Asthma is an unfortunate thing to live with. However, there are simple breathing exercises that will definitely help. It’s said that people who have asthma tend to breathe faster, similar to hyperventilating. This faster-paced breathing introduces more cold air into the lungs, which can trigger an asthma attack. Breathing exercises help control the breathing rate, which will in turn reduce the chances of an asthma attack.
1. Diaphragmatic Breathing
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This breathing exercise involves breathing with the diaphragm. Simply put, it means breathing with the stomach rather than the chest. Take deep, slow breaths both inward and outward while not moving the chest, only the stomach. This form of breathing is more efficient in delivering oxygen to the lungs. However, it’s important to breathe through the nose while doing this. In most cases, breathing through the mouth is counteractive.
2. Buteyko Breathing
This form of breathing is very similar to the method above but has a different twist. Instead of taking deep breaths, take shallow, slow breaths. Again, it’s important to only breathe through the nose. Exhale until there is absolute no air left then repeat the process. Theoretically, this breathing exercise is designed to reduce the amount of cooler air that is introduced into the lungs by taking shallow breaths.
3. Pursed Lip Breathing
Pursed lip breathing is mainly used during an asthma attack. Asthma attacks cause air to be trapped inside the lungs, which makes it significantly harder to breathe. This method is done by inhaling through the nose and exhaling through pursed lips. It’s best for the exhale to be twice as long compared to the inhale. All of this should be done with the diaphragm.
4. Progressive Relaxation
With this breathing method, a person lies on their back and closes the eyes while concentrating on each breath. They then continue to tense up all of their body muscles. The person relaxes their muscles once they cannot tense up their muscles anymore. This exercise will cause a very relaxed, weightless feeling.
There are many more breathing exercises available. If the person has mild to severe asthma, they should carry an inhaler at all times, just in case of an attack. These breathing exercises will teach a person how to breathe correctly again, reducing asthma symptoms. It’s important to not panic while having an asthma attack, as doing so can make matters worse.