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Alternate Nostril Breathing to Pursed Lip Breathing: 5 respiratory health exercises for late winter

Enhance your respiratory health in late winter with 5 exercises. Improve lung function, combat congestion, and breathe easier through these last days of the cold season.

Rahul Pratyush Written By: Rahul Pratyush New Delhi Published on: February 18, 2024 8:30 IST
respiratory health exercises
Image Source : GOOGLE 5 respiratory health exercises for late winter

Late winter can be tough on your lungs. Cold air, Changing weather conditions, and increased exposure to viruses can all contribute to breathing difficulties and even illnesses. But fear not! By incorporating specific exercises into your routine, you can strengthen your respiratory system and improve your overall lung health. Here are 7 exercises to help you breathe easier this late winter.

Diaphragmatic breathing:

Also known as belly breathing, diaphragmatic breathing focuses on engaging the diaphragm muscle to promote deeper, more efficient breathing. To practice, lie down or sit comfortably and place one hand on your abdomen and the other on your chest. Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your abdomen to rise while keeping your chest relatively still. Exhale slowly through pursed lips, gently drawing your abdomen inward. Repeat for several breaths, aiming to expand and contract your diaphragm with each breath.

Alternate nostril breathing: 

This technique can help clear congestion and improve airflow. Close your right nostril with your thumb and inhale slowly through your left nostril. Hold for a few seconds, then close your left nostril with your ring finger and exhale slowly through your right nostril. Inhale through your right nostril, hold, and exhale through your left. Repeat for 5-10 minutes.

Pursed lip breathing:

Pursed lip breathing is a simple technique that helps improve lung function and relieve shortness of breath. Start by inhaling slowly through your nose for a count of two. Then, purse your lips as if you're about to blow out a candle and exhale slowly and evenly for a count of four. This prolonged exhalation helps keep airways open, reduces air trapping in the lungs, and promotes relaxation.

Chest physiotherapy:

Chest physiotherapy techniques, such as chest percussion and postural drainage, can help mobilize and clear excess mucus from the lungs, making breathing easier. Perform chest percussion by gently tapping on the chest with cupped hands to loosen secretions, followed by postural drainage, where you position your body to allow gravity to help drain mucus from specific lung segments. 

Chest expansion exercises: 

These gentle stretches help open up your chest cavity and improve lung capacity. Stand tall with your shoulders back and arms relaxed at your sides. Inhale deeply, feeling your chest expand. Hold for a few seconds, then exhale slowly. Repeat 5-10 times. You can also try variations like arm circles or chest stretches with your hands clasped behind your back.

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