The Coronavirus, officially called Sars-CoV-2, can invade the body when we breathe it in or by touching a contaminated surface and then face. It first infects the cells lining the throat, airways, and lungs, then turns them into “Coronavirus Factories” that spew out a huge number of viruses that go on to infect yet more cells. As per WHO the complete clinical picture with regard to COVID-19 is still not fully clear. Current symptoms include mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough & difficulty breathing. Also can sometimes cause lower respiratory tract illness such as Pneumonia and bronchitis.
So, In the midst of the current coronavirus pandemic would like to recommend an exercise program which will strengthen the lung capacities and improve the respiratory system. This will give us the best chance of fighting the virus considering there are no any coronavirus –specific medicines at the moment.
Exercises Recommended to Fight COVID-19
- Aerobic Exercises
Play a significant role in enhancing the lung capacity by making large muscle groups move at a rhythmic speed. Before infection, aerobic exercises are recommended to strength then the cardiovascular health. Once infected, during the period of mild symptoms, moderate daily aerobic exercise can improve lung ventilation. Aerobic exercises benefit the immune function as well. Following are the aerobic exercises which can be done indoors-
- Spot Jog/ Jog In Place – Kick your knees up to your hip and move briskly on the spot.
- Jumping Jacks – Jump with your arms and legs out wide. It is important to keep the core engaged during this exercise.
- Jump Squat – Stand with your feet shoulder length apart. Lift yourself up the ground from this position and land back to the same.
- High Knees – Quickly drive your knees up to the chest.
- Stationary Biking – Another type of aerobic exercise which improves lung capacity.
- Deep Breathing Exercises
Lung health is important, even more so with a pandemic that affects the respiratory tract. Along with maintaining hygiene and practicing social distancing, having healthy lungs will help us survive the pandemic better. If the lungs cannot expand fully, it leads to shallow breathing and decreased lung capacity. Therefore, it is important to keep them healthy by the following techniques-
- Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique – Place one hand on the chest and other on the stomach. Take a deep breath, the hand on the stomach should rise. This means that one is breathing correctly. Now, when breathing out, one should again feel the hand on the stomach going down. Repeat this for three counts of each.
- Pursed Lip Breathing Technique – This technique involves breathing in through the nose and breathing out slowly through the mouth. Repeat this for three counts of each.
- Oriental Breathing Technique- Begins with simple inhaling and exhaling. Now inhale three times through the nose without exhaling. Once again inhale and raise the arms till shoulder level. Now open your arms as wide as one can and take them overhead (again inhaling) Finally, exhale as one brings back the arms to the starting position.
- Numbered Breathing Technique – Numbering / counting on the breath is an easy yet effective way to naturally improve lung function.
- Pushing Out Breathing Technique – A super power breathing exercise that gives the lungs an increased capacity to absorb oxygen. Take an upright posture and loosen the knees. Now bend down as you push out all the air from your lungs. Get back to the standing position, breathing in the air. Now fill the lungs with as much air as possible and hold the breath as long as one can. Next, extend your arm over the head and lower back to the starting position while exhaling. Perform this exercise 4 times daily.
- Lung Strengthening Exercises.
This includes strengthening the muscles that aid in breathing, which in turn, improves lung functioning.
- Interval Training Circuit
Best way to ease into lung exercises. The more a muscle is strengthened the longer one can sustain his breath when performing these exercises. The routine includes four exercises to be performed for 30 secs each, with a 30 sec break between two.
- Postural Correction Exercises.
Studies have shown that slumped sitting decreases lung capacity. So, it’s important to sit up straight to get the best lung capacity one can.
To conclude, three things that will help fight the COVID 19 pandemic are as follows:-
- Stay Hydrated
- Stay Active
- Stay Indoors
Started in 1998, PHYWorld, Physical Therapy, Osteopathy and Fitness Clinic is one of the leading Physiotherapy Clinics of India.
PHYWorld introduced the concept of “Holistic Rehabilitation” in which protocols are designed intricately to bridge the gap between physiotherapy and return to work.