Exercises to Improve Oxygen Levels
Updated On Apr 25, 2021
A healthy adult breathes between 12 and 20 times every minute. But ideally, we all should take fewer breaths, i.e. around 6-8 breaths in a minute. This is because we might not breathe optimally when breathing for more number of times in a minute, and we might not even be aware of the same. Breathing optimally is important as it influences our health and well-being and is hence directly linked to the oxygen level in our body.
In the article, we will discuss the importance of oxygen and simple ways to get more of it.
Why is Oxygen Important?
Breathing involves chemical and mechanical processes that bring oxygen to every cell of the body and give away carbon dioxide. The respiratory system brings air to the lungs from the environment and facilitates gas exchange in both the lungs as well as the cells. Like every cell in our body needs energy, every one of them needs oxygen. Oxygen contains energy to fuel all of our living processes. Oxygen in the cells and muscles make us capable of performing physical activities. In fact, 90% of our energy comes from oxygen.
How Can You Improve Your Oxygen Levels?
As discussed above, oxygen is important for the cells in our body as it helps them function properly. So, the greater the amount of oxygen, the better will your body function. Here are a few simple ways that will help you improve your oxygen levels:
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1. Diaphragmatic Breathing: as the name suggests, diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing engages the diaphragm. Most useful for people with COPD, this exercise strengthens the diaphragm. Practicing diaphragmatic breathing involves:
- Relaxing the shoulders and sitting back or lying down
- Placing one hand on belly and one on the chest
- Inhaling from the nose for 2 seconds and feeling the same on your abdomen. Note that your stomach should move more than your chest
2. Pursed Lips Breathing: It is easier than diaphragmatic breathing and can be practiced anytime. It slows down your breathing and involves the following steps:
- Inhale slowly through nostrils
- Purse your lips like you are pouting or are about to blow something
- Breathe out very slowly, taking around double the time you took to inhale
How Can You Keep Your Lungs Healthy?
Prevention is better than cure and working to keep your lungs healthy is more efficient than repairing them once they start damaging. So, to keep your lungs healthy, you must do as follows:
- Quit smoking, and avoid passive smoking or environmental irritants
- Eat foods rich in antioxidants
- Get vaccinated for flu, pneumonia, etc. This can help prevent lung infections as well as promote lung health.
- Improve the indoor quality of your home. You can do this by using air filters and reducing pollutants like mold, dust, artificial fragrances, etc.
Slow and deep breathing helps increase oxygen levels in your blood. It is through the respiratory system that the oxygen is transported to the blood within the body and therefore it influences the oxygen level if breathing is not optimal.
It is true that many people including athletes experience a major difference when they start working on their breath through the respiratory training. The exercises not only strengthen your endurance, but also helps you remain calm by reducing the stress levels by focusing.
But note that exercising alone is not enough to have healthy lungs. If you want to improve the quality of your breathing, then you should also eat iron rich foods, drink plenty of water, and train your breathing.
Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.