Breathing is something we all do every day, but often don’t think much about. Breathing exercises have been shown to decrease heart rate and blood pressure, increase lung endurance and strength, and release endorphins that improve your mood. Breathing may also help immune system health and help decrease stress levels. It is important that we keep our immune system and lungs healthy. A simple way to do this is by doing daily breathing exercises to improve lung health. Lung health is a significant factor in the severity of complications that are associated with respiratory infections like COVID-19.
Many breathing exercises incorporate deep breaths and breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. Breathing through the nose has been shown to increase the concentration of a gas called nitric oxide in the airway which studies have shown to reduce the ability of certain viruses to replicate. Deep breathing (especially a deep exhale) changes the pressure in the lungs and helps the lymphatic system to better clean out the extra fluid or debris that sometimes builds up and causes congestion in the lungs. Check out two great breathing techniques to try by watching the video demonstration posted above.
- Breathing Instructions
- Sitting on Stool: Make sure to breathe in and out slowly for as long as you can. Repeat this exercise 4-5 times on each side.
- Laying down: Breath in for four seconds, out for eight seconds, then hold for 8 seconds. Repeat. Try working your way up to doing this breathing cycle for one minute.
Guest Author: Lindsey Groskreutz, Hegg Rehabilitation Student