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The High Performance Journal

4 Effective Ways To Increase Lung Capacity

get lean Nov 01, 2022

Reading time: 3.7 minutes


At the time of writing this, I'm 42.

While I feel better than I've ever felt before I'm reaching the point that most would consider mid-age.

From my 20's to 30's I used to workout because I wanted to look good but my reasons have changed.

Yes, I still want to look good.

But now my main reason for working out is so my 100-year-old self can thank me later. This is why I'm putting a big emphasis on building stronger lungs.

Why strong lungs?

Your lungs keep your body + brain supplied with oxygen, remove waste gases like carbon dioxide, and play a role in your immune system.

Your lungs help to keep you healthy by preventing unwanted materials from getting into your body

As your lungs age, the passages and blood vessels become less flexible. This is what makes the transfer of oxygen to your bloodstream more difficult.

Like any other part of your body, they can age and wear out, which affects both your brain and body.

Want to live a long quality life? Increase your lung capacity.

Use these 5 exercises to make your lungs healthier.

1. HIIT Training

This is the heavy lifting for your lungs. A max heart rate cardio session is any activity that pushes your heart rate to the upper limits. It can be as little as 30 seconds up to 20-minute intervals.

Do at least one of these a week.

2. Zone 2 Cardio

This is a form of cardio where you're going just above the intensity of being able to have a conversation. Aim to do 150 to 180 minutes a week of this type of cardio.

3. Diaphragmatic Breathing

Step 1 - Breathe through your nose so deeply your stomach expands. Do this for 4 seconds.

Step 2 - Hold for 6 seconds Step 3 - Breathe out through the nose for 8 seconds.

Do this for 4 to 13 minutes.

4. Nose Breathing

Breathing through your nose is an efficient way of getting oxygen into your body.

It filters out foreign particles & moisturizes the air you breathe in.

While doing the cardio mentioned above try keeping the breathing to the nose to improve lung capacity.

5. Fix Your Posture

The lungs will only take up the room you make for them.

Bring your shoulder blades back, put the tongue at the roof of the mouth & lift your chest.

Do this while sitting or standing to give your lungs the room needed to breathe deeply.

One of the ways to test your lung capacity is to do a V02 max test, which you can find in most major cities.

Along with doing blood work and a DEXA the Vo2 max is a test I'd advise you to do if living an optimal life is important to you.

Between the ages of 30-50, we lose up to 15% of our lung capacity.

By age 80, we lose up to 30%. The older we get the more we lose lung capacity.

When lung capacity increases normal activities like walking up the stairs or playing with your kids become easier.

When lung capacity decreases everything becomes harder and your risk of heart failure increases.

Now you have 5 ways to improve your lung capacity.

Which one are you going to do first?

- Dan

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