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5 Breathing Exercises For People Suffering From Long Term Respiratory Problems

5 Breathing Exercises For People Suffering From Long Term Respiratory Problems

Are you suffering from a chronic respiratory issue? Or are you just intending to keep your lungs away from malfunctioning? In either case, this article will be able to assist you greatly. Exercising regularly is very important for the excellent health of our lungs. Moreover, a few exercises have also proven to be beneficial for specific respiratory problems.

Therefore, we have compiled a list of five breathing exercises which will prove to be beneficial for people who are suffering from respiratory ailments. If you manage to practise these exercises regularly, then you will feel less exerted when you perform your daily tasks. Moreover, exercise increases energy levels and is very good for the overall health as well.

Exercise No 1: Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is perhaps the easiest and the most beneficial exercises for promoting respiratory health. One can practice deep breathing along with some other breathing exercises or even while practising yoga. It prevents the air from getting trapped in the lungs and as such, helps people who feel issues pertaining to breathlessness. This is why deep breathing is excellent for breathing more fresh air.


  • Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight.
  • Push your elbows backwards. This allows the chest to expand fully.
  • Now inhale through your nose deeply.
  • Count up to 5 while holding your breath.
  • Then release the inhaled air by exhaling deeply and slowly.
  • You are recommended to perform this exercise for at least 10 minutes every day.

Exercise No 2: Diaphragmatic Breathing

The diaphragm is the muscle that separates the lungs from the abdominal cavity. It is involved in breathing. But people who suffer from diseases like COPD utilise the accessory muscles of the back and shoulders, instead of the diaphragm. Therefore, this breathing exercise will help us to retrain this muscle to its normal function.


  • You can practise this exercise while sitting or while lying down.
  • Keep one hand on your chest and place the other hand on your stomach.
  • Inhale through your nose for two seconds, and you will feel your stomach moving outwards.
  • If your stomach moves more than your chest, then you will know that you are doing the exercise correctly.
  • Now purse your lips and exhale slowly through your mouth while pressing on your stomach.
  • This enhances the capability of the diaphragm to release the air.
  • Repeat.

Exercise No 3: Co-Ordinated Breathing

Sometimes when people are breathless, they get anxious, and that makes them hold their breath. To prevent this from occurring, one can practise this exercise.


  • Before the exercise begins, you have to inhale through your nose.
  • In the next step, you have to purse your lips and breathe out through the mouth.
  • This has to take place during the most difficult part of the exercise.
  • This exercise can be performed when one is feeling anxious, as well.

Exercise No 4: Paced Breathing

If you intend to regulate your inhaling and exhaling for a healthy rhythm of breathing, then you can practise this exercise. It helps to increase the lung capacity as your practice, and it is also a great way to destress and relax.


  • Make sure to practise this exercise at that time of the day when you feel the most relaxed.
  • We recommend practising it before bedtime.
  • You can either sit up with your back upright or lie down on your back.
  • Breathe in for four seconds and hold it for seven seconds.
  • Then you have to exhale this air slowly while counting up to 8.
  • Repeat this cycle about four times.
  • You can do this exercise twice a day for good results.

Exercise No 5: Alternative Breathing/Pranayama

This is one of the most popular asanas in yoga. It helps to improve lung capacity and overall lung function.


  • Sit in a comfortable and relaxed posture.
  • Rest your left hand in your lap and lift the right hand towards the nose.
  • With your right thumb, you have to close the right nostril.
  • Next, you have to inhale deeply through your left nostril.
  • Close the left nostril by using your right pinky finger.
  • Release your thumb from the right nostril and exhale completely through this nostril.
  • Now you have to inhale through the right nostril and close this with the right thumb.
  • Open the left nostril by releasing your finger and exhale through this nostril.
  • When you are done with this, you complete one cycle of alternate nostril breathing.
  • You can repeat this cycle for several minutes.
  • One can perform the alternative breathing exercise once or twice a day as per their comfort.

These are some of the most beneficial exercises which will help people who are suffering from long-term respiratory problems. Apart from taking care of their diet, exercising can help people greatly and is a positive change in everybody’s mundane lives.


  • Tasneem Aliasgar
    November 27, 2020


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