You are probably thinking about how exercise can increase your fitness, trim your waist, strengthen your heart and even improve your mood. But did you know that it also strengthens your lungs and makes them healthier?
How does regular exercise help maintain a healthy respiratory system?
Just as regular exercise strengthens muscles, it supports the lungs and heart. When exercising, your heart and lungs work harder to supply the extra oxygen your muscles require. As your physical condition improves, your body becomes more efficient at getting oxygen into the bloodstream and transporting it to the working muscles. Then you are less likely to be short of breath during exercise over time.
Exercise also strengthens the muscles in the neck and chest to enhance inhalation and exhalation.
The benefits of exercise
Exercise has many benefits for everyone, whether young or old, slim or tall, fit or living with a chronic illness or disability. Exercise can help you stay active by strengthening your legs, improving flexibility and agility, reducing weight gain, and improving sleep. Physical activity can reduce the risk of serious illness, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers. Regular exercise is also good for your mental health and can reduce anxiety and depression improve attention and memory. Exercise also reduces the risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
What types of training and how much?
National guidelines recommend that all adults receive 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week. Moderate exercise includes brisk walks, recreational cycling, gardening, and heavy cleaning.
Aerobic exercise and muscle-strengthening activities can benefit your lungs. Training such as walking, running, or jumping rope gives the heart and lungs the type of exercise they need to function effectively. Muscle-strengthening activities such as weightlifting or Pilates build core strength, improve posture and strengthen the breathing muscles. Especially breathing exercises can support the diaphragm and train your body to breathe more profoundly and efficiently.
Some things to keep in mind
Always talk to your GP before starting your exercise routine, and it is crucial if you have any underlying health conditions. When the air is polluted, go indoors in a mall or gym or use an exercise machine.
Exercise with lung disease
If you have a lung disease, you should exercise regularly for the same reasons as everyone else. The lungs and heart remain stronger, you are better able to perform the tasks of daily life, and you feel better in mind and body. However, if you already have shortness of breath, it can be scary to think about increasing your physical activity. It is essential to work with your health care team to create an exercise plan that works for you.