

Anuloma Viloma or Alternate Nostril Breathing Exercise to Build Lung Capacity: This is done by breathing through each nostril alternatively. This form of breathing is very relaxing and balances the intake of oxygen and exhalation of carbon di oxide from the body. This exercise can be done either seated or lying down. Begin with exhaling all the air from the body. Now using the thumb of the right hand block the right nostril and inhale through the left nostril only. Make sure to take a deep breath. Once you have inhaled to the maximum, block the left nostril with the pinkie finger of the same hand while keeping the right nostril blocked and hold the breath for a few seconds. Now release the thumb and exhale through the right nostril only keeping the left nostril blocked. Make sure you have exhaled completely only through the right nostril before repeating the exercise. One cycle of exercise is completed with inhalation from one nostril and exhalation from the other nostril. Try and do ten reps of this every day and feel the difference. You need to Repeat the same exercise with the other nostril, breathing from right and exhaling from left nostril.

Kapalabhati Pranayama: This type of Pranayama clears the air passages and relieves any congestion, and is specifically useful in increasing lung capacity. To do this exercise, you need to be seated straight comfortably. Exhale all the air from the body. Inhale air from both nostrils for a few seconds and then sharply exhale through the nostril moving your stomach inwards towards the spine. You should make sure that the exhalation is quick and short. It should be made sure that while inhaling the navel should be relaxed and while exhaling the navel should go in towards the spine. You can start with doing a round of 25 breaths to begin with and then try and increase with time.

Muscle Relaxation Techniques: This routine helps tremendously in increasing lung capacity. Meditation or yoga is the best way to relax the muscles as this will allow you to hold your breath for longer periods of time.

Cardiovascular Exercises: This is also a good method to build lung capacity. Just do cardio exercises for about 30 minutes a day is enough to improve the capacity of the lungs.

Water Splashes: This is also quite an easy way to increase or Build Lung Capacity. In this method, all you need to do is splash your face with water and while doing it try and hold the breath. Studies tell that this results in slowing of the heart rate. For optimum results try and use a bit of cold water. Do not use icy water as it may cause you to hyperventilate.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 31, 2019

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