While COVID-19 cases continue to surge, we need to be even more vigilant, while staying at home and keeping ourselves healthy and fit. While eating right and exercising ensures our bodies and minds stay fit, it is also important to strengthen our respiratory system -- as that is also severely affected by the virus.
Breathing exercises are a great way to develop the lungs as they improve lung muscles, clear out any secretion and increase the capacity by supplying an adequate amount of oxygen. There are several other benefits to these exercises as well! It also helps us stay calmer, and de-stress especially in these unprecedented times we are living in.
To get started, here are five breathing exercises you can do at any time of the day and in any comfortable space.
Deep breathing with increasing counts: breath-in and breath-out
This is one of the easiest and most important exercises. It helps in strengthening our lungs and improving blood flow, immunity and eliminating stress and anxiety.
* Sit down in a relaxed position, take a deep breath and count your inhalation and exhalation. Ideally, your inhalation and exhalation counts should be the same.
* With each breath increase the count to inhale and exhale for as long as comfortable. Practise from 2 to 5 minutes duration.
Also known as belly breathing, or abdominal breathing, this particular exercise has various benefits such as managing irritable bowel syndrome, depression, anxiety and insomnia. Normally people get in the habit of breathing without fully utilising the lower part of their lungs. With this breathing technique, you consciously practise filling in lungs to their maximum capacity and increasing oxygen uptake.