Running is not all about speed. It is also about endurance, strength, and mental toughness—all of which can be improved by increasing your lung capacity. Your lungs supply your body with oxygen, thus the health of your bodily organs depend on them. By increasing your lung capacity, you boost the flow of oxygen throughout your body, improving your body’s blood circulation and endurance to strenuous activities.
If you’re a runner or someone who’s interested in improving your overall well-being by expanding your lung capacity, read the tips below:
- Progressive running. One way of increasing your lung capacity is by doing progressive running. Progressive running is a type of training in running wherein you gradually increase the number of laps that you do in a day. If you started running for two laps this week, for example, you can try running for three or four laps next week. In this way, your lungs are steadily conditioned and strengthened to take in more air.
- High-altitude running. Expand your lungs’ air capacity by running up and down the stairs or on a slope or a mountain trail. This trains your lungs to work harder by increasing the pressure into your lungs. When doing high altitude running, listen carefully to your body. If you feel sick or dizzy, stop immediately and take a rest. Experiencing discomfort during this activity is your body’s way of telling you that you’re pushing yourself too hard.
- Cardiovascular or aerobic exercises. Do wonders for your health by getting involved in at least one cardiovascular or aerobic exercise. Cardiovascular or aerobic exercises like bicycling, swimming, dancing, jumping rope, fitness walking, in-line skating, and cross country skiing are proven to relieve stress and improve lung capacity. If you find it difficult to stick to a cardiovascular or aerobic exercise program, invite a friend or a family member to be fitness buddies with you.
- Yoga and breathing exercises. If you want to calm your body and improve your lung capacity at the same time, try doing yoga and some breathing exercises. These exercises enable you to breathe properly by focusing your attention on your breathing. When you breathe properly, you draw air from your diaphragm rather than the chest, allowing you to take full, deep breaths.
- Healthy lifestyle. Aside from performing lung-strengthening activities, living a healthy lifestyle also increases the capacity of your lungs by enabling your body to resist diseases and perform at its optimum level. A healthy lifestyle comprises eating a balanced diet, getting at least eight hours of sleep, and avoiding body contaminants. Nourishment is important in keeping your body functioning properly. That’s why your body needs the right amount of meats, fruits, and vegetables for its supply of vitamins and nutrients. It also needs rest to repair itself from daily wear and tear and is better of without liquor, cigarettes and other body contaminants.
Visit your doctor annually for a checkup. Regular checkups will help you prevent and detect diseases and enable you to determine the current status of your body.