Here are some useful methods to improve your breathing.
- Pursed lips
According to the Cleveland Clinic, pursed lip breathing has a range of benefits:
- Improves ventilation
- Releases trapped air in the lungs
- Keeps the airways open longer and decreases the work of breathing
- Prolongs exhalation to slow the breathing rate
- Improves breathing patterns by moving old air out of the lungs and allowing for new air to enter the lungs
- Relieves shortness of breath
- Causes general relaxation
Practicing this technique 4 to 5 times each day can help.
- Keep your mouth closed, and take a deep breath through your nose hold for 2 seconds
- Put your lips together and blow through them. (some say like a whistle, but don’t whistle. It’s annoying.) This is known as “pursing” your lips.
- While continuing to keep your lips pursed, slowly breathe out by counting to 4. Don’t try to force the air out, but instead breathe out slowly through your mouth.
2) CO-ORDINATED BREATHING
Co-ordinated breathing uses 2 steps and combines them with an exercise (say a push up)
- Inhale through your nose before beginning an exercise.
- While pursing your lips, breathe out through your mouth during the most strenuous part of an exercise.
3) DEEP BREATHING
Deep breathing flushes your lungs and makes sure you have expelled all that dank horrible air that been skulking in the outer reaches of chest. You can now breathe in more fresh air, accept if you are in London, where its packed full of pollution.
Here’s how to practice deep breathing:
- Sit or stand with your elbows slightly back. This allows your chest to expand more fully, but you are still breathing through your Diaphragm.
- Inhale deeply through your nose.
- Hold your breath as you count to 5.
- Release the air via a slow, deep exhale, through your nose, until you feel your inhaled air has been released.
4)THE DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING
The diaphragm is an important muscle involved in the work of breathing. People with breathing “issues” tend to rely more on the accessory muscles of the neck, shoulders, and back to breathe, rather than on the diaphragm. Diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing helps to retrain this muscle to work more effectively. Here’s how to do it:
- While sitting or lying down with your shoulders relaxed, put a hand on your chest and place the other hand on your tummy
- Breath in through your nose for 2 seconds, feeling your tummy move upwards. You’re doing the activity correctly if your stomach moves more than your chest.
- Purse your lips and breathe out slowly through your mouth, pressing lightly on your stomach. This will enhance your diaphragm’s ability to release air.
- Repeat the exercise as you are able to.