Balloon Exercise to Help Lung Capacity

All forms of activity require proper breathing, regardless of the intensity. From high-endurance athletic workouts to regular walks around the neighborhood, proper breathing can improve how well you are able to perform these tasks. One major aspect of proper breathing is lung capacity. This relates to how much air your lungs are able to ingest, and the lungs cannot do this efficiently if they aren’t being exercised regularly.

Certain factors, including age, gender, weight, and medical circumstances, can affect a person’s lung capacity. The older you get the shallower your breathing becomes. Men tend to have much more lung capacity than women due to the bigger size of their lungs, but you can engage in training to increase lung capacity, no matter who you are. People who are overweight typically find that it is harder breathe, and that’s due to the excess fat in and around the lungs, as well as mucus build up from a poor diet. Certain medical conditions such as asthma also play a major part in how well a person is able to breathe.

Asthma affects the airways by causing inflammation build up, making them considerably smaller. This makes it harder to breathe and it is near impossible to exercise if you’re prone to asthma attacks. By practicing proper breathing techniques to improve your lung capacity, you can increase the lungs’ efficiency and absorb and store more oxygen when needed.

Using a balloon in a modified diaphragmatic breathing exercise has been proven to aid lung capacity and increase the rate of respiration. Below are some of the steps you can take to improve your breathing pattern with the use of a balloon.

90-90 Balloon Breathing Exercise:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground with your toes up against a wall.
  2. Insert the tip of a balloon into your mouth and blow out for as long and hard as you can to fill the balloon with as much air as possible. Do this for anywhere between 7 and 12 seconds of exhalation.
  3. After exhaling as much as you can, clamp down on the tip of the balloon to prevent the air from leaving and inhale deeply through the nose.
  4. Repeat the routine and once the balloon is completely full let the air out and do it one more time.

A variation of the same exercise not only helps your breathing by isolating each lung, but it can also help improve your posture. Research has linked dysfunctional breathing to bad posture, chronic back and neck pain, and cardiovascular disease. This variation of the exercises focuses on improving the zone of apposition or ZOA.

ZOA is a term that refers to the area between the diaphragm and abdominal wall. An approach to restoring ZOA and stabilizing the core is by performing the following breathing exercise.

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground with your toes up against a wall.
  2. Put your right hand above you head.
  3. Hold the balloon with your left hand and insert the tip of the balloon into your mouth. Take a deep breath in through your nose and blow air out through your mouth to fill the balloon as much as possible.
  4. Pause for 4 seconds. (Keep the balloon in your mouth as you do so).
  5. Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth, breathe in through you nose, and blow out though your mouth into the balloon
  6. Pause for 4 seconds
  7. Breath in through the nose, remove the balloon from your mouth, and let the air out out of the balloon as you exhale.
  8. Repeat this routine with left arm above your head.
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