There is nothing worse than an individual who appears to be in the best shape of his or her life only to discover that they cannot run a single kilometre without collapsing on the side of the road. Indeed, incorporating cardiovascular exercises into your daily training regimen is an excellent way to improve your cardiovascular health alongside your overall sense of well-being. This is just as true if you are a seasoned athlete or if you are starting from scratch. Let’s also remember that some of us may be recovering from the effects of COVID-19, so the advice mentioned below is even more important. Let’s take a look at five sure-fire exercises which can help to dramatically augment the capacity of your lungs.
To be clear, this first recommendation is a bit of a no-brainer. Jogging is arguably the most effective ways to improve the conditioning of your lungs. There is still an important caveat to mention here. Some individuals reach a certain plateau and then do not push themselves harder. The issue here is that the lungs will no longer adapt to increased stresses. This is why it is better to challenge yourself with the help of several approaches. Increase the pace of your jog, run partial sprints, choose an inclined surface (such as an adjustable treadmill) or wear a hypoxia mask during training sessions. All of these are sure-fire ways to take your respiratory system to the next level and well beyond.
2. Underwater Training
Anyone who has seen the Rocky films is well aware that innovative training regimens can work wonders. In fact, boxers have always been fans of underwater cardio sessions. As you are not able to breathe in additional air, your lungs are automatically forced to work harder. It is normally wise to start off with a partner if you are unfamiliar with such an environment, as safety is always paramount.
3. Deep Breathing Exercises
The good news is that you can actually increase the capacity of your lungs without being forced to head off to the local gym. Yoga practitioners, martial artists and anyone who meditates on a regular basis is already aware of the benefits associated with deep breathing (sometimes called “belly breathing”).
Sit in a comfortable position and relax your shoulders. Take a deep breath in with the intention of expanding your entire diaphragm and focus upon your lower lungs by expanding your abdomen. You will likely notice a big difference between this method and shallower breathing techniques. Hold your breath for between ten and 20 seconds before slowly exhaling; tensing your abdomen when all of the air has been released from your lungs. Perform three to five sets of this exercise each day.
4. Rib Stretches
These movements can also be performed anywhere; even at the office during a break. Stand upright with your back against a wall. Hold your arms above your head and completely exhale. Once all of the air has been expunged, breathe in as deeply as possible and hold this position for up to 15 seconds. By keeping your arms above your head, you are automatically increasing the volume of air that is able to enter into your lungs. Perform three sets of this movement every day; preferably in the morning if you desire a slight energy boost.
5. Oriental Breathing
This final exercise is a bit more complicated than the others and yet, it can work miracles if performed correctly. Begin by inhaling and exhaling until you have developed a comfortable rhythm. Then, breathe in three times through your nostrils without exhaling. You will inhale once again while raising your arms out in front until they reach shoulder level. After, open your arms (as if you are trying to embrace the world) and raise them directly above your head while inhaling. Finally, allow your arms to fall to the floor as you forcefully exhale all of the air from your lungs.
All About Commitment and Patience
Perhaps the best aspect of all of these exercises is that they can be performed at any age and regardless of experience. Furthermore, these are also great alternatives if you suffer from a physical disability or you have not yet recovered from COVID to the point where you feel capable of tackling a challenging session at the gym.
Let’s also remember that all of these can be used in conjunction with the Trion fitness app in order to track your progress and to appreciate how your cardiovascular system is improving over time. Above all, remember that it will take a bit of time before you begin to notice improvements in your lung capacity. Considering the numerous benefits associated with a strong respiratory system, the results are definitely worth the wait!