HEALTH IS WEALTH

Power your lungs to fight coronavirus!

Exercises that can increase your lung capacity

21 March, 2020 12:00 AM printer

On the outside, respiration seems an easy function to perform. We do it every second of every day from our birth to the day we die. It is also the most important function that our body performs. The oxygen that reaches our lungs pumps the blood with essential nutrients. Lung health is important, even more so with a pandemic that affects the respiratory tract. Along with maintaining hygiene and practising social distancing, having healthy lungs will help you survive the pandemic better.

If the lungs cannot expand fully, it leads to shallow breathing and decreased lung capacity. Therefore, it is important to keep them healthy with exercises that maintain muscle strength around the rib cage and diaphragm.

This endurance training routine will help you keep your lungs healthy.

Belly breather

Some people are shallow chest breathers rather than deep stomach breathers. In such cases, stressful situations can trigger shallow breathing. Due to shallow breathing, lack of oxygen can cause hyperventilation and dizziness too. Belly breathing exercises can strengthen the muscles and ease you into breathing from the diaphragm rather than the chest.

Place on hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Take a deep breath, the hand on your stomach should rise. This means that you are breathing correctly. Now, when you breathe out you should again feel your stomach relaxing. You can repeat this for three counts of each.

Pranayam

Pranayam is an effective way to control your breathing and decrease the effects of stress. There are a variety of breathing techniques you can follow from the Anuloma Viloma to the Kapalbhati Pranayam. Delhi’s first coronavirus patient, Rohit Dutta, also said that he spent his time doing Pranayam when he was undergoing treatment.

Anuloma Viloma

Start by emptying all the air from your lungs. Using the thumb of your dominant hand, close the right nostril and breathe with the left. Now use the ring finger of the same hand to close the left nostril and breathe out with the right. Remember to breathe into your stomach and not the chest when performing this exercise.

Kapalbhati Pranayam

Sit with a straight spine and empty all the air from your lungs. Take a short breath using both nostrils and exhale sharply as you pull your navel towards your spine. The exhalation has to be short and quick.

Interval training circuit

An interval strength training is the best way to ease yourself into lung exercises. Running, cycling and other cardiovascular exercises take a lot of lung strength to help you get through to the very end. The more you strengthen the muscle, the longer you can sustain your breathe when you perform these exercises.

This routine has four exercises to be performed for 30 seconds each, with a 30-second break between two.

Jog in place

Kick your knees up to your glutes and move briskly on the spot.

Jumping jacks

Jump with your arms and legs out wide. It is important to keep your core engaged during this exercise.

High knees

In this exercise, quickly drive your knees up to your chest. For the added burn, do it with a weight of your choice.

Jump squat

Stand with your feet shoulder-length apart. Lift yourself up the ground from this position and land back to the same.

You can do three sets of these exercises to help you keep your lungs healthy and never feel short of breath again.

                —Times of India

 


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