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    LJH's Avatar
    LJH
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    Can you increase lung function?

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    Even as a little kid, I've never had any wind. I could run, swim, jump, whatever as well as anyone and better/faster than most but only for brief sprints before running competely out of steam. I can walk all day, but a few minutes of sprinting and I'm gasping for air. According to doctors I do not have asthma.

    I have never smoked, not even weed, but my mother chain-smoked all the while she was pregnant with me and then I got the second-hand smoke from both parents until leaving home for good at 15. I wonder if my lungs are just stunted or underdeveloped? Thoughts?

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    I am sure you can increase lung function if you are doing your sprints regularly enough but not overdoing it
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    I have asthma and you can increase function, it's just like any other muscle. You have to work it the same way. Capacity is another story, you build that when you are young up through the teens. That's why I have lousy capacity, had horrible asthma and was not active at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kitoi View Post
    I have asthma and you can increase function, it's just like any other muscle. You have to work it the same way. Capacity is another story, you build that when you are young up through the teens. That's why I have lousy capacity, had horrible asthma and was not active at all.
    If I'm understanding you correctly, I can make them work better but the amount of air they can hold is fixed by the time one reaches adulthood? Oh well ..

    Yoga is something I've been looking to try anyway. I got some great information about books/videos/instructors in another thread here. I was aiming for flexibility, better lung function would be a nice bonus.

    My sprints do seem to be helping. I mean, they're pathetic on an epic scale and very brief at this point, but I can sense a slight progress. Slow & steady as she goes - gittin' old sure ain't for sissies. Thanks for the replies!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LJH View Post
    If I'm understanding you correctly, I can make them work better but the amount of air they can hold is fixed by the time one reaches adulthood? Oh well ..

    Yoga is something I've been looking to try anyway. I got some great information about books/videos/instructors in another thread here. I was aiming for flexibility, better lung function would be a nice bonus.

    My sprints do seem to be helping. I mean, they're pathetic on an epic scale and very brief at this point, but I can sense a slight progress. Slow & steady as she goes - gittin' old sure ain't for sissies. Thanks for the replies!
    Sprints are short by definition! You can't go all out for very long. It's that simple. You said you are winded after sprinting? I hope so!! That means you are doing it right. I'm sucking wind after mine and more with each rep/sprint. Now like anything else we all have our differences. Some people have lungs and cardio systems built for running. I most definitely do not!! I have to work at it. But I'm simply not built for running distances and any decent pace. I'm stocky, unathletic etc. etc. I could be running a trail thinking I'm going pretty good and some young skinny bucks will fly by me like I'm going backwards all the while talking and laughing as they pass me. No amount of hoping, wishing or training will EVER get me to that point. I have great lung capacity too! I had it tested once and the doctor couldn't believe how good it was. He said you obviously never smoked! I said oh no I did and quite heavily for some years. He was very surprised. So it's not lung capacity. It is your ability to process oxgen aerobically. Some are genetically more gifted than others and it's that simple.

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    You can move up into the mountains and live there for a while. Athletes often train at high altitudes to increase their performance once they come back to sea level.
    "Thanks to the combination of meat, calcium-rich leaf foods, and a vigorous life, the early hunter-gatherers were robust, with strong skeletons, jaws, and teeth." - Harold McGee, On Food And Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

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    balloons! get a regular balloon, and blow it up. 30-40 times a day. every day.

    your lungs have the same capacity as everyone else. the only difference is how far you can expand your diaphragm. if you exercise that, you can fill your lungs more easily.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forever Young View Post
    Some are genetically more gifted than others and it's that simple.
    I hear that one! I got the short end of the genetic stick in a lot of ways appearance-wise but I did pretty well in the health department, except for the pesky wind issue. What I meant by 'pathetic sprints' was the duration - a mere couple of minutes - before I'm all in and gasping like a beached trout. But I just started (and I'm older than most rocks) so I'll just keep on it. My only competition is moi, so I'm always going to come in first, right?

    Doddibot, I live at 6200 ft. and regularly hike up to 7,000 or 8,000. And yeah, when I get down around sea level it's like being super-charged.

    Balloons - great suggestion! I haven't blown up a balloon since I was a kid. I'll score some next trip to the market. Thanks!

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    Yes you can!! I don't know the particulars but I do know that doctors prescribe exercise for COPD patients to improve lung function. I think it's just... exercise.
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