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Breathing exercises to improve lung function after Covid-19, according to experts

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Manish Saini
Manish works as a Journalist and writer at Revyuh.com. He has studied Political Science and graduated from Delhi University. He is a Political engineer, fascinated by politics, and traditional businesses. He is also attached to many NGO's in the country and helping poor children to get the basic education. Email: Manish (at) revyuh (dot) com

COVID infection causes damage to the lungs that can persist even after it is overcome

The lungs are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19’s pathogenicity, resulting in respiratory distress that can last long after the virus has been eradicated. That’s why it’s so important to get back into the swing of things by working out.

Physiotherapists advise patients to run a series of breathing exercises to improve their stamina and endurance, reduce their breathing difficulties, and improve their flexibility and thoracic mobility.

Professional College of Physiotherapists in the Community of Madrid (CPFCM) has teamed up with schools in Spain’s regions impacted by the Covid to begin a campaign to help individuals who have recovered from the infection learn to breathe again.

Physiotherapists advocate twice-daily use of these breathing techniques:

Pursed Lip Breathing: Breathe in gently via your nose for two counts while keeping your mouth closed to practice pursed-lip breathing. Take a normal breath in and out. Pucker or “purse” your lips like you’re about to whistle and exhale, as advised by Cleveland Clinic.

And you can also use this technique during the difficult part of any activity, such as bending, lifting or stair climbing.

Practice this technique 4-5 times a day at first so you can get the correct breathing pattern.

Pursed lip breathing technique

  • Relax your neck and shoulder muscles.
  • Breathe in (inhale) slowly through your nose for two counts, keeping your mouth closed. Don’t take a deep breath; a normal breath will do. It may help to count to yourself: inhale, one, two.
  • Pucker or “purse” your lips as if you were going to whistle or gently flicker the flame of a candle.
  • Breathe out (exhale) slowly and gently through your pursed lips while counting to four. It may help to count to yourself: exhale, one, two, three, four.

Diaphragmatic breathing, or “belly breathing”: When breathing, fully engage the stomach, abdominal muscles, and diaphragm. With each inward breath, you must deliberately pull the diaphragm down. In this approach, diaphragmatic breathing aids in the efficient filling of the lungs.

Diaphragmatic breathing can take many different shapes. The most basic type of breathing is diaphragmatic breathing. Follow the steps below to perform basic diaphragmatic breathing: This is how you can do it.

  • Lie down on a flat surface with a pillow under the head and pillows beneath the knees. Pillows will help keep the body in a comfortable position.
  • Place one hand on the middle of the upper chest.
  • Place the other hand on the stomach, just beneath the rib cage but above the diaphragm.
  • To inhale, slowly breathe in through the nose, drawing the breath down toward the stomach. The stomach should push upward against the hand, while the chest remains still.
  • To exhale, tighten the abdominal muscles and let the stomach fall downward while exhaling through pursed lips. Again, the chest should remain still.

People should do this breathing exercise ten to fifteen times each day for 5–10 minutes each time.

If coughing appears, in a sitting position, inhale deeply and cough into a tissue.

Image Credit: iStock

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