6 amazing lung exercises to keep respiratory diseases at bay | Health

The deadly combination of bitter cold conditions and high pollution levels in many parts of the country is leading to a spike in cases of respiratory illnesses. People who have pre-existing lung diseases like asthma and COPD must take all measures to take care of this crucial organ and avoid cold as well as pollution exposure. Even if pollution levels are moderate or less in your city, with age, lung capacity may decrease, and it’s important to incorporate lung-care measures into your routine. External factors like smoking, pollution, and other lung issues can speed up the deterioration of your lung health. Breathing and certain lung exercises can help prevent the worsening of your lung health. (Also read | Delhi Pollution: How to take care of your lungs; dietary tips and lifestyle changes)

While we may not have direct control over the amount of oxygen our lungs can hold, engaging in specific lung exercises can significantly boost their efficiency in managing airflow and oxygen levels(Pixabay)

“Our lung capacity and volume reflect the total amount of air our lungs can hold during both inhalation and exhalation. As we age, it’s only natural for our lung capacity and function to decline, and factors like smoking, pollution, and health conditions such as asthma or COPD may speed up this process. While we may not have direct control over the amount of oxygen our lungs can hold, engaging in specific lung exercises can significantly boost their efficiency in managing airflow and oxygen levels,” says Pulmonologist Dr. Kutty Sharada Vinod.

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EFFECTIVE LUNG EXERCISES

Let’s explore some effective exercises shared by Dr Kutty to enhance your lung health and functional capacity.

1. Diaphragmatic Breathing

  • To start this breathing technique, sir or lie comfortably.
  • Then, place one hand on the chest area and the other on the abdomen.
  • After this, inhale deeply through the nose, allow the abdomen to expand.
  • Exhale slowly that will let your abdomen to contract.
  • Repeat this process for several breaths, focusing on deep, deliberate breaths.

2. Pursed-Lip Breathing

  • Inhale through your nose for a count of two.
  • Exhale through pursed lips for a count of four.
  • This simple technique aids in regulating your breathing and keeping airways open for an extended period.

3. Deep Breathing with Breath Retention

  • Inhale deeply through your nose.
  • After this, make sure to hold the breath for few minutes.
  • Exhale slowly through your mouth.
  • This exercise contributes to improved lung capacity

4. Alternate Nostril Breathing

  • Sit comfortably with a straight spine.
  • Then, with the help of your right thumb close the right nostril.
  • Inhale deeply through your left nostril.
  • Make sure to close the left nostril with the right ring finger, releasing your right nostril.
  • Exhale through your right nostril.
  • Always inhale through the right nostril, close it, and exhale through the left nostril.
  • Repeat this cycle several times.

5. Rib Stretch

  • For this technique, stand upright with the hands on your hips.
  • Inhale slowly until your lungs are fully filled.
  • Hold your breath for about 20 seconds or as comfortable.
  • Exhale gradually.
  • Repeat as needed.

6. Limb exercises

  • Strength training of upper and lower limb muscles
  • This can include weight lifting as per capacity
  • Treadmill walking or cycling are also useful modalities

Performing these exercises at least thrice a week for up to twelve weeks, improves lung health and overall health quite significantly.

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