Summer is finally here and what better way to warm up those frozen bones of yours than go out and explore the countryside, with the warmth of the sun across your face, the rugged terrain, mixed with the forest that is finally waking up from winter, and oh, are you catching your breath?
Well, first timers in hiking tend to feel out of breath compared to their more seasoned friends. This is because your lung capacity is not yet ready for a strenuous activity just yet. This is normal because you will need time to build it up. How important is your lung’s capacity when you are on a hike? The better your lungs are working, the more oxygen you get to breathe in and pass on to your muscles.
According to the National Institute of Health, people breathe 15 times every minute, but when we are working out or doing something strenuous, or breathing rate becomes 40 to 60 breaths per minute. So, how can you improve your lung’s capacity? Here are a few tips to try out.
Basic breathing exercise
Find a good sitting position, where you can sit up straight or go into a reclined position. Allow your eyes to close then inhale 7 times. With each inhale try and hold your breath for 3 seconds. Once you have mastered this, try and hold your breath for four seconds. Work your way up until you are able to hold your breath for five seconds which is the maximum. With each inhale, you will need to exhale too. You should slowly expel the air from your lungs in a controlled manner until there is nothing left in your lungs. Repeat this exercise several times in the day.
Boost your stamina and work on your muscles
Another way to increase your lung capacity in time for hiking is to build stronger muscles and to work on your stamina. Focus on workouts that are a mixture of cardio as well as strength-training which should be done at least three times a week. Experts recommend this kind of training to help improve your lung capacity from 5 to 15%. And since you will be building up your muscles more, your intake of oxygen will become better compared to before.
If you want to improve your breathing workouts, such as the basic breathing exercise, it would be a good idea to incorporate stretches in your exercise regimen. Look for simple stretches that will open up your shoulders, chest, and the sides of your body too. Yoga is one of the best forms of stretching workout that will not only help ease the tension from your muscles, but also help increase oxygen and blood circulation in your body too.
Consistency is key
Well, if you want to improve your hiking skills and your lung capacity too, then consistency is going to help you. You should make it a point to go hiking regularly. The more you train yourself to go on hikes, the better your lung capacity and muscle strength will be. Think of this as another form of workout that you can do to strengthen your muscles while enjoying the beauty of nature around you.
These are just a few tips on how you will be able to improve your lung capacity just in time when your friends ask you out to go for hiking. Once you get the hang of the terrain, you will find yourself looking for more adventures to do with the family or your friends.