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Breathing Techniques For Healthy and Whole Lungs

Breathing Techniques For Healthy and Whole Lungs

Breathing techniques are exercises to improve your lung health for better respiration. 

We all are familiar with the phrase “take a deep breath”, often said whenever we’re in the midst of a tense situation. 

Our lungs go through a lot every day to provide oxygen to the bloodstream while removing carbon dioxide from the body. Respiration for patients with lung-related conditions like asthma or COPD is a regular struggle. 

Easy breathing, in general, requires the help of effective breathing techniques and exercises.  

Today, we are sharing the 4 best breathing techniques to keep your lungs healthy.


1. Pursed Lip Breathing


The pursed-lip breathing technique is extremely crucial to people with lung conditions. It is often a part of a clinical pulmonary rehabilitation program.


This breathing technique slows down your breathing speed by applying deliberate effort each time you breathe. 


You can practice pursed lip breathing at any hour of the day. We recommend you practice this technique 4 to 5 times a day. 


How To Do it: 


  1. Relax your neck and shoulders

  2. Close your mouth

  3. Inhale the air slowly through your nose for a count of two

  4. Purse your lips

  5. Exhale the air through your pursed lips for a count of four



2. Diaphragmatic Breathing


Diaphragmatic breathing, also known as “belly breathing” uses the diaphragm for breathing. This breathing technique is extremely helpful for people with COPD. It improves and strengthens the diaphragm of individuals suffering from lung conditions. 


Relax your neck and shoulders while practicing this exercise. 

Lie down on your back while performing this exercise to better focus on filling your lungs completely. You can also see your belly rising and falling. 


How To Do It:


  1. Relax your shoulders and lie down on the floor.

  2. Put one hand on your belly and another on your chest.

  3. Inhale through your nose for 2 seconds and pay close attention to how the air moves into your abdomen. Your stomach should be expanding as you inhale while your chest is staying constant.

  4. Exhale through your pursed lips while pressing on your abdomen gently. Your stomach should be sinking in as you exhale. 



3. Nadi Shodhana Pranayama 


Nadi Shodhana or alternate nostril yoga is a breathing technique where you inhale air through one nostril at a time while closing the other nostril with your hand. This breathing technique reduces heart rate, stress and anxiety. It is an ancient yoga practice with many benefits. 


You can perform this breathing technique at any time of the day. Choose a comfortable position on a chair or on the floor to practice. 

This exercise helps to even out the breathing process.


How To Do It:


  1. Close your right nostril with the thumb of your right hand

  2. Inhale through the left nostril

  3. Close the left nostril with the fourth finger on the right hand

  4. Release the thumb to exhale through the right nostril 

  5. Repeat


4. Shamatha


Shamata is a breathing technique that focuses on breathing as it is. It is commonly practised as mindful meditation. The long-term practice of the Shamatha breathing exercise results in sustained attention and reduces age-related cognitive decline. 


How To Do It: 


  1. Relax your neck and shoulders

  2. Straighten your upper body, and soften your facial expression

  3. Inhale and exhale slightly slower than normal. Focus only on the changing sensations of every muscle involved in breathing, especially in your stomach. Try to empty your mind of all other thoughts. 


How to Add These Breathing Techniques into Your Routine


We have shared these four simple yet helpful breathing exercises that can be performed within a few minutes to improve your health. 

Add them to your daily routine to strengthen your breathing.  


Here is how our breathing exercises can fit into even the busiest schedule: 

  • Start with practising these techniques for just 5 minutes.

  • Increase the time as these exercises become easier and comfortable to perform.

  • Try to find multiple times a day to practice these exercises. 

  • The best time for this exercise is early morning, evening, and before going to bed.


Sources:


https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/wellness/breathing-exercises

https://powerfulpatients.org/2019/09/27/5-easy-ways-to-improve-your-lung-health/

https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-increase-lung-capacity

https://www.healthline.com/health/breathing-exercise#deep-breathing

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/breathing-techniques

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