Although breathing is one of the human body’s most fundamental and critical functions, it’s often taken for granted. According to a recent study, over 36 million Americans suffer from various respiratory disorders, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Fortunately, numerous ways exist to improve your breathing and promote better lung health, including lifestyle changes and specialized breathing techniques. Here are nine effective strategies worth considering.
- Become more aware of your breath
Awareness of your breath can be a powerful tool for improving respiratory health. Many tend to breathe shallowly or unconsciously, contributing to breathing problems over time. You can increase your lung capacity and improve oxygen intake by intentionally bringing your attention to your breath and breathing deeply and slowly. Additionally, becoming more aware of your breath can help you identify and address any potential breathing issues or habits you may have developed, such as chronic mouth breathing or breath-holding. You can also train your body to breathe more effectively and efficiently, improving respiratory health overall.
- Try breathwork
Breathwork involves a multitude of exercises and strategies for controlling one’s breath. It has grown prominent in recent years, owing to its numerous benefits to mental, spiritual, and physical health. Today’s workouts span from ancient methods to cutting-edge approaches, so keep this in mind. Many breathwork techniques are also appropriate for beginners. Several exercises for healthier breathing can immediately benefit you over time. Some exercises worth considering include 4-7-8 breathing, box breathing, and pursed lip breathing.
- Meditate more
Meditation is an intriguing practice that has gained traction for its potential to enhance your lungs’ health. The mechanism lies in its ability to combat stress, a prominent factor that affects your respiratory health. In times of stress, a response aptly named “fight or flight” ensues, mildly accelerating your breath and rendering its depth shallow. Prolonged stress can escalate the damage to your respiratory health, causing severe respiratory diseases. Nonetheless, meditation is believed to reduce stress levels and restore a sense of serenity, crucial to improving your lungs’ function and overall breathing. An added perk of meditation is its tendency to reinforce the bond between your mind and body, allowing you to detect breathing complications more quickly.
- Adjust your sleeping position
Adjusting your sleep position may have the unexpected benefit of soothing your breathing during sleep. A survey by the American Sleep Apnea Association revealed that people who nap on their backs are highly prone to experiencing breathing troubles when asleep. That is usually the case for individuals with some sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea or snoring. Still, laying on your side is believed to be the pièce de résistance for enhancing breathing because it facilitates a pipe that remains open and unobstructed in the airways while you sleep. Moreover, shoving a pillow beneath your head to raise the head and upper body can shore up the breathing structure by considerably reducing potential air passage obstruction and promoting better airflow.
- Consume nutrient-dense foods
The food you consume impacts several body functions, including your breathing. As a result, modifying your eating habits can help you reduce breathing problems. There are a few foods that specifically help you breathe easier. For instance, foods high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, like broiled salmon or oatmeal dotted with walnuts and flax seeds. These foods aren’t only delicious but useful for shielding your lungs from the environmental effects on your breathing, reducing lung damage, and controlling the symptoms of illnesses such as COPD and asthma.
- Stretch regularly
Stretching can also assist in strengthening the breathing muscles, so feel free to consider this. Regularly learning and executing different exercises will help reset your system to use your muscles that allow you to breathe appropriately. There are other stretches you can master, including those performed in the water. Options like opening the chest stretch, rotating the chest, hand stretch with leg lift, lung meridian stretch, elevating hands behind the backstretch, and flower stretch are a few techniques to try that will yield great results.
- Practice good posture
When improving your breathing, it’s crucial to consider the advantages of good posture. Maintaining a good posture will help accurately align your spine to a neutral position. This neutral position further allows your lungs to expand and fill with air seamlessly, amplifying their airflow. It positively impacts the diaphragm muscle, which is an imperative factor in the respiratory process, functioning better. On the other hand, slouching or hunching can hinder the diaphragm’s movement of the diaphragm, causing restricted breathing. Therefore, consider correcting your posture if you haven’t already.
- Use your nose
Practicing nose breathing is a great way to enhance your breathing. However, you may need to be more cautious if you have been working or exercising intensely. This step helps filter pollutants, allergies, and poisons. It also softens and moistens the air as you breathe. The air volume in your lungs expands when you mouth-breathe, leading to over-breathing and anxiety. It can also dry out your mouth and cause various dental problems. Meanwhile, procedures such as rhinoplasty can improve your breathing by correcting structural issues that might obstruct airflow. Why not check here to learn more?
- Monitor your indoor air quality
Indoor air quality is crucial for your respiratory health and general well-being. Deficient ventilation systems, hazardous household items, amid other indoor factors can pollute the air. Exposure to pollutants such as dust, residual mold, and irritating chemicals can aggravate pre-existing respiratory issues and make breathing feel like an uphill task. However, constantly monitoring indoor air quality using home items like air purifiers can curb hazardous pollutant exposure and subsequently breathe freely. You can also clean your air vents to eliminate trapped dust, lint, and other allergens. Allowing natural air into your home is also beneficial, so keep this in mind.
The above are a few steps you can take to improve your breathing. Consistently implementing these can improve lung function, airflow, elevated vitality levels, and overall wellness. What steps will you undertake today to increase your breathing game and further boost your health?
Thank you for reading!