All over social media, we’ve been hearing more and more stories from people who have survived COVID-19 in the past couple of weeks. Famous personalities like JK Rowling, Chris Cuomo, and others claim lung exercises helped ease their discomfort and halted their symptoms from progressing.
The question is, can these claims be true?
The answer is no.
Lung exercises that we know help with lung conditions like COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is what we see in some of the online recommendations. Other lung exercises originate from research done on patients with pneumonia or who have been on ventilators.
We do not know for sure if these exercises have any effect on the symptoms of COVID-19, even though some of these techniques are proven to help with other lung-related conditions.
That being said, your chances of fighting Covid-19 and other illnesses could be higher as these lung exercises do improve your general lung health.
In these simple exercises, the aim is to expand your lungs to full capacity and allow you to exhale out dead cells and mucus.
Place one hand on your chest and the other on the belly. Without letting your chest move, take a deep breath in through your nose and let your belly protrude out. Then like whistling, breathe out through pursed lips slowly.
While breathing out, feel your belly come back in. Slowly repeat this a few times, stay comfortable and take your time while doing this. Relieving stress is an added bonus that comes with this because it is a relaxing movement.
The incentive spirometer is a device that has a mouthpiece with tubing that connects with an air chamber that has an indicator inside it. People who have had surgery or are recovering after a lung illness like pneumonia, use this to take deep breaths that expand the lungs.
The indicator rises to a goal marked on the spirometer as you inhale, and lets you know you’ve achieved optimum deep breath. The good news is that the incentive spirometer can be purchased online though you should check with your doctor on specific details.
Physical exercise has always been good for your heart. Well guess what, it is good for your lungs too. Simple aerobic activities like walking can increase your breathing rate. The walking motion will encourage you to take deep breaths which will clear your lungs as well.
Breathing muscles can be improved through strength training exercises, as it strengthens your core and improves your posture. The key to this is consistency, not going all out in one day.
Stop smoking and vaping.
Smoking and vaping were never great ideas in the first place, and have been medically proven so. Those who tell you otherwise are wrong or just out to end you painfully. In this time where Covid-19 is rampant everywhere, we need our bodies to be on guard 24/7. It can’t achieve this if we constantly stuff ourselves with tar, nicotine, and other chemicals that weaken you and reduce your overall lifespan.
It is mentioned in other articles, that smokers and vapers who contract Covid-19 suffer worse compared to those who don’t smoke or vape. Yes, it is a stressful but good time to stop, as smoking and vaping just kills your lungs faster.
These are steps you can take to keep your lungs healthy. The breathing exercises should be taken as add-ons to other exercises you do to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
If you do display mild symptoms of Covid-19 and have to self-quarantine, your doctor may suggest the following as well:
Rest When Necessary.
We are humans, not machines. When the body is tired, the right thing to do is to get proper rest. Staying up unnecessarily to do more, will weaken the body in the long run. We need to accept that we aren’t gods and shouldn’t try to act like one. Give your lungs a rest while you rest!
A well-known fact, the human body needs to be hydrated properly to maintain its many functions. Just make sure you don’t overdrink, as overhydration leads to problems as well.
As the saying goes – stay safe, stay home. We cannot stress more on the importance of isolation.
When your symptoms show no sign of improvement or worsen, call your doctor. Major symptoms to seek immediate medical attention are when you find yourself having difficulty breathing, chest pressure or confusion. Bluish lips indicate a lack of oxygen. These could be signs of the progression of Covid-19 disease to a serious stage.
18th May 19:10