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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Disch

Spirometry. What Is It and Why Do We Do It?

Updated: Feb 26, 2021

There is a test that helps determine an individual’s lung capacity known as a spirometry breathing, or a pulmonary function test (PFT). The PFT helps to show how well an individual can move air in and out of their lungs. It will measure your lung volume, capacity, rate of flow, and gas exchange and is a useful tool in diagnosing lung diseases such as asthma or COPD.

Do you feel like your lungs are struggling? Is it even possible to improve lung capacity?

These are questions many people ask. The short answer is YES!!!! In reality we only use a small portion of our lung capacity, but, we can do simple breathing exercises to help improve that capacity and overall lung health. Things such as:

Controlled Breathing

Performed by increasing the length of your inhalations and exhalations. This helps strengthen your breathing and improves the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Meditation and Yoga are great tools that can be used to teach you how to control your breathing.

Deep Breathing

This helps restore lung function by using the diaphragm. Diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing helps improve lung function.

Deep Breathing on Your Back

Start by laying flat on your back with your knees bent. Place one hand over belly and other over chest. Now take big, slow, controlled breaths in and out making sure your mouth is closed and your tongue is on the roof of your mouth. Do this for 1 minute.

Deep Breathing on Your Belly

Lie on your belly while resting your head on your hands. Take slow, controlled deep breaths in and out of your nose making sure your mouth is closed and your tongue is on the roof of your mouth. Repeat for 1 minute.

Deep Breathing While Sitting

Start by sitting at the edge of a chair nice and tall. Place one hand over your belly and the other over your chest. Keep your mouth closed and your tongue against the roof of your mouth. Take deep and controlled breaths in and out through your nose. Repeat this for a total of 1 minute.

Cardio Workouts (aerobic exercise) are also great options to help improve lung capacity. You do not have to be a marathon runner to use cardio as a way to improve capacity. Simple activities that help you use your lung capacity can be performed 20-30 minutes a day such as:

● Speed walking

● Jump Rope

● Stationary bike riding

● Running

Do what you enjoy and feel your lungs getting stronger.

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