Being able to take deeper breaths and improving your lung capacity has many benefits. It will better your overall lung health, improve your stamina and if you meditate or do yoga then it will enable you to elevate your practices.
Firstly, as much as it is possible, you should avoid any toxins from getting into your lungs. This includes smoking, second-hand smoke, asbestos, diesel exhaust, and air pollution. These factors can limit your lung capacity on a daily basis and can even lead to lung cancer. As a result of smoking a lung cancer class action lawsuit resulted in many people being compensated by big tobacco companies.
Beyond avoiding things which we know to be bad for our health, here are some other tips for taking deeper breaths and improving your health as a whole.
Deep breathing uses the diaphragm which is placed between your chest and abdomen. When you take deep breaths you should be able to feel your diaphragm expanding as you breathe in and falling when you breathe out.
Your diaphragm should be the primary breathing muscle but many of us get into bad habits which limit how much air can get into the lungs.
Diaphragmatic breathing strengthens the diaphragm and helps your lungs to work better. Practice by breathing from the belly and placing your hand on your stomach, it should rise and fall as you breathe. Take some time each day to just breathe. A good way to do this is through guided meditation. Many can be found on YouTube.
Stale air can become trapped in the lung which limits space for fresh air. Pursed-lip breathing allows this old air to be expelled.
Inhale slowly through the nose and then exhale through pursed lips. Try to take twice as long breathing out then breathing in. For example, inhale for five seconds and exhale for ten.
Singing and laughing
Singing and laughing both work the abdominal muscles and the lungs. Laughing also forces old air out of your lungs so you can breathe in the more fresh air. While singing working the diaphragm muscle.
Increasing your daily exercise, in general, can massively improve your lung health. Brisk walking, opting for the stairs rather than the elevator and strength training are all great ways to improve your lung capacity.
Interval training is also effective. This involves increasing your heart rate and becoming breathless and then slowing down and repeating this cycle. For example, walk fast for a minute and walk slowly for two minutes.
Stretching your ribs
Expanding your ribs lets your lungs take in more air. To do this you should be standing straight up, in the mountain pose, with your hands on your hips. Inhale until your lungs are filled and hold your breath for as long as possible, aim for 20 seconds, then exhale out slowly. Repeat four times. When done regularly this will help your lung capacity and releases stale air to prevent it from building up in the lungs