Improving Lung Capacity
Breathing with pursed lips is beneficial and can be used with the diaphragmatic breathing. The hand is placed on the abdomen. Inhale through the nose while gently pushing the abdomen out. The hand placed on his or her abdomen moves outward. This allows the diaphragm to lower enabling one to increase lung capacity. Exhale slowly using pursed lips while gently pushing inward and upward with the hand on the abdomen to help empty the lungs completely. The navel is pressed to the spine while exhaling all the air out. Then slowly inhale, filling the lungs with air, and repeat the exercise. Pursed-lip breathing should be practiced several times a day. In addition to strengthening the abdominal muscles, it will help regulate breathing if one becomes short of breath, particularly during an activity. This type of breathing will also help one to get through an activity where one experiences shortness of breath.
A stretching program will restore mobility in the chest and back that allows for freer movement of the lungs and diaphragm. Stretching each part of the body will help to keep the chest muscles lose and encourage deep breathing. Stretching can also help improve posture. Sitting down all day at a desk or driving can cause the shoulders to round forward and kyphosis, which can decrease lung capacity.