Saturday, 11 February 2012

Respiratory Breathing Exercises |

Respiratory Breathing Exercises Photo Credit Stethoscope and a medical book image by Monika 3 Steps Ahead from

The lungs need to be exercised just like any other part of the body, especially if you've been diagnosed with an illness or disease that affects lung function, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, emphysema or pneumonia. Lack of exercise or deep breathing may result in a decrease in oxygenation levels, stiffness and reduced elasticity, according to the Center on Aging Studies Without Walls.

Belly Breathing

Practice belly breathing, also called abdominal breathing, to help exercise lung tissues, the diaphragm and enhance expansion and cleaning of the lungs. Lie on your back on the floor or your bed. The Center on Aging Studies Without Walls suggests putting a small pillow behind your head and under your knees. Put your hands on your stomach, just beneath the rib cage with your fingers almost touching. Inhale slowly and steadily. Your fingertips should travel apart from each other and the stomach should rise slightly. Repeat slow inhales and exhales for about 5 minutes daily.

Tai Chi Breathing

Do this exercise while sitting, as some individuals may experience hyperventilation when first learning this technique. Sit in a chair, arms at your sides. Inhale through the nose and take three short breaths. At the same time, synchronize your arms. On the first breath, lift your arms straight out in front of you at shoulder height. On the second breath, move your arms to your sides at shoulder height. On the third breath, lift your arms over your head. Exhale slowly, lowering your arms to your sides. Repeat this exercise two to three times.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

If you've been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, or COPD, diaphragmatic breathing may help you take in the most oxygen with every breath. When you're feeling short of breath, sit down. Inhale deeply and slowly through your nose and count to one, then pretend you're going to whistle. Purse your lips and hold that position while you breath out through your mouth for two counts, slow and steady. Relax the lips and inhale through your nose, then exhale again through your pursed lips. Repeat this process until you don't feel so short of breath, suggests the Canadian Lung Association.


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