5 Top Ways to Improve Your Lung Function
Your lung capacity is the total amount of air that your lungs are able to hold. As we age, our lung capacity tends to decrease. However, our lung capacity can also decrease due to a chronic disease or extreme illness such as COPD, COVID-19, or cancer.
Restoring some of your lung capacity or improving it throughout your life is possible. The health experts at Better Faster Urgent Care are here to offer advice on how to do just that through these five tips:
1. Breathing Exercises
There are two main types of breathing that can help improve your lung capacity:
Also known as “belly breathing,” diaphragmatic breathing engages your diaphragm, the large muscle located below the lungs that should do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to breathing.
According to the COPD Foundation, you should do the following to practice diaphragmatic breathing:
- Relax your shoulders.
- Sit back or lie down.
- Place one hand on your belly and one on your chest.
- Inhale through your nose for two seconds, feeling the air move into your abdomen and feeling your stomach move out.
- Breathe out for two seconds through pursed lips while pressing on your abdomen.
Similar to diaphragm breathing, pursed-lip breathing can help slow your breathing down which keeps your airways open longer and reduces the pressure placed on your lungs. To practice the pursed-lips breathing technique:
To practice pursed-lip breathing:
- Inhale slowly through your nostrils.
- Purse your lips, as if you were blowing a bubble.
- Breathe out as slowly as possible through pursed lips — taking at least twice as long as it did to breathe in.
2. Lifestyle Changes
From limiting your use of harsh cleaning products and fragrances to quitting smoking — there are plenty of lifestyle changes you can make that will help support your lungs. In addition, you should make sure that you exercise regularly.
When you work out, your lungs get some exercise too! Start with a brisk walk if you haven’t exercised in a long time and work your way up to other activities that make you feel good.
3. Seek Treatment
For conditions such as asthma, treatments are available to help alleviate symptoms and help you breathe easier. If you treat your asthma, you’ll avoid doing repetitive damage to your lungs. Additionally, patients with asthma are more likely to develop chronic bronchitis and other respiratory issues, making it more challenging to recover from illnesses such as COVID-19.
If you have an existing lung condition, you should speak to your doctor about your treatment options and stick to a routine plan to protect your lungs.
4. Improve Your Diet
It’s no secret that a healthy diet can help support your overall wellbeing — and this includes your lung health. Foods rich in antioxidants have been proven to help support healthy lung function. Some options include:
- Dark chocolate.
- Goji berries.
5. Get Vaccinated
COVID-19, the seasonal flu, and common colds all share many of the same symptoms, making it difficult to differentiate between the flu and another virus. Getting vaccinated for common viral respiratory diseases can help reduce your risk of infection drastically. These conditions can cause a great deal of inflammation for your lungs, with some patients of COVID-19 reporting long-lasting lung damage.
If you haven’t received your annual flu shot or haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19, make your appointment now.
Southlake Texas Urgent Care Services
Whether you’re sick with COVID-19, have allergies, or are having trouble breathing, our team at Better Faster Urgent Care is here to help.Learn more about our services today, and contact our team with any questions: (817) 774-9704