Respiration is a vital function for survival, but certain breathing habits can significantly affect lung health. The body has a natural defense system to prevent dirt, germs, and bacteria from entering the lungs, and the right practices can help you maintain optimal function. Further, you can take a few important steps to lower the risk of respiratory issues. So, here are common breathing mistakes to avoid for maintaining lung health:
Shallow breathing, or chest breathing, is a common error that involves taking quick, short breaths that only fill the top portion of the lungs. As a result, the lungs do not get enough oxygen, which can cause fatigue, dizziness, and even anxiety. To avoid shallow breathing, practice diaphragmatic breathing, i.e., taking deep breaths that fill your belly with air. First, inhale slowly through the nose, with one hand on the belly and the other on your chest, and feel your belly rise with each breath. Then, exhale slowly through the mouth and repeat for several minutes.
Holding your breath
Another common mistake you can make, especially when exercising, is holding your breath. This can lead to a lack of oxygen in the lungs, increasing the risk of fatigue, dizziness, and even fainting. So, you should exhale slowly during the most difficult part of the exercise or physical activity. This will help you maintain a steady oxygen flow to your lungs and muscles, allowing you to work out better and avoid injury.
When you breathe through the mouth, you inhale dry, unfiltered, and unmoisturized air. This can irritate the throat, cause dry mouth, and even increase the risk of respiratory infections. So, you should try to breathe through your nose as much as possible. The nose filters and warms the air, lowering the risk of respiratory infections and protecting your lungs.
Overbreathing or hyperventilation is another common mistake to avoid. This rapid breathing makes you inhale more air than the body needs, resulting in an imbalance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the bloodstream. This can cause dizziness and numbness and even worsen panic attacks. So, you should focus on taking deep, slow breaths to avoid hyperventilating.
Breathing is a critical function that affects your overall health and well-being. If you are concerned about your lung health, you should consult a doctor.