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INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF FIGHTING COVID – 19

Do you wish to improve your respiratory health? With the current pandemic, the COVID 19, this should be everyone’s goal if we are going to overcome the invisible enemy.

Ongoing research shows that when the virus gets in your body, it comes into contact with the mucous membranes that line the nose, mouth, and eyes. The virus enters a healthy cell and uses the cell to make new virus parts and multiplies. It travels down the airways. The lining can become irritated and inflamed. In some cases, the infection can reach all the way down to the lungs and into the alveoli. The lungs swell and become inflamed. This can start in one part of the lung and spread.

Who is at risk?

  • Less active people.
  • People who exercise in highly polluted outdoors.
  • People who live or work near busy highways.
  • Children and the elderly.
  • People with cardiovascular diseases.

Having this in mind, we all ought to learn different ways of improving our respiratory health.

The respiratory system is made up of all the organs involved in breathing including the lungs and the heart.

When you are physically active, your heart and lungs work harder to supply the additional oxygen your muscles demand. Just like regular exercise makes your muscles stronger, it also makes your lungs and heart stronger. 

Deep breathing exercises also strengthen the muscles of the chest, including the diaphragm and muscles between the ribs that work together to power chest movements.

 Deep breathing exercises. 

1. Diaphragmatic breathing/belly breathing.

This exercise engages the diaphragm.

  • Relax your shoulders and sit back or lie down.
  • Place one hand on your belly and one on your chest.
  • Inhale through your nose for two seconds, feeling the air move into your abdomen and feeling your stomach move out. Your stomach should move more than your chest does.
  • Breathe out for two seconds through pursed lips while pressing on your abdomen and repeat the procedure
    • Pursed-lips breathing

Pursed-lips breathing can slow down your breathing, reducing the work of breathing by keeping your airways open longer.

  • Inhale slowly through your nostrils.
  • Purse your lips, as if you are about to blow on something.
  • Breathe out as slowly as possible through pursed lips. This should take at least twice as long as it did to breathe in and repeat the procedure.
    • Huff cough

Here’s how to practice the huff cough:

  • Place yourself in a comfortable seated position. Inhale through your nose, slightly deeper than you would when taking a normal breath.
  • Activate your stomach muscles to blow the air out in three even breaths while making the sounds “ha, ha, ha.” Imagine you’re blowing onto a mirror to cause it to steam.
    • Interval training

If breathlessness or shortness of breath arise while exercising, interval training may be a better alternative to steady exercise.

Interval training involves alternating between short periods of more strenuous and less strenuous exercise. Interval training gives the lungs time to recover before challenging them again.

NB: Any type of physical activity counts as exercise. It could be planned sport such as running, swimming, cycling, tennis or bowls, brisk walking or even an exercise training program and aerobic activities. 

Muscle-strengthening activities like weight-lifting build core strength, improving your posture, and toning your breathing muscles.

More Ways to improve your respiratory health.

  • Stop smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Avoid indoor and outdoor air pollution.
  • Avoid exposure to people who have a flu or other viral infections.
  • Eat a healthy diet, a balanced diet.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • See your doctor for any annual general checkup.

NB: – Your physiotherapist is well versed in training you on how to perform breathing exercise to improve and maintain a healthy respiratory system. 

Together we shall overcome!!

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