Tips to Retain Maximum Breathing Capacity in Old Age

By HealthSignz | Published: August 12th, 2016

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Maximum breathing capacity may decline by about 40% between the ages of 20-70. However, most of us do not notice much change in the functioning of our lungs.

Respiratory Changes

• The diaphragm tends to weaken with time
• The chest wall becomes stiffer, making it a little harder for the lungs to expand and contract
• Slightly less oxygen is absorbed from the air we breathe in
• Increased vulnerability to respiratory infections such as the flu and pneumonia
• The lungs may be less able to fight off infection as the immune system weakens
• Vigorous exercise may be more difficult, especially for people who are not physically fit

What we can do

Quit Smoking

Tobacco smoke contains many chemical compounds that damage the lungs. Smoking also inhibits our lungs’ ability to clear bacteria from secretions in larger airways.

Aerobic Exercise

Exercise increases lung capacity, lessens the stiffness of the chest wall and lungs and may also decrease our risk of suffering from a respiratory infection.


Those who are 65 or older should get vaccinated against influenza and pneumonia.

Environmental Pollution

Stay away from chemical fumes and other irritants.

Healthy Diet

Our lungs and immune system need nutrition to stay healthy. Good nutrition boosts our ability to handle infections.
We need to protect our respiratory system by adopting healthy habits.

About the author


We are a team of professionals with a significant level of expertise spanning multiple disciplines for over four decades. Identifying health and wellness as the primary factors that drive liveliness in individuals, lead to the integration of our knowledge with our common values – the result is HealthSignz (HS). Driven by passion to contribute to the advancement of the happiness quotient and well being of communities as a whole, we are here to touch as many lives as possible by enriching them with HS.