The SARS-COV-2 virus is known to cause the most scathing attack on the lungs and respiratory system and with rising reports of lung involvement in the early stages, many are gasping for breath with fluctuating oxygen levels. At a critical time like this, when resources run scarce, it is imperative that we do all that we can do to boost lung function naturally. Exercising, and deep breathing is something that can definitely help strengthen the lungs and restore oxygen flow.
- Diaphragmatic Breathing
Also known as belly breathing, doing this exercise helps improve the function of the diaphragm and get more air to the base of the lungs, facilitating easy breathing.
To do this, sit relaxed or lie down comfortably. Resting well, place the tip of the tongue behind your top front teeth. Keep your back straight and eyes closed. Attempt breathing normally and then place one hand on your chest, and one on your abdomen.
Breathe deeply through your nose, expanding your ribs and feeling your stomach expand outwards. Exhale, stretching stomach inwards. Breathe slowly and deep in a similar manner for upto 10 times.
2. Pursed lip breathing
Pursed lip breathing exercises are one of the best techniques to increase oxygen intake and focus on keeping your airways open. To try this technique, sit in a relaxed position. Now, breathe in slowly through the nose, for several counts. The mouth should remain closed. Before you exhale, purse your lips and then slowly breathe out all the air in your lungs.
The aim of pursed breathing is to try and exhale longer breath counts than you inhale. Perform this exercise several times for maximum benefits.
3. Anulom Vilom (Alternate Nostril Breathing)
Anulom Vilom helps purify toxins from the lungs, gets rid of excess fluid build-up and regulates flow of oxygenated blood in the lungs. It’s also a great way to boost immunity and lung capacity.
To do this, sit cross-legged and rest hands on knees. Close your eyes and place your right thumb on your right nostril. Inhale deeply from your left nostril for upto 4 breaths. Similarly, close your left nostril with your right finger and hold it. After 2 seconds, lift your right thumb and exhale deeply.