An important of reaching our fitness goals is making sure that we have strong lungs. But oftentimes, this is an aspect of our physical fitness that is overlooked and we only pay attention to our lungs when we experience breathing problems. A person with a limited lung capacity will experience shortness of breath and may find it challenging to accomplish their daily activities.
But according to Dr. Crystal Roxas, a doctor, fitness enthusiast, and fitness advocate, there are exercises that we can do that can help our lungs work more efficiently. In an episode of Body Goals on Plus Network, Roxas and fitness trainer Carla Piscoso shows us some low-impact lengthening exercises that will help our lungs work more efficiently.
These exercises include chair yoga, seated cat and cow, seated neck stretches, seated side stretches, warrior II, reverse warrior, and the extended side angle. To perform these exercises, you need an open space, a chair, a towel, and water for hydration. Make sure that the chair that will be used includes a backrest that can support you and doesn’t have wheels and handlebars.
To start this exercise, get into a comfortable seated position, keep your back straight, and keep your chin away from your chest and your shoulders away from your ears. Stay in this position for a few moments before closing your eyes. For every time you inhale, use this opportunity to fill your lungs with positivity, and use every time you exhale as a chance to let go. Slowly blink and open your eyes.
Seated Cat and Cow
After the first exercise, maintain your position. As you inhale, make sure that you lift your chest up as you inhale, and as your chest expands, round your back as you tuck your chin into your chest. As you hollow back, make sure that the breathing in your chest rises, and that your chest contracts when you breathe out.
Seated Neck Stretches
To begin this exercise, place your hands on the chair, put your hands up, then reach for your left ear and stretch it to the right. Feel the stretch of your neck as you breathe and feel the lengthening sensation on your left side. Once you’re done, do the same thing on the other side. Do this exercise for 15-30 seconds.
Seated Side Stretches
To start this exercise, place your right hand on the chair, pull your body to the right, keep your hips grounded, and put your back to the center. Afterward, do the same thing on the other side, balance it out, and breathe and inhale slowly and deeply, before exhaling.
Warrior II and Reverse Warrior
To do this exercise, bring your leg and thing on the chair, place your arms out, keep your knee secure and your foot securely grounded and spread your arms. This is the Warrior II pose, and once you do the reverse of this position, this is the Reverse Warrior position.
Extended Side Angle
After doing the Reverse Warrior position, put your left leg and thigh on the chair, make sure that the leg is extended, and do the Warrior II pose. Then once you have reversed it, do the extended side angle, then return to the Warrior II pose, go back to the center, then return to your original pose.
When performing these breathing exercises, it’s important to create a routine that you can stick on and stay consistent with. Once you develop a routine and do it regularly, you can improve your lung capacity and help your lungs to function more efficiently.