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Cases of COVID-19 are surging alarmingly across the world with death toll crossing 46,700 as per the latest reports. With the pandemic showing no signs of abating, it becomes essential to look at ways to save yourself from this new strain of coronavirus. Most of the world is now in lockdown and governments have put restrictions on the movement of billions of people across the globe. This virus causes flu-like symptoms that can lead to acute respiratory failure. The elderly and people with underlying health conditions are at risk of severe complications of this deadly disease.
There is, as yet, no cure or vaccine available yet. Therefore, you need to take proper precautions and follow all the safety measures diligently. But, despite taking precautions, you may still catch the infection. One way of keeping yourself safe is by boosting your lung power. There are many breathing exercises that can help you do this. If you do these exercises daily, Your lungs will become more strong and flexible. If you do catch the COVID-19 infection, you will be able to recover faster. You will also exhibit less severe symptoms and reduce the risk of lasting lung damage. According to Dr Gowri Kulkarni, MBBS, MRCGP (INT),"Regular exercise, be it dancing, jogging, yoga or any kind of breathing techniques will also help in keeping the lungs strong and healthy."
Here are a few breathing exercises that you can do anywhere, anytime.
This lung-boosting exercise will increase the amount of oxygen in your body as you fully fill and stretch your lung sacs.
How to do it: You can do this exercise either standing up or sitting down. Place your hands on your waist and relax. Inhale deeply. Hold your breath for a few seconds and exhale as much air as possible and empty your lungs. Practice deep breathing by doing 3-4 sets of 10 repetitions throughout the day.
You must make the diaphragm strong and efficient for overall respiratory health. Diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing will do just this.
How to do it: Lie down on your back and bend your knees. Place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Inhale deeply and allow your belly and lower rib cage to rise. Avoid any movement of your upper chest cavity. Exhale after about 5 seconds and allow your belly to deflate. Repeat 5 times.
This increases your oxygen intake and decreases the amount of carbon dioxide in your body. It will also make your lungs strong and you will find it easier to fight shortness of breath if your get the COVID-19 infection.
How to do it: You can do this exercise either standing up or sitting down. Inhale through your nose for about 3 seconds. Purse your lips and exhale slowly through your lips. Exhalation must take twice as long as inhalation. Repeat 5 times.
This will help you control your breathing. Regular practice will increase your immunity and boost lung power.
How to do it: Empty your lungs of all air. Close the right nostril with right thumb and breathe with the left nostril. Now use the ring finger of the same hand to close the left nostril and breathe out with the right nostril. Repeat 10 times.
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