Top Five Breathing Exercises After Covid Recovery
Breathing exercises after covid recovery can help you strengthen your lungs. Since we know coronavirus, responsible for covid-19, could severely damage your lungs, therefore a regular practice of some breathing patterns can help them recover faster.
When we practice breathing exercises, our lungs and diaphragm relaxes and contracts that improve their capacity and strength.
Further, these breathing patterns are helpful in our daily life to prevent diseases and improve oxygen levels.
Post-discharge from the hospital, there are some yoga practices that you can perform after recovering from covid-19. These breathing exercises for the lungs boost your lung strength and improves oxygen level.
Besides, if you feel dizzy, excessive exhaustion, chest pain, unusual heart rate, or symptoms you consider an emergency, avoid practicing and consult a doctor.
Here are five breathing exercises to practice after covid recovery to improve lungs functionality and oxygen level:
I) Ujjayi Pranayama
Ujjayi Pranayama is a Sanskrit word that means to conquer. Regular practice of ujjayi pranayama helps lungs function, release temperature and improve concentration. This breathing technique also involves glottis to promote its functionalities.
Steps to practice the ocean breathing or ujjayi pranayama:
- Sit comfortably on a mat in any meditative pose. In case you face difficulty in sitting on the ground, you can also sit on a chair. Keep your spine straight but not stiff.
- Take a deep breath and focus on the air passage from the windpipe to the lungs.
- Now, exhale the breath through the mouth. Once you are comfortable doing this, practice the same task while contracting your throat a bit. It narrows the path of air that creates a frictional sound of rushing air through the throat.
If you are comfortable breathing with your nose than your mouth, then go ahead and practice that way.
II) Nadi Shodhana or Alternate Nostril Breathing
Nadi Shodhana pranayama is beneficial to improve lung functionalities by removing fluids that build up in the lungs. It also helps detoxify the respiratory system to promote a better oxygen level.
Steps to practice Nadi Shodhana pranayama or alternate nostril breathing:
- Sit straight with your neck and shoulder aligned. Although you can also take support to sit.
- Close your left nostril with the help of a finger and inhale through the right nostril.
- Now, close your right nostril with your thumb and exhale through the left nostril.
- Again, breathe in through the left nostril keeping the right one closed.
- Then, close your left nostril and exhale through the right nostril. Here, completes a cycle of this breathing pattern. Repeat the breathing 3-4 times and gradually increase the time to improve lung capacity.
III) Pursed Lip Breathing Exercise
Pursed lip breathing exercise after covid recovery helps improve your breath volume and lung functionality. It also strengthens lung muscles as you push your air out, as we do in resistance.
Steps to practice pursed-lip breathing exercise:
- Sit in any comfortable position. Keep your neck and shoulder in a line, but do not go stiff with it.
- Fill your lungs with a deep breath. It increases your breath volume and oxygen level.
- Now, exhale through the mouth as if you are blowing candles. This exhale creates a resistive pressure on the lungs that helps them strengthen.
- As you become used to this breathing practice, increase the inhale and exhale capacity to improve your oxygen level.
IV) Abdomen Breathing Exercise
Abdomen breathing or belly breathing helps us improve our lower lung functionality. Therefore, it is also known as diaphragmatic breathing. We usually do not use the lung capacity to its fullest. Thus, while performing these breathing exercises, we consciously outreach our lung capacity.
Moreover, these practices help improve anxiety and insomnia that impact your mental peace. Therefore, practicing breathing exercises after covid also develops your mental and emotional competence.
Steps to practice Abdominal breathing exercises:
- Sit on a mat or chair where you feel comfortable. Ensure your posture is good enough for breathing, which means aligned neck and shoulders.
- Place one of your hands on the middle of your stomach and chest, where the diaphragm lies. This step ensures the involvement of the lower part of the lungs.
- Inhale a deep breath filling your lungs and stomach. Feel the expansion in the lungs and the stomach.
- Now, move all the air out of your lungs and stomach, keeping the hand still in place.
V) Smile to Yawn Breathing
Smile to yawn breathing exercise includes hands and shoulder movement that improves their strength. This breathing practice improves the muscle flexibility of the shoulders and chest.
Steps to practice smile to yawn breathing exercise:
- Sit straight on the chair or on a mat.
- Keep your hands relaxed on either side.
- Inhale a deep breath through your mouth wide open. While inhaling, move your hands overhead as in yawning. It includes arms and shoulder movement that makes them strong.
- Again, get your hands back to the starting position while exhaling through the nose. Change that yawn into a smile on your face and relax.
Does breathing exercise help covid recovery?
Breathing exercises after covid recovery help you regain the lung functionalities affected during covid. Further, it helps clean your lungs by removing mucus and sputum built up in your chest.
Breathing exercises or pranayams are usually helpful to improve lung capacity. Additionally, take care of your postures through yoga asanas. When you have a good posture, it becomes easy for air to travel through the lungs. Postural deformities restrict the movement of air that limits the oxygen level too.
However, these practices can not ensure covid prevention but usually can help you get some benefits and recover from it.
Besides, you can also opt for a fresh morning walk as it provides fresh air plus increases the breath volume.