Keep those lungs happy and healthy!
We generally think about keeping our bodies in shape, but have you ever considered that your lungs should be part of that health and there are things you can do to help keep them in shape.
Simple Deep Breathing
Deep breathing can help you get closer to reaching your lungs’ full capacity.
As you slowly inhale, consciously expand your belly with awareness of lowering the diaphragm. Next expand your ribs, allowing the floating ribs to open like wings. Finally, allow the upper chest to expand and lift. After this, exhale as completely as possible by letting the chest fall, then contracting the ribs and, finally, bring the stomach muscles in and up to lift the diaphragm and expel the last bit of air.
Counting on your breath
You can also increase your lung capacity by increasing the length of your inhalations and exhalations. Start by counting how long a natural breath takes. If it takes to the count of five to inhale it should take to the count of five to exhale. You’ll want them to be of equal length. Once you’ve discovered the count for your average breath, add one more count to each inhale and exhale until you can comfortably extend the length of time it takes to fill and empty your lungs. The point is to avoid straining or being uncomfortable. It should be a gradual and easy process.
Getting enough water is as important for the lungs as it is for the rest of the body. Staying well hydrated by taking in fluids throughout the day helps keep the mucosal linings in the lungs thin. This thinner lining helps the lungs function better.
Regular moderately intense activity is great for the lungs, and when you increase your daily activity you get three things done at once: healthy lungs, a healthier heart and a better mood. Consider aiming for at least least 20 minutes of consistent, moderately intense movement daily, like a brisk walk or bike ride.
Love your lungs. They keep you breathing.