If you want to improve the functioning of your lungs and your ability to pull in more life-giving, energy-stoking oxygen, you need to focus on two major areas.
The first is to develop the muscles that support proper, healthy breathing.
The lungs have no muscles of their own. Their expansion and contraction are completely dependent on the muscles surrounding the rib cage and the diaphragm. So you need to build up the strength and coordination of the structures that support proper, full breathing.
The second major area that affects your breathing has to do with what goes on inside your lungs. This includes your vital capacity and the residual air that remains in your lungs when breathing.
The size of the lungs varies from person to person. But generally speaking, each of your lungs is about the size of a football.
Isn’t that funny? The first time I heard that, I thought “My lungs aren’t that small!” A football just doesn’t seem that big to me.
Anyhoo, a large person will naturally have larger lungs than a smaller person. Men generally have larger lungs than women.
So there are some natural limits to lung capacity.
However, you should be more concerned with how much of the total capacity of your lungs you can actually use. This usable portion is called your vital capacity.
A well conditioned person’s vital capacity is about 75 percent of his or her total capacity.
When you exhale, you breathe out all of the air you can from your lungs. The remaining air is called the residual volume. This is air that remains fixed in your lungs. You may have heard it referred to as “stale air”.
Too much residual volume is unhealthy. If you are inactive for any length of time, or you have a respiratory condition that is not well-controlled, the unusable portion of your lungs may increase.
This physically blocks off more and more of your airways, which leaves less space for normal breathing – and makes it even more difficult to breathe when exerting yourself.
You may get to the point that just climbing a flight of stairs leaves you breathless.
Unless you do something, this breathlessness and chest tightness will keep getting worse and worse.
These two key areas – developing the structures that support proper, healthy breathing and improving your vital capacity – are the same areas we work on with the dynamic energy exercises I teach. I’ve been doing these exercises myself as I work through a relatively sendentary period while my knee heals.
Even though I can’t put weight on the operated leg yet, and therefore am unable to do a more “traditional” work out, I can still get myself huffing and puffing and working up a sweat….with some simple, ancient, time-tested dynamic breathing exercises.
Now, a good fitness program can help you improve your ability to breathe, build your vital capacity, and reduce the residual volume.
However, many people do not breathe correctly when they exercise. Typically we are nottaught how to breathe to maximize the results we get from exercise.
Doing some additional breathing work, such as the exercises in the Secret Power of Dynamic Energy Exercise Course, Volume 2: The Dynamic Energy Routine – is a surefire way to target, develop and maximize the work performed by your lungs, as well as the structures that support proper breathing.
If you’re serious about improving your physical condition and your health, you should make it a point to focus on expanding your vital capacity and ability to breathe properly.
This type of dynamic breathing exercise will help you get fit more quickly. And it provides the foundation for robust health and longevity.
AND – key point – it makes you feel great!
You Can Do It!
“Best Breathing Exercises: Transform Body Mind and Spirit with Dynamic Energy Exercise!” http://www.BestBreathingExercises.com
P.S. If you’re interested in developing your breathing ability, enhancing your health and rocketlaunching your energy levels, then you owe it to yourself to take a few minutes to learn more about the Dynamic Energy Routine – part of the Secret Power of Dynamic Energy Exercise Course, Volume 2. For more information, or to order your own copy of the program manual and DVD, go to the Best Breathing Exercises website.
Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2012