During these unprecedented times of a global pandemic I think it offers everyone a chance to be introspective and perhaps make some health resolutions.
A good starting point may be to take stock of your lung health. I think many people do not know there is capacity to improve one’s baseline respiratory health.
But there is !!!!!!
Respiratory muscle training has been shown to enhance performance in numerous groups of athletes from runners to cyclists to swimmers.
So what is respiratory muscle training?
Our main respiratory muscle is the diaphragm. In the same manner we can train or strengthen our other muscle groups such as our biceps or quadriceps we can train or diaphragm.
What actually happens when we train our diaphragm?
- Our diaphragm gets bigger in size, bigger = stronger
- The composition of muscle fibres changes, specifically there is an increase in endurance type muscle fibres. This makes us more resistant to fatigue.
- Improved oxygen delivery. This involves oxygen carrier cells in the blood stream morphing to become super-powered.
- Minimize a sympathetic system reflex that directs bloodflow away from the lungs into the extremities. This keeps more blood in our central core – making it available to pick up oxygen from the lungs!
Science has proven that these adaptations occur in regular people, athletes and even clinical populations, for example individuals who have suffered a stroke or are dealing with chronic heart failure or diabetes.