American football is one of the most popular organized team sports in the United States. About a million high school students, 70,000 collegiate players, and 2,000 professional athletes participate each year.
And, of course, those professionals include the Green Bay Packers.
Good lung health is vital to football players because these athletes need a lot of oxygen to keep up with the intense and strenuous football practices and games.
Unhealthy lungs can expose these players to respiratory diseases, like asthma, lung cancer, chronic lung disease, and even rare ones like mesothelioma in its various stages.
Whether you’re an avid football fan or a player, learn how to keep your lungs healthy so you can always be at the top of your game.
Are you a Packers fan who wants to know how the team can benefit from having healthy lungs? How do football players maintain or improve their lung health?
This article talks about the benefits that football players can receive from maintaining lung health and discusses how to maintain or improve lung health among football players.
When you’re physically active, your lungs and heart work hard to keep your muscles supplied with oxygen.
And because football is a highly strenuous sport that requires moving most of your major upper and lower muscle groups, football players have a high oxygen demand.
Regular exercise can make your body more efficient at supplying oxygen to your working muscles when you train to improve your physical fitness. In other words, exercise can make your heart and lungs stronger just as it makes your muscles stronger, helping improve your breathing.
This benefit suggests that exercise not only makes football players physically strong. Their bodies also become better at supplying oxygen so they don’t run out of breath while the game is ongoing.
So which exercises can football players do to improve or maintain lung health? Two kinds of activities that can help benefit athletes’ lungs are aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercises.
Aerobic activities are exercises that give your lungs and heart a workout so that these organs can function more efficiently.
Such exercises can help:
- Improve lung function
- Improve cardiovascular conditioning
- Decrease heart disease risk
- Lower blood pressure
Muscle-strengthening activities, as their name suggests, help make your muscles strong. Activities like weight-lifting and Pilates can help build core strength, improve posture, and tone the breathing muscles.
Additionally, breathing exercises can help strengthen your diaphragm so you can train your body to breathe deeply and more effectively.
Some athletes have lung-related diseases despite being physically active. Still, football players with lung diseases should exercise regularly like everyone else.
Exercise helps strengthen the lungs and heart, enabling you to perform daily tasks even with an adverse lung condition.
Taking proper care of your lungs can help lower the risk of various lung diseases. And if you’re active in sports, those diseases can take a toll on your performance.
For example, cigarette smoking can lead to lung cancer and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), like chronic bronchitis (infection of the lung’s primary airways) and emphysema (shortness of breath).
Or if you don’t maintain good oral hygiene and wash your hands often with water and soap, you can catch colds or other respiratory infections.
So if you want to improve your lung health like football players, consider doing regular aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercises. You can also consult a physician or professional fitness trainer if you need an exercise program tailored to your lifestyle.
To engage in aerobic exercises, consider the following activities:
- Low-impact aerobic exercises, including walking, cycling, and swimming
- High-impact aerobic exercises, like running or jumping rope
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends doing aerobic exercises for at least 30 minutes five to seven days a week.
For muscle strengthening, consider exercises like:
- Deadlifts: These exercises can help build massive starting strength. Deadlifts also strengthen the hamstrings, calves, glutes, and back muscles.
- Box squats: These squats are essential for building leg strength and explosiveness without putting too much stress on your knees.
- Sandbag lifting: These weights can help football players build strength, speed, and stamina.
- The prowler: This equipment can help you push and pull light and heavy loads. Exercises involving the prowler can help build strength, especially for lateral movements.
To learn more about the importance of lung health, especially in sports like football, call the American Lung Association at 1-800-586-4872. And while you’re at it, why not donate to the organization’s cause to help fund research on lung disease and treatments?
For more news, matches, and the latest developments on the Green Bay Packers, check out their official website at packers.com.
- American‐Style Football and Cardiovascular Health
- Exercise and Lung Health
- Aerobic Exercise
- Protecting Your Lungs