The amount of oxygen you can get to your muscles significantly affects the level of your performance in physical activities. Many athletes end up breathing very shallowly, especially when they get tired, which leaves muscles weak at just the time when they need to be especially strong. However, you can use several strategies to improve your lung function to perform better in low-oxygen situations.
Being attentive to types of breathing will help you use your diaphragm more effectively. Discover your current respiration habits by putting one hand on your chest and the other on your belly and seeing which one moves more.
If the hand on your belly moves more with each breath, your diaphragm is doing the work of expanding and contracting your lungs.
Pilates is a very effective type of exercise for increasing your lung function and breathing habits. Many of the moves work to strengthen your diaphragm, stretch and tone your core muscles, and also include rhythmic breathing to strengthen your lungs.
The O2Trainer is another effective way to develop more lung power. The device restricts the flow of air into your mouth so you have to work harder to breathe in. You can change the filters as your lungs get stronger, and when you exercise without the O2Trainer, you’ll find that your respiration is much more effective.