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Lung Exercises With Balloons

author image Rick Rockwell
Rick Rockwell is a self-employed personal trainer and experienced freelance writer. His articles have been published throughout the Internet. He has more than eight years of experience as a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and lifestyle coach. His company, Rockwell Fitness, is dedicated to educating and empowering others to live healthy lifestyles.
Lung Exercises With Balloons
Balloons can be used for breathing exercises. Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Having sufficient lung capacity assists endurance athletes by allowing lungs to generously expand with enough oxygen to meet the body's needs. Physical activities such as running, swimming and soccer are categorized under "aerobic" exercises, with the word "aerobic" literally meaning "concerning air." Lungs, just like muscles, can be exercised to improve functioning and capacity by performing regular exercise or by blowing up balloons. Lung capacity is directly affected by certain conditions, such as age, gender, size and medical conditions.

Balloon Exercise

A simple exercise that creates lung capacity is blowing up a certain amount of balloons each day. Blowing balloons works out the intercostals muscles responsible for spreading and elevating your diaphragm and ribcage. This allows lungs to absorb oxygen, alter its chemical composition while still in the lungs, and expel carbon dioxide as exhaling is commenced. Balloon blowing, while effectively exercising the lungs' ability to expand and take in air, does not affect the size or number of alveoli contained in the lungs. Alveoli are air sacs that disperse carbon dioxide during exhalation and oxygen into the blood during inhalation.

Benefits of Blowing Up Balloons

The more oxygen supplied to the body during exercise, the longer a trainer is able to exercise without becoming breathless and fatigued. Oxygen restores energy to cells and muscles by removing carbon dioxide. When plenty of oxygen is able to be processed by lungs, muscles equip themselves with energy reserves that permit trainers to continue a workout session. Committing to a daily routine of blowing up 10 or 15 balloons steadily increases lung capacity and also amplifies the lungs' ability to maintain a sufficient supply of oxygen.

Balloons and Respiratory Muscles

Blowing balloons exercises the respiratory muscles, a group of muscles interacting to adapt thoracic dimensions to certain breathing stages. Basic respiratory muscles are the diaphragm, the internal intercostal and the external intercostal. Accessory muscles, or muscles that contribute to lifting the ribcage so that lungs can expand and take in air, are frequently used during vigorous physical activity, like weight training, stressful situations or when someone suffers from an asthma attack. Steadily blowing up several balloons, one after another, effectively exercises these muscles, building lung capacity and stamina.


While healthy people generally have no problems blowing balloons to increase lung capacity, some side effects usually occur that may affect some people more than others. Lightheadedness and dizziness are the two symptoms most reported by those blowing up balloons. These sensations usually abate as soon as you stop blowing up the balloon. As lung capacity increases, these sensations should ease and eventually disappear. If a balloon seems difficult to inflate, don't keep blowing forcefully into the balloon. Instead, try stretching it to reduce inflation difficulty.

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