Many action-packed sports in the world require you to use a large amount of air to play them successfully. While it cannot increase the size or capacity of your lungs, you can improve their function. This will make you feel like you've increased your lung capacity, but will only really optimize what you already have. You can optimize your lung capacity by doing breathing exercises, doing cardio, and making lifestyle changes that support your lungs.
Method 1 of 3: Do Breathing Exercises
Step 1. Take a deep breath
Place one hand on your chest and one on your stomach. As you inhale, draw the air into your lungs, making sure your stomach rises. Then let the breath fill the chest. Hold for 5 to 20 seconds, and then slowly exhale until your stomach contracts.
- Repeat 5 times.
- This should help you figure out how much air you can inhale at one time. It will also help you learn to breathe more deeply.
Step 2. Concentrate on your diaphragm as you breathe
Breathe normally, but watch your diaphragm to see if it moves up and down. Now take a deep breath until you can observe a steady up and down movement in the diaphragm. This will help you learn to inhale more deeply.
The diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscle found just below the lungs, in the upper part of the stomach
Step 3. Increase the duration of your inhalation and exhalation
Sit or stand in a relaxed position. Inhale slowly as you usually do, counting how many seconds it takes to fill your lungs. Then breathe out for the same number of seconds. Add a count to your inhale and exhale, and repeat.
Continue adding a count to both the inhale and exhale until your stomach rises with each breath
Step 4. Splash water on your face while holding your breath
Scientists have found that splashing water on your face accelerates bradycardia, or the decrease in heart rate, which occurs when you submerge yourself in water. The body regulates your heart rate while you are underwater so that you receive the oxygen you need during that time. Triggering this effect when you're out of the water can help you maximize your oxygen consumption.
Try to keep the water cold but not ice cold. The ice water will trigger another effect on the body that causes hyperventilation or attempts to breathe quickly. Hyperventilation will damage your ability to hold your breath for a long time
Method 2 of 3: Perform Cardiovascular Exercises
Step 1. Do cardiovascular exercises for at least 30 minutes a day
Choose an exercise that increases your heart rate and makes you breathe faster. Cardiovascular exercises improve lung function by primarily strengthening the heart. A strong and healthy heart can pump blood more efficiently, carrying oxygen throughout the body.
- Do aerobic exercises.
- Go cycling.
- Participate in group classes.
Step 2. Do water exercises as an alternative to other cardiovascular exercise options
Aquatic exercise adds additional resistance, which increases the difficulty of the workout. Because you're in the water, the added difficulty won't be that hard on your body, as it will only have to work a little harder to supply enough oxygen to the blood for a good lung workout. Here are some great ways to train underwater:
- Do water aerobics.
- Push floatation devices and buoys around the pool.
- Jog in the water, following the perimeter of the pool.
- Do jumps and leg raises.
Step 3. Exercise at a high altitude
Exercising at a high altitude is a sure way to increase strength in your lungs. Air at high altitude contains less oxygen, which makes training more difficult, but ultimately more rewarding for the lungs.
- Take it easy at first to give your body time to adjust to the high altitude.
- Be careful not to train too hard at high altitude, as you could develop altitude sickness.
Method 3 of 3: Make Lifestyle Changes
Step 1. Maintain good posture
It's easy to miss your posture, but it plays an important role in helping you use your lungs to their full capacity. This happens because poor posture can compress your lungs, reducing their capacity. Make sure you are always standing with your head facing forward, not down.
When exercising, be sure not to hunch over or lean forward
Step 2. Play a wind instrument
Playing a wind instrument is a good way to give your lungs a constant workout and have fun making music at the same time. Over time, it can help you learn to optimize your lung capacity.
- Choose a brass or woodwind instrument, such as a bassoon, tuba, trumpet, trombone, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, or flute.
- Play in a marching band or marching band. This activity requires increasing use of your lung capacity to move, and playing an instrument is quite healthy.
Step 3. Learn to sing
Singing really works the diaphragm and requires you to breathe in more air to sustain the notes. Take singing lessons, join a choir, or follow instructional videos online to learn the correct way to sing. Even if you don't like doing it in public, singing is a fun way to maximize your lung function.
Sing at least 15 minutes a day
Do not smoke. Stay away from smoky environments
- When you feel dizzy, breathe normally.
- Always swim with a partner or in a public area when doing breathing exercises.
- When you breathe underwater (for example, when diving), stabilize your depth and never hold your breath or inhale deeply as you ascend. Air expands as you rise, and your lungs can break if you hold your breath.