Why Breathing Properly Is Important for Lung Health
Your lungs perform one of the most important functions in the human body – breathing. In a process known as respiration, every cell of your body inhales oxygen and exhales carbon dioxide. Proper breathing delivers an adequate amount of oxygen to those cells while carrying away carbon dioxide and other toxins from the cells. Breathing properly can also benefit your lungs.
Human lungs can hold about 6 liters of air on average, according to the American Lung Association, but age and respiratory illnesses can greatly reduce your lung capacity. They can also interfere with your ability to breathe properly. Your diaphragm, which is the muscle that moves air in and out of your lungs, becomes weaker. Your ribcage bones become thinner and change shape, which prevents your ribcage from expanding and contracting properly when you breathe. Muscles and tissues that normally keep your airways open lose elasticity and some of your airway may even close. The air sacs that hold oxygen and carbon dioxide in your lungs can lose their shape and become baggy.
To make matters worse, many people fall into the habit of shallow breathing. That is, they breathe with the just the top sections of their lungs and never fill the air sacs in the bottom parts of their lungs. Shallow breathing allows toxins and pollutants to build up in these lower portions of your lungs.
Benefits of Proper Breathing
Proper breathing helps your lungs overcome these problems and function better. Deep breathing fills the air sacs in your lower lungs and breaks up toxins and pollutants that have accumulated there. Deep breathing can also improve the elasticity of the air sacs, expand the ribcage, and strengthen the diaphragm.
Using proper breathing techniques can also help when you are experiencing a breathing problem. Having trouble breathing can be understandably stressful, and this stress can sometimes make it even harder to breathe. Meditation can help you relax when you have trouble breathing; it can also help improve your breathing habits even when you are not having trouble. Research shows that practicing meditation, yoga, and relaxation techniques can improve lung function, breathing, and other aspects of health.
Breathing properly relies on healthy lungs. Your doctor relies on a variety of diagnostic tests, such as lung imaging, to diagnose respiratory diseases that can interfere with your ability to breathe properly. To learn more about lung imaging, contact Virtual Imaging, Inc. Imaging Center today at 770-730-0119.