Many sports in today’s action-packed world require you to use a vast amount of air to be successful. While there are ways to increase the size of your lungs, there are many ways to increase the amount of air taken in by your lungs, and the efficiency with which they capture oxygen. Practice these exercises daily, and you are bound to see an increase in your lung capacity.
Breathe deeply. Be sure to practice deep breathing in order to maximize your lung capacity and take in more air with each breath.
- Exhale completely. Don’t let any air linger in your lungs. This allows more oxygen-rich air to come in with your next breath. You can ensure the complete evacuation of your lungs by counting out loud. When you can no longer count out loud, you can expel no more air from you lungs.
- Allow your diaphragm to descend by keeping your abdominal muscles relaxed. Your abdomen will expand as your diaphragm descends making more room around your lungs, allowing them to fill with air.
- Widen your arms, holding them farther away from your body, to help open up your chest.
- Inhale for two counts, and exhale for three counts. Maintain this ratio consistently.
- Breathe in normally, through your nose. Take deep breaths.
- Breathe out through your mouth with your lips still close together. Open them just slightly so a little bit of air can get out, and with resistance. Try and do this as often as possible — it makes the sacs in your lungs more used to having to hold air longer, stretching them out. Another way of accomplishing this same effect would be to blow up balloons.
- For eight counts, breathe until your lungs are totally full.
- For the next eight to sixteen counts, take small sips of air. Feel your belly expanding. You shouldn’t feel your shoulders moving.
- Hold it for a few seconds and release forcefully.
- After you feel “empty,” make a “tssssss” sound for as long as possible. (This is called tizzling, and it mimics the resistance of playing a wind instrument.)
- Develop a normal stretching and weight lifting routine out of the water. Make sure that you compensate for the fact that weights will feel lighter when you have the water around you. Practice this routine for a few days until you are comfortable with everything.
- Take it to the water. Submerge yourself up to your neck, and do the exercises while in the water. This may not seem like it is doing anything to help you at all, but don’t worry. Due to the blood shifting into your chest cavity and the compression on your body, you will have to take shorter, quicker breaths when exercising in the water. Research shows that your air capacity will be cut by up to 75% during this time, and your body will try to compensate for that. If your exercise in the water lasts long enough, and you do it regularly, your respiratory system will become more efficient, increasing your lung capacity.
Get extra air.
- Take a piece of pipe with a diameter small enough to put into your mouth without hurting your jaw. It should, however, make you open your mouth wide: about as wide as an average yawn. The pipe need not be long at all — it’s not the length you’re looking for, but the width.
- Put the pipe in your mouth. (Do be sure it’s sanitary and clean.)
- Breathe. Do so very carefully, though, because if you breathe too quickly, you will become lightheaded. Do this for a little while every day, and you will soon realize that you are able to take longer and longer breaths without becoming lightheaded. If you do this often enough, you should be able to take very deep, full breaths and be perfectly fine. This works because your body is becoming more adjusted to receiving more oxygen with every breath, because, obviously, you don’t breathe like you are yawning all the time.
Play a wind instrument.
- Learn how to play a woodwind or brass instrument such as a tuba, trumpet, trombone, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, or flute. This activity will help you control breathing and expand your lung capacity to utilize all the alveoli.
- Play in a marching band or a Drum and Bugle Corps. This activity requires more and more lung capacity utilization for your movement and playing and is quite healthy.
- You can also learn how to sing.
Participate in rigorous cardiovascular activities.
- Swimming – The best sport to improve on your cardiovascular fitness. At their peak, swimmers’ lungs will use oxygen three times more efficiently than an average person.
Count. Take a deep breath and then count numbers for as long as you can. Practice it when you have time and each time go for a higher number.