One thing our body does continuously is to Breathe. Breathing feeds oxygen to every cell in our body and our body needs oxygen to perform various functions. Breathing provides oxygen to all of the body’s cells and expels waste carbon dioxide through the lungs. The entire amounts of air that our lungs hold during inspiration and expiration are referred to as lung capacity and volume. As we get older, our lung capacity and functions deteriorate. It can be exacerbated by smoking, pollution, and other health issues such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Given how vital these functions are, it’s no wonder that when chronic lung disease develops, the body’s overall health suffers. Lung workouts can assist your lungs in managing airflow and oxygen levels more effectively. We, on the other hand, frequently take our lungs and breathing for granted. We don’t realize how important our lungs are until we have breathing problems, as the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us! Because ordinary daily activity does not allow you to use your lungs to their maximum potential, you must challenge your lungs with more intensive action. You also need to help your lungs cleanse themselves to help combat the build-up of toxins and tar in the lungs produced by environmental pollutants, allergies, dust, and cigarette smoke.

Here are some tips and exercises to challenge your lungs and improve lung health!

  1. Rib stretch:-

The rib stretch accomplishes exactly what it says it does: it stretches or expands your ribcage, allowing your lungs to take in as much air as possible. You must be in a standing, erect stance with your hands on your hips to perform this lung workout. Inhale slowly until your lungs are full. Hold your breath for 20 seconds or as long as you feel comfortable, then gently exhale. Relax, then repeat three times more. Rib stretches assist you to take more air into your lungs and exhale fully so stale air doesn’t build up in your lungs when done regularly.

  1. Stand upright position by keeping your hands on your hips.
  2. Slowly inhale air until your lungs fill.
  3. Hold your breath for 20 seconds or for however long is comfortable.
  4. Exhale slowly.
  5. Repeat

2. Laughing and singing: –

Remember a few old guys laughing hard in the park early in the morning? Any movement that engages the abdominal muscles engages the lungs as well. Laughter and singing both accomplish this. Laughing expands your lung capacity while also forcing stale air out of your lungs, allowing more fresh air to enter. Singing also strengthens the diaphragm muscle, which helps to expand lung capacity.

3. Pursed-lip breathing:-

Pursed-lip breathing exercise is easy and can be done anywhere at any time. This exercise keeps your airway open for longer that facilitates the airflow into and out of the lung. These make it easier for the lungs to function and improves the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. This exercise can be beneficial for people who have less physical activity and not using their breathing muscles frequently. Steps to follow pursed-lip breathing –

  1. Sit straight — good posture promotes healthy lung movements.
  2. Inhale slowly throws your nostrils.
  3. Purse your lips — as if you are pouting.
  4. Breathe out as slowly as possible through pursed lips.
  5. Repeat

4. Belly Breathing: –

Diaphragmatic breathing is one of the best exercises that use a diaphragm, a dome-shaped sheet of muscles present between the chest and abdomen. It is also known as belly breathing as the stomach rises and falls with each breath. It is supposed to be primary breathing, but many of us develop a habit of using neck and back muscles that limit the amount of air that enters and leaves the lungs. Follow these steps to practice diaphragmatic breathing

  1. Lie down straight and relax your body.
  2. Put your hands lightly on your belly.
  3. Inhale through the nose and make sure your stomach is moving outward while your chest remains still.
  4. Exhale slowly for about two seconds, and your stomach should move inwards.
  5. Repeat.

5. Lion Pose:-

It is a unique pose that requires you to make a sound. The sound created during Simhasana resembles the roaring sound of a lion.

  1. Distance your knees as far as you can comfortably, and the toes of both feet must be touching each other.
  2. Move the body slightly forward. Place the palm of your hands on the floor right between the knees.
  3. Slightly arch the back and move the head backwards.
  4. Open your mouth and draw the tongue outwards towards the chin as far as you can.
  5. As you exhale from the mouth, produce a sound of ‘aah’ coming out from your throat.
  6. Close the mouth after exhalation and inhale.
  7. Relax the body in the final position.

Benefits of Breathing Exercise:-

  1. They relax your body
  2. They improve oxygenation
  3. Helps to reduce stress and increase energy levels
  4. They detoxify your body

Breathing exercises can help the lungs work more efficiently, just way aerobic workouts can aid the heart. Breathing exercises are recommended by pulmonologists (lung specialists) for persons with COPD and asthma because they help maintain the lungs robust. When a person’s lungs are healthy, they should undertake these exercises to gain strength, and they should keep doing them if they are short of breath. Deep breathing exercises may aid in the development of lung capacity. Other breathing techniques, such as pursed-lip breathing, can aid in the management of dyspnea caused by respiratory diseases.