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Discover the Health Benefits of Breathing Exercises

Discover the Health Benefits of Breathing Exercises

, by Aussie Pharma Direct, 6 min reading time

Breathing - it's that one thing we all do, probably without even thinking about it. In fact, you're doing it right now as you read this. It's like the background music of life – always there, but it is often overlooked when it comes to our health and well-being. 

In this blog, we will dive deep into the world of breathing exercises and uncover their profound impact on not just our respiratory system but also our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

The role of breathing exercises in improving lung capacity

Breathing exercises, like diaphragmatic breathing or deep breathing, go beyond simply inhaling and exhaling. They have the potential to strengthen respiratory muscles and optimise the efficiency of oxygen exchange, ultimately expanding lung capacity.

Deep breathing

Deep breathing exercises involve taking slow, deliberate breaths that engage the full lung capacity. It enhances the strength and endurance of the respiratory muscles in the following ways:

  • Expanding lung volume - Deep breaths reach the lower, often under-utilised, regions of the lungs, promoting lung expansion.
  • Engaging accessory muscles - Deep breathing recruits not only the diaphragm but also the intercostal muscles and muscles of the chest and abdomen, contributing to overall respiratory muscle strength.
  • Improved air circulation - By actively moving more air in and out of the lungs, deep breathing exercises help maintain the elasticity of lung tissues.

Breathing exercises and respiratory conditions:

Asthma management:

For individuals with asthma, breathing exercises can be a game-changer. They offer a set of tools to manage symptoms and enhance lung function:

  • Techniques like diaphragmatic breathing can help calm the airways and reduce the severity of asthma attacks.
  • Controlled breathing during an asthma attack can prevent panic and reduce the need for rescue inhalers.

Chronic bronchitis relief:

Chronic bronchitis often leads to increased mucus production and narrowed airways. Breathing exercises can mitigate these effects:

  • Pursed lip breathing can slow down exhalation, keeping airways open for a more effective exchange of gases.
  • Controlled coughing techniques help expel mucus, reducing the risk of infections.

COPD symptom management:

COPD, a progressive condition, benefits significantly from breathing exercises:

  • Pulmonary rehabilitation programs often include breathing exercises to improve lung function and reduce breathlessness.
  • Techniques like pursed lip breathing and huff coughing can alleviate symptoms and enhance overall quality of life.

Moreover, you can actually use AirPhysio to aid with the breathing exercises. The device provides resistance during inhalation and exhalation, promoting deeper and more controlled breaths. This resistance helps in expanding lung capacity, which is particularly beneficial for conditions that restrict airflow. You can choose between the devices Average Lung Capacity and Low Lung Capacity, depending on the severity of your condition. 

Read more about: Understand How AirPhysio Helps Your Respiratory Conditions

Benefits of breathing exercises

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, stress has become an almost constant companion for many, and deep breathing exercises are one of the effective techniques that have a profound impact on relaxation and stress reduction. 

Deep breathing exercises, often referred to as diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing, work by engaging the diaphragm muscle and slowing down the breath rate. This deliberate change in breathing pattern triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, often dubbed the "rest and digest" system. This branch of the autonomic nervous system counteracts the stress response, which is typically governed by the sympathetic nervous system.

When the parasympathetic nervous system is activated through deep breathing, several physiological changes occur:

  • Reduced heart rate
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Improved digestion

Positive effects on anxiety and mental well-being:

  • Anxiety reduction
  • Stress management
  • Enhanced focus and clarity 
  • Emotional regulation
  • Improved sleep

Daily integration of breathing exercises

Integrating breathing exercises into your daily routine is a wonderful way to boost your overall well-being, and it's easier than you might think. Let's explore some practical tips for breathing exercises and make it a natural part of your day:

  1. In the morning - Start your day by taking a few moments to breathe deeply. As you wake up, before you even get out of bed, lie comfortably and take slow, deep breaths. Inhale positivity, exhale any lingering sleepiness.
  2. Desk breaks - Amidst your busy workday, schedule short breaks. Step away from your desk, find a quiet spot, and practise some deep breathing. It's like hitting the reset button for your mind, helping you feel more focused and energised.
  3. Pre-workout prep - Before you hit the gym or go for a run, spend a few minutes on breathing exercises. If you’d like to optimise the breathing further, you can use the AirPhysio Sports as well. It'll prepare your body and mind for exercise, enhancing your performance and reducing the risk of injury.

Read more about: 7 Ways to Improve Your Lung Capacity with AirPhysio and Make Breathing Easier

When you're dealing with a cold and experiencing increased mucus production, it can be challenging to breathe comfortably, so you might wonder about how you can clear mucus from your lung naturally. In such situations, a specific breathing routine, combined with the use of a device like AirPhysio, can greatly help. This handheld device uses oscillating positive expiratory pressure (OPEP) technology to create vibrations in your airways. When you exhale into the device, it helps to loosen and dislodge mucus from your air passages, making it easier to cough up and clear, thus improving your breathing.

Understanding your lung capacity helps you optimise the breathing exercises

Optimising your breathing exercises requires understanding your current lung capacity. Before you begin any specific breathing exercises, it's essential to measure your lung capacity. This can be done through various lung function tests such as spirometry, peak flow meter, or body plethysmography.

By knowing where you currently stand and setting clear goals, you can select the most appropriate exercises, monitor your progress, and make necessary adjustments. Whether your aim is to improve lung function for health reasons or to enhance athletic performance, a well-informed approach to breathing exercises can lead to significant benefits and an improved quality of life.

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