Your lungs expand to bring in life's essential gas, oxygen from the air. Expanded lungs naturally c...
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Your lungs expand to bring in life's essential gas, oxygen from the air. Expanded lungs naturally contract to expel the body's waste gas, carbon dioxide. Your lungs usually expand and contract in two main ways. One is an unconscious downward and upward movement of a thin muscle called the diaphragm, which separates the chest from the belly. The other way is by raising or lowering the ribs to increase or decrease the volume of the chest cavity. We breathe in or inhale when the diaphragm contracts; this pulls the lower part of the lungs downward. When we breathe out or exhale, the diaphragm and lungs relax and return to their resting positions. Quiet, deep belly breathing is a more consciously-controlled breathing that, with practice, can become the standard way you breathe. Deep belly breathing aids the diaphragm muscle movement by expanding and contracting the abdomen, the area below the diaphragm. This allows the belly muscles to push stomach and diaphragm up, which forces out more carbon dioxide waste.