Asthma is a disease of the lungs in which certain triggers can cause inflammation and narrowing of your airway. Such triggers may include pollen, dust mites, pet dander, cold air and even particles of cockroach waste. Exercises to reduce symptoms of asthma were not as popular in the past due to lack of research. However, now with sufficient study on these exercises, it has come to light that these exercises are indeed helpful. Let us tell you about some types of breathing exercises that are beneficial.
Many studies have linked mouth breathing to more severe asthma symptoms. This may be because mouth breathing can increase the passage of cold air into the respiratory tract. By opting for more nasal breathing, you breathe in air with added warmth and humidity. This can help reduce asthma symptoms significantly.
Pursed Lip Breathing
Close your mouth and breathe in slowly through your nose. Then purse your lips in the shape you would make if you were to whistle. Then while counting to four, breathe out through your pursed lips. This exercise helps to relieve shortness of breath.
This exercise can be done while lying down or sitting. Pay attention to your breathing while you breathe slowly through your nose. When inhaling, make sure it in your abdomen that is expanding outwards (rather than your chest.) Then slowly exhale while your abdomen goes inward. Try to make your exhalation twice as long as your inhalation. This helps to increase the air distribution within your respiratory passages.
Progressive Relaxation Technique
Lie down in a supine position. Close your eyes and focus on breathing through your nose. Make sure you are doing diaphragmatic breathing. Slowly tighten the muscles of your left foot, then relax, feel the tension and then release. Exhale. Repeat the same for other limbs too. This technique helps to relax your muscles and stay relaxed which in turn helps reduce asthmatic symptoms.
This breathing technique helps people to consciously reduce their breathing volume or breathing rate. To do this exercise, relax and sit upright. While breathing, relax your chest and abdominal muscles. Tilt your head upwards and close your eyes. With your mouth closed, breathe gently through your nose and swallow. Exhale slowly up to the moment when it feels there is no air left in your lungs. Then, hold your breath as long as you can before you return to gentle breathing. This exercise is known to reduce the requirement of medication and improve asthma symptoms.