Want to Improve Lung Health? Do Some Cardio!
April 12, 2018
It’s called “cardio” because of the way cardiovascular exercises—think: jogging, swimming, and anything that gets your heart rate up—greatly benefit your heart. It seems obvious, but maintaining a healthy heart is imperative for maintaining overall health. Frequent cardio exercise regulates blood pressure, increases circulation, promotes mental clarity, improves your skin, and even controls your blood sugar. It also presents a myriad of psychological benefits!
A lesser known “pro” to regular cardio exercise is its benefit to our LUNGS. Here’s how:
Fine-Tuning Your Lung Capacity
Your lungs specialize in delivering oxygen to the rest of your body. Sure, our bodies use our lungs no matter what we’re doing—breathing carelessly while we watch Netflix and even breathing without us knowing about it while we sleep. But when you’re engaged in physical activity, you should pay special attention to how your lungs actually fuel your exercise!
Proper breathing is so important to exercise that runners have recommended techniques for syncing your breathing with your running rhythm—seriously! And we’d be remiss to leave out the amazing breathing techniques that yoga-practicers have adopted.
Reduces Shortness of Breath
Over time, fine-tuning your lung capacity as we just described can have a huge impact on your lungs’ overall fitness. As you perfect the way that you use your lungs to fuel the rest of your body, you’ll find that you can stretch the depths of your breaths as well as the amount of time your lungs operate at this high level.
So, if you find that you’re always out of breath after walking up a flight of stairs, get to walking! Cardio will gradually improve your lungs’ ability to keep up. But—and this is important—if you experience shortness of breath while sedentary, you may have an underlying problem leading to an airway condition. You should call a doctor to seek treatment immediately.
Safe Option for Asthma-Sufferers
We know what you were thinking: “I can’t jog! I have exercise-induced asthma!” While we’d never encourage you to immediately push past your limits, we do recommend slowly incorporating some gentle cardio into your daily routines. Even asthma-sufferers will experience all the great benefits we’ve described above! Just be sure to always, always have an inhaler or other fast-acting asthma relief medication on hand.