Breathe Better!

Your lungs are part of your respiratory system, a group of organs and tissues that work together to help you breathe. Your lungs are amazing and incredibly hard-working organs. But they are not immune to Ageing. As you age, so do your lungs, and it’s helpful to understand how your lungs change and what’s natural.

Did you know that your lungs actually have no muscles? They expand to draw in air and contract to expel air with the help of your diaphragm, a strong wall of muscle that separates your chest cavity from the abdominal cavity. Your ribs are bones that support and protect your chest cavity. They move slightly to help your lungs expand and contract. So, your lungs, muscles and bones work together as you breathe.

There are several body changes that happen as you get older that may cause a decline in lung capacity. The diaphragm can become weaker, the ribcage bones can become thinner and the alveoli, the air sacs in the lungs can lose their shape. These changes can result in symptoms such as tiredness and shortness of the breath.

Ways to protect your lungs

There are several simple ways to protect your lungs and maintain better lung function throughout your life.

  • Don’t Smoke- Smoking damages your lungs.
  • Regular Breathing Exercise – Can improve the lung capacity.
  • Get Up – Lying down for a long time allow mucus to settle down in your lungs.
  • Watch Your Weight – Abdominal fat can affect the diaphragm’s ability to fully expand the lungs.

Right way to do Breathing exercise

  • Spine in Straight and neutral position – While doing the deep breathing exercises it is important to sit or stand straight to do the breathing in full capacity.
  • Shoulder Down and Back –Allows your lungs to work at peak performance.
  • Do not hold your Breath – Breath in deeply and Breath out completely.
  • Work the Right Muscle – Keep other body muscles in a relaxed position and target only the chest muscle.
  • Breathe in slowly – while breathing in the air it should be in a slow and gradual manner so that you can breathe in deeply.
  • Don’t exert yourself – If you are a beginner, gradually increase your breathing capacity.

Changes are natural! But we can keep it in a gradual and subtle manner by taking a good care of it. Breathe better!

Viji Balaji
Viji Balaji

Masters in Physiotherapy,MSc Psychology
Co Founder,Growing Young
Senior wellness coach