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Breathing Exercises to Maintain Lifelong Lung Function
(16.11.2020) back
Easier breathing improves your general well-being, clears your head and improves your mood
Do the breathing exercises once a day and you'll be amazed with the improvements in your lung capacity
Breathe slowly to increase your lung volume
Doing the exercises outdoors is even more effective, or you can simply open a window and let the fresh air in

Would you like to learn an effective method for staying young and healthy? Then you really should be doing some kind of "breathing callisthenics". The exercises we're presenting here are not at all difficult, and they'll slow the ageing process of your lungs.

With every passing year of our lives, the volume of the lungs decreases by a little bit, precisely where the exchange of gasses takes place. This area in fact becomes smaller in size, which primarily affects your memory and the speed at which you can think, as well as your mood. The winner in terms of lung capacity in relation to body size are actually toddlers around four years of age. Once one reaches the age of 24 the decrease in lung volume starts to accelerate, and by the time you're 50 years old, lung volume falls to half. By 60, we are only working with 30% of our potential lung volume.

This means that  those of us who are already older than 24 ought to be actively working on maintaining and expanding lung volume: everyday breathing exercises, ideally before the workday begins. This might take the form of a 30-minute walk in the fresh air. This is an excellent way to get your body ready for the day in many ways. When you arrive at work with a clear head and a good mood, you'll be able to get a lot more done. The result is no more brain fog, and no more dependence on coffee to maintain your productivity ;-)

As we're guessing that you're not really in need of instructions when it comes to going for a walk, today we'll be explaining a breathing exercise you can use. The only skill that you'll need to make it work is counting as you'll be following a strict system for timing your breaths. The exercise has three parts, which you'll find described below.

1. Stretching on the inhale

Stand up straight, if possible near an open window. Better still, you could do the exercise outside in the fresh air if you have the possibility, for example in a park. You'll be lifting your arms to the sides, slowly forming a circle with your hands. Starting at the count of one, and begin inhaling as you begin raising your arms. You should be counting in your head for this. At the count of 8, your inhale will be complete and your hands will be touching above your head, with your arms fully extended. Pause for just a moment while holding your breath, then exhale as normal while bringing your arms back down to your sides. This arm movement helps to maximize your flexibility for breathing, and at the same time you stretch your spine. When you do the exercise again – and you feel like you're ready to progress – count to 10 rather than 8, then move on to 12, 14, etc. If you do this exercise regularly, soon you'll be making your arm circles to a count of 20. The longest count you should be using is 32, so stop there and continue using 32 as your standard. Be sure to do the exercise slowly and allow time for progress. Don't overdo it!

2. Holding your breath

Here's the second part of the exercise. Slowly breath in while again raising your arms to the sides. As soon as your hands are together above your head, hold your breath and count from 1 to 8 in your head. Breath out gently when you reach 8, and at the same time lower your arms again to the sides. Next time add two seconds and repeat, so 10 - 12 -etc., just as you progressed for the first exercise.

3. Stretching on the exhale

For the third exercise, inhale in a relaxed way. Once again, make a circle with your arms to the sides and pause for a moment when you reach the top. This time you'll be doing the count as you lower your arms to the sides, so you start with 1 when your hands are touching above your head. Your hands should reach your sides at the count of 8. As for the exercise 1 above, increase the count when you feel ready, and after a few weeks you should progress to 20 and then all the way to the final goal of 32.

Practice these exercises regularly and fill your lungs with fresh air. You'll quickly notice improvement in terms of how much energy you have and how you feel in general. Naturally you can customise the exercises to meet your specific needs, but be sure to stick with it for at least 10 weeks. These exercises really do work wonders!

Source: Mirsakarim Norbekov, Neue Eselsweisheiten: Wie man seinen inneren störrischen Esel überlistet, im richtigen Moment mit den Hufen scharrt und gnadenlos entspannt (in German), Goldmann Publishing, 2nd edition, 2016. With his book on "donkey wisdom", Mirsakarim Norbekov, the Russian success philosopher, once again made an impression on his huge fan base. In his well-known provocative way, he addresses different areas of life like willpower, nutrition, relaxation, relationships and sex.

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