As a runner myself, I have struggled with forced, shallow breathing. This is the “huffing and puffing” that everyone refers to. Most of us only use a fraction of our lung capacity so when we talk about increasing lung capacity, we’re really referring to learning how to use the capacity that we’ve already got. There are exercises that will help train you and your lungs to dig deep and take full advantage of your lungs.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Relaxing environment for deep breathing
- Ping pong ball
Deep breathing exercises are very helpful. Do this exercise when you are relaxed, not while you are doing an exerting activity. Take a deep breath, hold for one count, and exhale slowly. Continue this exercise for several minutes and repeat each day. Every time you do this exercise, try to breathe deeper than you did before. Although deep breathing is very relaxing and has many benefits, you want to push yourself to improve so stay focused.
Doing cardiovascular activities will increase your lung capacity. Whether you enjoy running, aerobics, skiing, or any other activity. The more challenging the better because that will force you to breathe heavily. As you get more fit and better at the activity, your lung capacity will naturally adjust
Do you know anyone celebrating a birthday? Volunteer to blow up balloons for the party. Take a deep breathe and slowly but forcibly exhale into the balloon.
You might look a little silly, but try moving a ping pong ball across a flat surface with a straw. Simply blow through to the straw and use your breathe to push the ping pong ball forward. Again, your breathing should be slow and forceful.
Tips and warnings
- Obviously, if you are a smoker, give it up! Your lungs will thank you.