Posted on Jan 23, 2018 4:10pm PST

Lung function refers to your body’s ability to oxygenate your blood, remove carbon dioxide from your blood, and take air in and out. On the other hand, lung capacity refers to the maximum amount of oxygen your body is able to use. Your lung function is set, and cannot be improved. However, there are certain steps you can take to increase your lung capacity. This will allow your body to use oxygen more efficiently and decrease the strain of respiratory and pulmonary conditions.

Here Are 3 Breathing Exercises You Can Do to Improve Your Lung Capacity:

1. Rib Stretching

For this exercise, you will stand upright and exhale until your lungs are empty. You will then gradually breathe in, filling your lungs as much as possible. Hold your breath for 20 seconds, or for as long as you are able. While you are counting, place your hands on your hips, with your thumbs pointing forward and your pinky fingers touching the small of your back. Once you have held your breath for 20 seconds, exhale slowly and return to a relaxed position. Repeat 3 times.

2. Abdominal Breathing

For this exercise, you will lie in a comfortable position on your back. You may use a yoga mat or soft pad to cushion you, or you could do this while lying in bed in the morning or evening. To begin, rest one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your chest. Breathe in slowly until you feel your stomach rise higher than your chest. Exhale from your mouth, and then inhale again through your nose, feeling your stomach rise each time. If possible, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and breathe out for 8 seconds. You should contract your abdominal muscles to push all the air out of your lungs. Repeat 5 times.

3. Pushing Out

For this exercise, you will stand upright with your knees relaxed. Slowly bend down at the waist, pushing air out of your lungs. Then, slowly stand back upright and inhale until your lungs are filled to maximum capacity. Hold your breath for 20 seconds, or for as long as you can. While holding your breath, gently raise your arms above your head. Once you have finished counting, slowly bring your arms down and exhale throughout your mouth, coming back to a relaxed position. Repeat 4 times.

Dedicated Services for Those Suffering Respiratory Conditions

At the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia, our allergists provide compassionate care to patients. If you struggle with respiratory infections or pulmonary conditions, we can customize a treatment plan to meet your needs. By following the exercises listed above, you can strengthen your respiratory system and enjoy a happier, healthier life.

To schedule an appointment, contact our Georgia allergists today. We offer same day appointments for your convenience.