We all know that COVID-19 causes infection in the respiratory system, leading to breathlessness and the formation of mucus.
This makes it crucial to take the necessary step to strengthen the lungs and clear the air passage when suffering from COVID-19 and post-infection.Here we will tell you about some easy exercises that you can perform at home while recovering from COVID-19:
Diaphragmatic breathing also called abdominal breathing or belly breathing involves completely engaging the stomach, abdominal muscles, and diaphragm when breathing. It helps to slow down the heart rate and stabilize blood pressure.
How to do it:
Step 1: Lie down flat on the floor or the bed with a pillow beneath your knees and head.
Step 2: Relax your shoulders, put one hand above the belly button and the other hand on the chest.
Step 3: Inhale through your nose for about 2 seconds and notice how your stomach moves as you breathe.Step 4: Slowly exhale through your mouth engaging your stomach muscles, pushing all the air out of the belly.
Pursed lips breathing
In pursed lips breathing, you inhale through your nose and exhale slowly by pursing your lips. This breathing technique helps to keep airways open for a longer time so that you can remove the air trapped in your lungs by slowing down your breathing rate.
How to do it:
Step 1: Sit down in a comfortable position with your back straight and your hand placed on your thighs.
Step 2: Inhale through your nose for 2 counts. Try to fill your abdomen with the air, instead of your lungs.
Step 3: Purse or pucker your lips and breathe out slowly for 4 to 6 seconds.
ACBT or Active Cycle of Breathing Technique
Active cycle of breathing technique or ACBT helps to clear excess mucus from the lungs in three phases.
Step 1: Sit comfortably on the chair with your hands placed on the abdomen. Start taking deep breaths by engaging the primary breathing muscles.
Step 2: Next comes the thoracic expansion exercise in which you have to breathe in for 3 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds and exhale in 5 seconds. Inhale from your mouth and exhale through your nose.
Step 3: In the last phase of huffing or forced expiration you have to take a deep breath through a half-open mouth. Hold the breath for 2-3 seconds, then exhale forcefully, but slowly through your mouth.
Balloon blowing exercise
Balloon blowing exercise enhances pulmonary function, respiratory function, and improves respiratory muscle strength.
Step 1: Take a deep breath through your nose without the balloon in your mouth.
Step 2: Exhale all the air in the balloon. Try to inflate the balloon as much as you can.
Straw exercises is another easy exercise that can increase your lungs strength when suffering from respiratory distress. For this exercise, you will need a straw and half a glass of water.
Step 1: Inhale from your nose and exhale out into the straw to the glass to make bubbles in the water.
Step 2: Take out the straw from your mouth and repeat the same.
Step 3: Try bubbling water better each time.
Exercising with spirometer
Breathing slowly with a spirometer allows your lungs to inflate to their capacity. It helps to break fluid in the lungs that can cause breathing difficulty and pneumonia. Hold the spirometer straight for breathing in and to breathe out turn it upside down.
Step 1: Sit down comfortably on a chair or at the edge of your bed.
Step 2: Hold your spirometer straight. Cover the mouthpiece tightly with your lips to create a seal.
Step 3: Slowly breathe in through your mouth as much as possible to raise the balls.
Step 4: Now turn it upside down and exhale in the mouthpiece to raise the balls. Do not do more than 10-12 repetitions as it can lead to breathlessness.
(Times of India)