Swimming Can Improve Lung Efficiency

Butterfly style swimmer in action, black and white

Are you aware how lung capacity impacts your overall health? During physical activities, our lungs send oxygen to our muscles. The larger the lungs, the more oxygen our muscles receive. Higher oxygen intake:

  • Prevents chances of cramping during extended periods of physical activity;
  • Allows for easier breathing in high altitudes.

Strong, healthy lungs not only improve sports performance but prevent ailments to the body. Low lung capacity results in less oxygen entering the bloodstream and reaching the cells, prompting the following effects:

  • Raised risk of heart attack and stroke;
  • Increased feelings of fatigue;
  • Weakened metabolic and digestive functions.

What Does Swimming Have to Do With Lung Capacity?

Aerobic exercise like swimming is excellent for building lung capacity. During aerobic exercise, your heart rate increases alongside your lung efficiency. Swimming is an aerobic exercise as it activates the large muscle groups that require large volumes of oxygen to perform their task.

Swimming Exercises to Improve Lung Capacity

There are many effective water exercises that people looking to improve their lung capacity can incorporate into their swim schedules. Here’s a couple to consider.

Breath-Control Exercises

During breath-control laps, you can choose to do your laps holding your breath or with low-frequency breathing. Over time, you will notice the distance you can swim will increase.

Breathing Patterns

This exercise involves limiting the number of breaths you take. For example, depending on your level of fitness you may choose to only breathe every five, seven or nine strokes in the pool.

Progress in the above exercises is a sign that you’re taking in more oxygen with each breath. In other words, your lung capacity is growing.