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Do These Breathing Exercises To Strengthen Your Lungs

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Do These Breathing Exercises To Strengthen Your Lungs
Breathing exercise helps with generalised fatigue. (Photo: Freepik)

Breathing is an "automated function" for humans, but no one has ever thought about the numerous benefits it has on lungs and respiratory health, said an expert.

Written by Prerna Mittra |Updated : February 12, 2024 1:08 PM IST

There are many things you can do to strengthen your lungs, especially if you are susceptible to seasonal illnesses and infections. The basic thing would be to stay away from irritants, pollutants, and to quit smoking completely. Other than that, there are many breathing exercises that you can try to bolster the health of your lungs that are crucial organs.

Priya Singh, women's health physiotherapist and lactation consultant, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Vashi, Navi Mumbai said breathing is an "automated function" for humans, but no one has ever thought about the numerous benefits it has on lungs and respiratory health.

  • Breathing exercise helps with generalised fatigue.
  • It provides relief from breathlessness (dyspnea) by improving oxygenation.
  • It improves respiratory muscle function and strength.
  • It helps in clearing out secretions and sputum.
  • It relaxes the body through reducing elevated blood pressure and heart rate.

According to the expert, in order to manage respiratory health and to stay away from illnesses, one needs to practise the following breathing exercises:

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  1. Diaphragmatic breathing exercise: It involves filling air in your lungs while you allow your abdomen to expand; gradually breathe out and engage your abdomen inwards. This breathing exercise helps with releasing tension around the intercostal muscles, relaxes the body by lowering blood pressure, and provides energy for everyday activities.
  2. Pursed lip breathing: You have to inhale and exhale gradually through your mouth. Your exhalation time has to be more than inhalation. This breathing, particularly with breathlessness, calms down the system. It is mostly helpful in cases of asthma and COPD.
  3. Segmental expansion breathing exercise: This exercise helps with conditions where there is accumulation of fluid around the segment of the lung like in pneumonia. It improves chest wall movement. The aim is to improve oxygenation and ventilation followed by underlying respiratory illness.

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Singh added that other "pulmonary rehabilitation programs" include the below breathing techniques:

  1. Forced Expiratory Technique: FET focuses on the force of full exhalation across the lung volumes; this technique of breathing helps with effective coughing and clearance of collected mucus.
  2. Active Cycle of Breathing Technique: ACBT pattern of breathing, when performed in cyclic manner, helps in mobilising the mucus, improving lung volume and capacity.
  3. Autogenic drainage: This technique of breathing is when you are breathing deeply through the nose keeping the rate and depth of it in mind. It has stages where it helps in providing relief from chest congestion by mobilising the secretions.