The lungs are responsible for transporting oxygen and removing extra carbon dioxide from around the body. Every activity in the body is dependent on oxygen, including the metabolic functioning of cells, blood flow and brain function . Considering how important these tasks are, it’s obvious our lungs are highly influential in keeping our body healthy. But to do this, they need be healthy too.
There are a number of exercises that can help your lungs become more efficent at managing airflow and oxygen levels, allowing you to breathe easier. The American Lung Association recommends ideally, you should be doing a minimum of 30 minutes of some form of cardiovascular exercise 5 to 7 days per week. These exercises can be easily implement into your daily routine to enhance the health of your lungs.
Here are 5 of the best types of exercise you should try for healthy lungs.
Aerobic exercise is essential for keeping the heart, lungs, and blood vessels healthy. Implementing daily aerobic exercise conditions your lungs to work effectively when under pressure. There’s three main forms of aerobic exercise that benefit lungs:
- No impact (using a stationary elliptical or bike)
- Low impact (walking)
- High impact (running, jogging).
Not only does regular participation in aerobic exercise improve lung condition, it also positively increases your general stamina, fitness and strength. Though they can be easily confused, ‘aerobics’ refers to a specific kind of aerobic exercise class that typically involves rhythmic, repetitive choreography coordinating large muscle groups at rhythmic speed. If you don’t own gym equipment and don’t always have the lifestyle for walking or jogging, you can find plenty of online aerobics classes that can be performed at home and still get your lungs pumping.
The intensity of aerobics is determined by how hard you are working, while the difficulty of the exercise is determined by your level of motivation, what limitations you have, and your current fitness level. To ensure your lungs are in the best shape when performing aerobic exercise, every session should include a warm-up and cool-down. The warm-up period should not include static stretching, but should instead be a gradual increase in pace and intensity of the exercise, so your body is prepped and ready.
Regular yoga practice has demonstrated an improvement in lung functions and diffusion capacity in a number of studies. While every yoga pose may have an overall beneficial effect on the body in the form of relaxation, different sets of ‘asanas’ (yoga postures) are believed to have benefits for different body systems.
There are plenty of lung and chest focused yoga flows that you can find online or going to a certified yoga instructor, who can help tailor exercises to your needs. The reason yoga can be beneficial for those living with chronic lung illnesses is most stretches are accompanied with breathing techniques known as pranayama. These are one of the most vital parts of yoga practice. These techniques can help you control your breathing and teach you how to use your lungs more fully, which can become habit after frequent practice.
Similarly, meditation can also have lung strengthening benefits for those looking to improve oxygen circulation and capacity. Introducing a daily yoga flow of 1-5 stretches focusing on lung expansion can be a effective way to break up your work day and keep your lungs active.
Pursed lip breathing is a type of breathing exercise that is often used by people living with asthma or COPD when they experience shortness of breath. However, even if you are not suffering from a chronic lung illness, pursed-lips breathing is highly important in improving lung capacity for efficient breathing. More air is able to flow in and out of your lungs so you can be more physically active without discomfort.
To try pursed-lip breathing, follow these steps.
- Sit down in a chair and relax your neck and shoulder muscles.
- Breathe in slowly through your nose, making sure to keep your mouth closed.
- Then, pucker or purse your lips as if you were going to blow out a candle.
- Expel all of the air in your lungs through your mouth slowly and gently through pursed lips. Try and spend longer on your exhale than your inhale.
Repeat for 5 minutes.
Another popular breathing exercise is diaphragmatic breathing. Simply:
- Stand upright, with your back erect and place both hands lightly on the rib cage.
- Close your eyes and expel all the oxygen from your lungs, focusing on the feeling of your ribs expanding and contracting.
- Now breathe slowly and hold as much air in your lungs as you can.
- Hold the air for 15 seconds or as long as comfortable and repeat.
Swimming supports healthy lungs and has often been recommended to those suffering with Asthma as it improves lung function, reduces symptoms, and improves overall self-confidence. Swimmers have improved lung capacity and breath control, because your next breathisn’t always available at the exact instant you want to take it in while in the water. This means your body has to adapt and get used to waiting a little longer, which can build breath endurance.
A heated pool can be far more comfortable to exercise your lungs than an outdoor run in winter as breathing in warm, humid air keeps the airways open. This can provide relief for those suffering with restricted airways who want to improve their lung health.
Similarly, water aerobics may also be beneficial to improve lung capacity, as water workouts lead your body to work harder because water acts as a source of resistance. This slight pressure conditions your lungs to strengthen their hold on your breath and gently encourages them to expand when breathing.
Turboforte Lung Physio
Another one of the best exercises you can give your lungs is breathing through a lung expansion device like the Turboforte Lung Physio. This small, portable, hand-held device is very popular for those with chronic lung conditions as it can be used as a complimentary or adjunct therapy along with the conventional medicine for their treatment and rehabilitation. However, many atheletes, singers or other people looking for a way to maximize their breath capacity frequently use an OPEP device like this one.
Turboforte Lung Physio is easy to use – only 5-10 minutes, once or twice per day. When you exhale through the Turboforte Lung physio, your breath moves the steel ball inside making vibrations in the airways that loosen any stubborn mucus and cause a slight increase in pressure that assists in keeping your airways open.
You can use any combination of these exercises for lungs with the Turboforte Lung Physio for optimal results.
While Turboforte is a drug-free, all-natural way to help and can be used in conjunction with your usual treatment regime, always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. Never disregard the advice of a medical professional, or delay in seeking it because of something you have read that contradicts your doctor’s personal advice.