Breathing Exercises for covid-19
Begin these breathing exercises either standing up or sitting upright.
You will need to have a tissue in your hand to cough into at step 5 below.
Take a deep breath in through your nose (preferably), but if you struggle with this in through your mouth. This breath should be as deep as you can manage.
Hold your breath for 5 seconds.
Breathe out very slowly for the count of 8 seconds.
Repeat the deep breaths (steps 1 to 3) until you have done 5.
On the 6th deep breath hold as before, but cough into your tissue.
Steps 1 to 5 represents one cycle of the breathing exercise.
You should repeat two of the above cycles in standing or sitting.
You should then lie prone (on your tummy) with your hands under your forehead and a thin pillow under your upper chest.
You should repeat the 3rd cycle of the breathing exercises in this prone position.
This process should be repeated four times a day.
The majority of your lung tissue is on the back surface of your chest and, as a result, the airways and air sacs can be compressed when lying on your back. This compromises the amount of oxygen that can be absorbed.
It is therefore really important not to lie on your back in bed for any length of time. You should lie on your side (supported by pillows if necessary) and a more upright position is better to prevent lung collapse. Keep upright and move about as much as possible.
Diaphragmatic Exercises can be performed if possible.
These result in the large muscle between your chest and abdomen (the diaphragm) being stimulated to move. This movement of the diaphragm stretches and opens the lower lung tissue and improves oxygen absorption.
These diaphragmatic breathing exercises can be carried out as often as you can (hourly if possible).
It may take some time to master the co-ordination of diaphragmatic breathing so keep practicing.
Place a hand on your tummy
Take a deep breath in and as you do so push out your tummy into your hand.
Hold your breath with your tummy out for 3 seconds.
Breathe out slowly through pursed lips (like a kiss) at the same time sucking your tummy in and follow this movement with your hand.
Repeat 3 times then cough into your tissue.
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