The human body’s lungs are a place of gas exchange where oxygen is taken in from the outside world and carbon dioxide is exhaled from the body. Good or bad lung function usually determines the working status of other organs and is also the “barometer” of human health. However, as we age, the total volume and activity of the lungs gradually decrease, the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract gradually atrophies, and the function of the cilia on the mucous membrane and the sensitivity of the cough reflex gradually decreases, so we should pay attention to the maintenance of the lungs and the exercise of lung function, and we should learn to actively practice deep breathing.

The most common method used by the ancients to determine whether a person is alive or dead is to test whether the person still has nasal breath. Because breathing is an important life activity for humans, the cessation of breathing means death. The various organs inside our body, as well as each cell, consume oxygen and produce carbon dioxide at all times.

1. Self-measurement of lung function

Lung function is often measured by “spirometry” and “one-second volume”. Lung volume refers to the maximum volume of gas that can be exhaled after inhaling to the best of one’s ability and then exhaling to the best of one’s ability. The lung capacity of a healthy person is generally around 3~4 liters. The entire exhalation process takes about 3 to 4 seconds, of which the first second of exhalation is the “one-second volume”, which accounts for more than 80% of the lung capacity in healthy people.

However, pulmonary function testing requires specialized equipment and can only be done in a hospital. Teach you 3 small self-test lung function methods, you can test yourself, to estimate your lung function.

1.1 Blow out a candle: Light a candle, then move away for a distance and then blow it out with force. A healthy person can usually blow out a candle 15 cm away, if less than this distance, it means that lung function has decreased.

1.2 Climb the stairs: climb the stairs at your normal speed, usually a healthy person can climb more than 3 floors in one breath without shortness of breath, indicating good lung function.

1.3 Breath-holding time: take a deep breath and hold it, if the breath-holding time can exceed 45 seconds, it means good lung function, if the breath-holding time is less than 30 seconds, it means the lung function is declining.

2. What are the effects of declining lung function

The best way to exercise lung function is to do aerobic exercise. But modern life is very stressful, too much time busy with work, and few people can adhere to regular aerobic exercise for a long time. Many people breathe “short and shallow” every day, so to speak, and they do not breathe properly, but just keep “gasping for air”, resulting in a rapid decline in lung function.

When the lung function decreases, the gas exchange capacity will be insufficient and the oxygen supply capacity will be reduced. When we need a lot of oxygen during strenuous activities, long hours of work, or study, we will suffer from dizziness, chest tightness, lack of concentration, memory loss, insomnia, and other symptoms of insufficient oxygen supply. Not only will limit our activities, affecting the efficiency of work and study, but insufficient oxygen supply will also cause damage to health, and various organs “negatively idle”, more likely to breed a variety of diseases.

3. Deep breathing can exercise lung function

For most people, the time cost of aerobic exercise is too high. So is there a way to exercise lung function without spending time on it? Yes, just learn to breathe deeply. Just be conscious and take the initiative to breathe deeply every day while working and studying. Do it 3 times a day, 10 minutes each time, and you can produce the effect of exercise lung function.

In the human body in general breathing, the human alveoli are only 80 to 90% in working condition, there are some alveoli in a state of collapse, and the function is wasted. Performing deep breathing will make all the alveoli are filled up, but also exercise the intermuscular muscles, and increase the contraction force of the muscles, which is conducive to the expansion of the lungs so that the gas exchange capacity is enhanced.

Deep breathing, the action required for nostril inhalation, in addition to the expansion of the thorax, but also paying attention to the abdomen should also be bulging. Because the human thoracic and abdominal cavity is separated by the diaphragm, the abdominal bulge will make the diaphragm fall, when the volume of the thoracic cavity can be expanded to the maximum, the strongest effect on alveolar expansion, to achieve the deepest degree of deep breathing.

When you are not used to it at first, you can try to puff up your abdomen when you breathe deeply and put your hand on your abdomen to feel the puffed-up state. Regular practice of deep breathing, after the habit, can improve the body’s oxygen supply, eliminate the fatigue of brain cells, and improve the efficiency of the body’s organs.

We should understand that the best way to exercise lung function is aerobic exercise, active deep breathing is only a “replacement program” when you can’t exercise, but not a complete replacement for aerobic exercise. In addition to exercise, life should also try to stay away from cigarettes, haze, kitchen fumes, and other kinds of pollution, pay attention to the prevention of colds, reduce respiratory infections, and maintain adequate water and balanced nutrition, in order to protect their lung function.

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