There are many ways you can improve your health. Changing parts of your lifestyle, such as eating habits and exercise routines, can help you feel and live better, as can improving your breathing. If you struggle with a chronic illness or have noticed a change in your breathing after a sickness, breathing exercises can help you breathe better. Keep reading to learn about three easy ones you can start today.
Pursed-lip breathing keeps your airways open longer than usual, which is great for improving your breathing. You’ll start with a quick nasal inhale. Then you’ll slowly breathe out through pursed lips. Your exhale should be roughly three times as long as your inhale, so if you inhale for roughly two seconds, you should exhale for roughly six seconds. You can do this several times a day, but it’s best to do it during strenuous activity such as exercise or climbing stairs.
Deep breathing exercises are as straightforward as they sound. They help you breathe deeper, getting more fresh air into your lungs and preventing air from getting trapped. To successfully perform this exercise, sit or stand up straight with your elbows back so your chest can fully expand. Inhale deeply through your nose and hold your breath for five seconds. Exhale slowly and deeply until you expel the entire inhale. You can repeat this for up to 10 minutes at a time several times a day.
This breathing exercise is something you can expect at a pulmonary rehab appointment or an appointment with a respiratory therapist, as it’s slightly more complicated than the others. You’ll lay down flat on your back or sit with your shoulders relaxed, placing one of your hands on your chest and the other on your stomach. Inhale for two seconds, focusing on your stomach expanding with the breath, then slowly breathe out through pursed lips. Press lightly on your stomach to further engage your diaphragm in the exhale. Repeat as long as you’re comfortable.
Taking care of your health is important, and these three easy exercises that can help you breathe better can also improve your overall health. Always consult a medical professional if you’re experiencing difficulty breathing or struggling with these exercises.
Dianne Pajo is a Certified Personal Trainer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her outdoors and performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.