Diaphragmatic breathing (abdominal breathing) Deep breathing restores lung function using the diaphragm. Breathing through the nose strengthens the diaphragm and encourages the nervous system to relax and reset. When recovering from a respiratory illness such as COVID-19, it is important not to rush recovery. There are things patients can do to increase their chances of less severe lung damage, says Galiatsatos.
During recovery, breathing exercises serve to strengthen the diaphragm, an important respiratory muscle located under the lungs. They can also help increase lung capacity, bringing much-needed oxygen into the bloodstream. In the wake of the pandemic, a pulmonologist offers advice on protecting lung health, which is often overlooked. Over time, the muscles that support breathing weaken, lung tissue loses elasticity and the air sacs inside the lungs become more voluminous.
Once you are deemed virus-free and able to return home, the long road to recovery begins, which includes rebuilding lung capacity and overall respiratory health. Doctors, respiratory therapists and other healthcare providers will need to help these patients recover their lung function as much as possible. For healthy people without COVID-19, Rogers and Naranjo say it is never a bad idea to increase overall lung capacity and improve overall respiratory health. Breathing exercises also improve lung ventilation, which is the ability of the lungs to expel carbon dioxide and stale air.
Not only can smoking cause lung cancer, but inhaling anything other than air into the lungs causes the lungs to become inflamed. Deep breathing exercises that cleanse the lungs and strengthen lung function can be especially beneficial for people with these conditions. But in the past two years, a number of emerging threats, from worsening climate change to the COVID-19 pandemic, have shown that breathing cannot always be taken for granted and that protecting lung health is vitally important. Respiratory therapists use different breathing exercises and equipment to help patients with chronic lung diseases, but most people without a chronic disease can clear their lungs with a simple deep breathing technique, says Levy.
Verywell has spoken to lung health experts about what it can mean for recovered COVID patients to regain their breathing capacity after suffering from the virus. By increasing the duration of inhalations and exhalations, lung capacity can be increased and breathing strengthened, which improves the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, ultimately improving lung capacity. In addition, studies suggest that fitness levels in young adulthood are associated with maintaining lung health in later life.