COVID-19: Breathing to get well and stay well

COVID-19- Breathing

Healthy lungs and clean air make breathing easy. We breathe in without thinking, getting the oxygen we need to live, and then breathe out the used-up air our body needs to get rid of.

Sickness can cause congestion in the lungs, lessening the amount of air and oxygen the lungs can take in or the amount of used air the lungs can expel. Instead of taking deep breaths, a person may breathe fast, shallow breaths, trying to get enough air. If shallow breathing becomes a habit, it can harm your health. These exercises that make you breathe deeply can help open the airways in the lungs.

COVID-19 can make breathing difficult or even painful. Moving around and exercising your lungs can make breathing easier and help you get the air you need. And if you start exercising before you get sick, your breathing may be less affected.

Ask someone who knows yoga, Qi Gong, or another slow movement and breathing practice to teach you some movements that you can do every day. Laughing and singing are both good for breathing. They exercise your breathing, help clear the air out of your lungs, and best of all, make you feel good.

Do these breathing exercises for 10 or 15 minutes, 2 times a day. The more you practice, the easier they will be to do, and the better they will make you feel. For all exercises, breathe in through your nose. It cleans, warms and moistens the air coming in:

  • Feel your breathing
  • Pursed lips breathing
  • Small breath holds
  • Deep breathing
  • Huffing

When you are sick, you may feel like all you can do is lie flat on your back. But it takes more effort to breathe while lying flat on your back. Try resting in different positions and moving around a little.

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