Tips to Improve Lung Capacity and Build Endurance for Running

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

The key to building endurance is a strong set of lungs. For most people, they don’t think much about their lung capacity until they work out. If you are out of breath within minutes of running, it means you have weak lungs. That’s because endurance depends on your lung capacity.

But don’t fret, there are many methods to improve your lung capacity and boost endurance. In today’s post, we are giving you practical tips to keep the lungs strong:

Gradual Training

If you are easing yourself to running for the first time, don’t strain yourself. The key is to start gradually. This helps the body adjust slowly to a more active lifestyle. If you try to cover more ground than you could, you will end up too sore to continue the next day. This could also lead to injuries. Warm up exercises are just as important when you’re training gradually. These exercises help condition the muscles for the strenuous activity ahead. Start by warming up for at least ten minutes. As you make your way to a run, pace yourself.

Eventually, you will start getting accustomed to running long distances. Your body will adjust to the pace and will cover more ground. This is a sign that the lungs are getting stronger.

High-Altitude Training

This tip is best for serious runners or athletes. Once you reach the advanced level of running, you can move forward to high altitude running. Unlike running at lower elevations, high altitude running demands more air into the lungs. Your lungs will work harder to process thinner oxygen. Training at high altitude conditions the body to generate more red blood cells. This process boosts the lung capacity.

Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises also help boost the lungs’ air capacity. First, you want to find a quiet spot in your home. Lay on your back. Now, rest one hand on top of your abdomen and then rest the other hand on your chest. Start breathing in slowly and releasing the air slowly too. As you breathe in and out, pull your mid-section. When done correctly, the hand on your belly should rise much higher than the one on your chest.

Make sure you exhale completely through the mouth and inhale through the nose. Hold your breath for several seconds. Now release the air at the count of eight. As you breathe out, squeeze the abdominal muscles. Do at least five cycles of breathing exercise to boost your lung capacity.

Do Loads of Cardio

Cardio exercises keep the heart strong and the lungs even stronger! If you’re a runner then choose cardio exercises that are up your speed. If you’re doing this for the first time, you want to pace yourself first. Start slowly and then work your way up to a more advanced routine.

You can also do sprint or sprint interval training to keep the heart rate up and boost your lung capacity. Cycling, swimming and skiing are all great cardio workout too! The key to a good cardio workout is to push yourself so that both heart and lungs are working harder.

Avoid Smoking

To prevent weakening of the lungs, you have to avoid unhealthy vices like smoking. Cigarette smoke doesn’t just cause cancer. It also breaks down the lung tissues. Tar from cigarettes clogs the lungs and constrict the airways. A smoker’s lungs are unable to absorb oxygen fully, causing wheezing and smoker’s cough. So a healthy lifestyle is a must if you want to boost your lung capacity and build endurance for running.


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