When exercising, a person is capable of increasing vital capacity because the body becomes more efficient at utilizing oxygen, according to azcentral.com. While it varies among each unique individual, a person can increase vital capacity anywhere between 5 and 15 percent.
Vital capacity is defined as the amount of air blown out of the lungs after a maximum exhalation, according to the National Association for Child Development. A person holds air in the lungs at all times. After an exhalation, the amount that remains in the lungs is known as the residual volume. Therefore, a person's total lung capacity is defined as the sum of the vital capacity and the residual volume.
A person who exercises regularly makes more efficient use of oxygen, states Healthy Living. Ultimately, this bodily sensation leads to more effective exercising. Oxygen is transported throughout the body through the bloodstream. The oxygen then assists in muscle development during the workout process, explains Scientific American. As more exercise is performed, more oxygen is needed, and the body responds by temporarily increasing total lung capacity, which includes vital capacity. A person who suffers from certain health conditions, such as asthma, may have difficulty increasing vital capacity, according to WebMD.