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Long-Term Effects of Exercise on the Lungs

Updated February 21, 2017

Oxygen is needed in each cell in your body in order for you to remain living. The lungs are responsible for the respiratory system, which is responsible for the sense of smell, bringing air to the correct temperature, moisturising the air to the right humidity and protecting the body from harmful contaminants. Regular exercise produces many changes in the body that result with the lungs being able to function more positively.

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Although exercise does not improve lung function, it does reduce breathlessness. Exercising works the heart and lungs together and improves their endurance. This helps the body use oxygen more efficiently and can improve your body's breathing capability over time.

Asthma Control

Those with asthma who enjoy running may see a decrease in their asthma attacks if they use caution before exercising. Following doctor's orders is the most important thing when considering any exercise program when you have a health condition. Secondly, exercising in short-bursts instead of long distance running or jogging will be more beneficial to those with asthma. Give the lungs important warming-up and cooling-down times before and after any exercise session with important breathing in and out techniques. Meditation techniques, such as those that are offered with Yoga, are beneficial in reducing stress and opening the airway. Where you exercise is just as important as how you exercise: work out in a pollutant-free and temperature-controlled environment.

Cardio-Respiratory Function

The body will experience an improved cardio-respiratory function after long-term exercise. With an improved cardio-respiratory function, exercising will enhance your energy level. With more energy, it will be possible for you to remain active. The more you remain active and energetic, the healthier you will be in body and in mind. Those with improved cardio-respiratory functions can climb stairs with easier breathing in the lungs and can walk longer distances without losing their breath. This does not occur with the lungs changing or expanding, however.

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About the Author

As a former elementary school teacher, Cheryl Starr now writes full-time from Missouri. Her work has appeared in various magazines, including "Teachers of Vision," "Insight" and "Highlights." She is currently writing a novel and a devotional book. Starr studied elementary education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

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