The second wave of ever-increasing coronavirus cases in India has brought several uncertainties. At a time when resources are running scarce and many people gasping for breath with low oxygen levels, it is imperative that we should do all that we can to boost lung function naturally. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is known to cause long-term or short–term damage to the lungs. With the right approach and efforts, this damage can be cured. Exercising and deep breathing techniques are proven therapies that can help strengthen the lungs and restore oxygen flow.
How Deep Breathing Help COVID-19 Patients?
Breathing and lung strengthening exercises can foster to restore diaphragm function and enhance the ability to breathe well, which can be hindered if there’s any inflammation or fluid build-up in the lungs or its passage. Practicing breathing exercises can get oxygen deep into the lungs, which helps clear out mucus and other fluids, reinstate saturation levels, and combat the infection.
During the recovery phase, breathing exercises support strengthening the diaphragm, increase lung capacity and bring oxygen into the bloodstream. These exercises also help you stay calm and relaxed and cope with long-term illness and recovery.
Also Read: Proning: What Is It And How It Helps COVID-19 Patients Breathe Easy
Breathing exercises can strengthen the lungs and reduce COVID-19 impact on your respiratory system. Several studies have also revealed that certain breathing techniques can support COVID-19 patients to ease shortness of breath and lessen complications remarkably. Some of the breathing techniques such as pursed lips breathing, reduce shortness of breath and improve lung ventilation, which is the capability of the lungs to expel carbon dioxide.
Also Read: Lung Problems: 5 Incredible Yogasanas To Ease Breathing Difficulties
5 Effective Breathing Exercises
This exercise aids to enhance the function of the diaphragm and get adequate air to the base of the lungs, supporting easy breathing.
How To Do
Sit or lie down straight with body relaxed.
Place hands on belly.
Inhale through the nose and ensure your stomach is moving outwards, while the chest stays still.
Exhale slowly for 2 seconds, with your stomach moving inwards.
Repeat this exercise for 10 counts
Pursed Lip Breathing
It is one of the best techniques to up oxygen intake and supports keeping airways open. The goal of this technique is to try and exhale longer breath counts than you inhale.
How To Do
Sit in a comfortable position.
Breathe in slowly through the nose several times with mouth closed. Before exhaling, purse your lips and then slowly breathe out all the air in your lungs.
Do this exercise several times for best results.
Yawn To A smile
This technique helps open up the muscles in the chest that allow the diaphragm to completely expand and manage oxygen flow.
How To Do
Sit upright with back straight.
Stretch your arms up to the shoulders.
Open your mouth wide as if you are yawning. While doing bring your arms back to rest on your thighs and change that yawn into a smile.
Rib stretch aims to expand your ribs with each move during the breath and helps the lungs take in as much air as possible.
How To Do
Stand in the upright position by keeping your hands on your hips.
Slowly inhale air until lungs fill, hold on to the breath for 20 seconds. Exhale slowly.
Repeat this for five to ten counts.
Humming like chanting “om” in yoga can support taking in oxygen into the lungs with every breath. This exercise is also calming and soothing to the mind.
How To Do
Place hands on the sides of your lower abdomen.
With lips closed, gently rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
Breathe deeply and slowly through your nose.
Relax your shoulders while breathing.
Once lungs feel full, exhale while humming with lips closed.
Repeat for several breaths.
Most people affected with coronavirus get completely recovered within a few weeks, however, severe cases of COVI-19 can take months or more to completely recuperate. Thus strengthening lung capacity can support speedy recovery, whether or not you had any complications like pneumonia or were with ventilator support.
Breathing exercises improve the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the lungs and uplift overall lung capacity. Moreover, these techniques can keep you calm, relaxed and enhance your quality of life. Remember to start slowly with exercises and do multiple laps during the process of healing.