Why is lung capacity important?
We often think of heart health as the determining factor in our overall wellness, but we may be missing the mark. Taking more than 6 million breaths per year, the lungs affect every aspect of our bodies and health. The often overlooked but highly predictive factor is the capacity of our lungs to take in and process oxygen.
A famous Framingham study (which followed 5,200 individuals for 29 years) demonstrated that the greatest predictor of health and longevity is actually lung volume, and lung capacity should be used as a tool for general health assessment. Those with higher lung capacity were healthier and lived longer than those with decreased lung capacity.
Lung capacity decreases with age
Our lung capacity naturally declines with age, starting at age 30. By the age of 50, our lung capacity may be reduced by as much as 50 percent. This means that the older you get, the harder it is for your lungs to breathe in and hold air.
Besides the natural aging of our lungs and it’s associated decreased capacity, for most of us living modern life we access only 10-20% of our full breathing capacity, which leaves us short on energy and compromised optimum health and well being.
As we breathe in less oxygen, our body and cells receive less oxygen. Less oxygen means:
- increased risk of heart attacks and strokes
- lower energy and more general fatigue
- decline in general focus, concentration and memory
- shortness of breath
- decreased stamina and endurance
- susceptibility to respiratory illness that so often increases as we age
- impaired metabolic and digestive functions
Can I improve my lung capacity?
Yes! Many view lung capacity loss as a normal degenerative process that can’t be stopped, but luckily this is not true. Lung capacity can be retained and even restored.
Here are some practices that can help build lung capacity:
Take more vitamin D. Some studies show that of those who increase their intake of Vitamin D in conjunction with standard rehabilitation, many show improvement in their ability to exercise and in respiratory strength.
Increase your self-confidence. A study found that those who underwent a confidence-boosting program before starting an exercise routine experienced better results. Exercise is essential, and having self-confidence improves your ability to exercise.
Keep a clean home. Support your lungs by keeping your home as clean as possible from dust and other allergens. Consider removing items that collect dust from your home, such as curtains and tablecloths. Wash your sheets at high temperatures, and dust and vacuum regularly. Indoor air purifiers are another great way to improve the quality of air inside of your home.
Oxycise! Breathing exercises are the #1 way to help your lungs. The full, powerful inhales and exhales will do wonders to increase your lung capacity. Lisa shared after 2 years of Oxycise, “My strength, stamina, endurance, and lung capacity have increased enormously, not to mention my confidence and self-esteem. Climbing stairs and walking up hills are no longer exercises in futility; I can take both quite easily and do so more than ever before.”
When you are able to breathe with ease as your oxygen capacity increases, you will strengthen every healthy biochemical reaction in the human body, including:
- killing germs, viruses, bacteria, fungi, and yeast
- enhancing brain function
- increasing vitality of the muscles
- speeding recovery times after sickness or injury
- neutralizing free radicals
- enhancing the body’s waste treatment in the liver, kidneys, intestines, and lymphatic system