Safe Exercises for Lungs
Healthy lungs are the key to a healthy life. It is because of the lungs that we breathe and remain alive. Therefore, keeping lungs healthy extends one’s longevity under normal circumstances. Lungs mainly become impaired due to excessive smoking, pollution, or respiratory disorders. Asthma, pneumonia, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD) are the main diseases that affect the lungs. Additionally, unhealthy lungs simply ruin the quality of life of an individual. For example, a person constantly suffering from breathing difficulties, cough, cold, and dust allergies may suffer from mental ailments too and sleep disorders.
How do exercises help your lungs?
The foremost commonality of lung exercises is that it helps in improving the oxygen utilizing the capacity of the lungs. This is particularly helpful because COPD people use more energy than others. Lung exercises also reduce blood pressure and help in improving cardiac health, thereby, improving blood circulation. Lung problems lead to many sleeping disorders that can be addressed by regular lung exercises. Lungs are dependent on bone health that can be strengthened only through exercise. The lower energy levels can be increased with the help of lung exercises.
Safe exercises for people with lung diseases
It is one of the safest exercises for patients suffering from COPD. Since walking is a low-impact exercise one can easily improve the body’s ability to utilize oxygen, empower muscles and have better endurance. Regular walking can be beneficial for people suffering from COPD especially if it is done during the morning time. High blood pressure and hypertension are common symptoms of COPD. People can reduce or manage their high blood pressure by regularly walking. It is advisable to walk for around 40 minutes every day to combat COPD.
Swimming enhances the capacity of the lungs and improves its efficiency. The breath-holding capacity of individuals can increase substantially. The effects of cardiovascular training have a positive impact on the breath. Asthmatic symptoms of the lungs reduce substantially. Wheezing and common breathing difficulties can be addressed through regular swimming. Young children also suffer from asthma due to pollution. Therefore, swimming helps in keeping the lungs more flexible and opens airways.
Bicycling is extremely helpful for people suffering from lung ailments. This is because lung capacity increases each time one cycles. During cycling, the lung volume increases by around 15%. The metabolic demands of the body also can be met due to riding. Cycling helps diaphragms to function better. This helps in improved exhalation and causes relaxation and the diaphragm contracts considerably due to pulling down. The power of respiratory muscles and cycling are positively correlated. Cycling substantially improves the strength of the muscles by separating oxygen from the air. However, cycling on heavily congested roads may be counterproductive and people should try to cycle in empty places with higher speeds.
Compared to walking, running is more beneficial for the lungs. It improves lung capacity and helps in carrying oxygen efficiently through the body. By either running or jogging for at least 5 to 6 days a week lung health improves considerably. Running also improves the stamina of the body by increasing the breathing capacity and clearing it. However, one has to be aware of the pollution levels in the area, since running in polluted vicinities can turn out to be harmful. Running should be done in empty areas and if it is not possible, then running on a treadmill indoors or in a gymnasium can also be helpful. It is noteworthy to remember that running may be less beneficial if one is a chain smoker.
The lung capacity can be elevated with the help of cardio exercises. For this, it is essential to do exercises for around 30 minutes. Lungs can work harder after routine cardio exercises.
Belly breathing and diaphragmic breathing
Belly breathing and diaphragmic breathing are one of the safest and best exercises for the lungs. In this exercise, the stomach is filled with air. This can be done by placing hands on the stomach such that one can be aware during breathing in and breathing out. Always relax one’s shoulders and neck such that the diaphragm can help in emptying and filling the lungs continuously. However, belly breathing is directly linked with regular practice. In rolling the shoulders forward and backward, the exercises should not contribute to any kind of tension in the upper body. According to the American Lung Association, belly breathing can be useful in strengthening the diaphragm muscles because it improves the rate at which both lungs can expand and contract.
Rowing through is not as popular as walking and swimming are nevertheless equally helpful for combating lung diseases. The oxygen flow of the lungs improves because of rowing. The respiratory muscles can be strengthened by both speed and endurance. The core body muscles can become powerful due to rowing. A higher anaerobic threshold can be achieved with rowing and even dyspnea can be healed. To popularize rowing in virtual situations, there are many rowing machines available. These help in ensuring quick and deep breathing. It is recommended that 30 minutes of rowing every day improve lung health.
Pursed lip breathing and deep breathing exercises
Lip breathing reduces the number of breaths to widen and lengthen airways. Physically active helps in increasing the flow of oxygen inside and outside the lungs. Deep breathing exercises are very helpful in increasing lung capacity too. According to the British Lung Foundation, these exercises are good since they can clear mucus from the lungs from pneumonia and asthma. Breathlessness can be minimized considerably with the help of breathing exercises.
Things to avoid while doing lung exercises
Lung exercises undoubtedly improve the health of the lungs, only if people avoid or refrain from certain things. To improve lung health, smoking should be avoided at all costs. The high nicotine and tar content of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars are always known for causing lung diseases, including cancer. Many patients suffering from COPD happen to be smokers. One should also drink plenty of water to preserve lung health. It is essential to remain physically active to relieve lung ailments.