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Proning: Self-care Breathing Exercises for COVID-19 patients 


Coronavirus Recovery : Breathing Exercises For Covid

COVID19 is a respiratory disease that takes a huge toll on your fragile lungs. The virus triggers lung inflammation that causes mild to severely critical respiratory issues. The symptoms could be severe amongst the older patients. Apart from the elderly people, Covid could be devastating to patients with a history of diabetes, COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or heart ailments. Breathing problems due toCOVID19 persists even after a complete recovery. There aren’t many medicinal alternatives to heal the Covid battered lungs. Breathing Exercises for Covid is the best recourse to a holistic recovery. These exercises are also helpful during an ongoing Covid infection.      


Lung Exercises For Covid

Strengthening the lungs through various exercises will help you deal with minor or major pulmonary issues.  

Interval training

Interval training is an alternative for intensive workout. It gives your lungs a little rest between two sets of a strenuous exercise.

For instance, if you get exhausted continuously cycling for 4 minutes, you can break it to a set of two minutes of cycling with a brief interval of 1-2 minutes. This helps your lungs recover for the next challenge!   


Qigong Belly Breathing 

Also known as Diaphragmatic Breathing, the Qigong belly breathing exercise helps rehabilitate lung capacity. 

·        Rest in a comfortable position. 

·        Straighten your back. 

·        Place your palm on your chest/stomach. 

·        Inhale as much air you can. Feel your stomach expand. 

·        Now slowly exhale and feel your stomach contracting. 

·        Repeat about 10 times. 


Breathing Exercises for Covid Patients 

Slow breathing exercises are immensely beneficial for Covid patients. According to a study, slow breathing techniques affect the parasympathetic nerve that helps in flight or fight response. It alleviates stress and calms the body and mind.  


Pursed Lip Breathing 

    This breathing exercise enables you to fill your lungs with more oxygen.

·        Rest in a comfortable position. 

·        Breathe in slowly through your nose a few times. 

·        Now purse your lips and exhale. 

·        Repeat several times. 



Humming or chanting during exercises not only increases lung capacity but also induces stress releasing hormones. Humming during exhalation helps increase nitric oxide production which helps in neural plasticity. It dilates the blood vessels making room for increased oxygen circulation in the body.    


Other simple breathing exercises that you can inculcate in your regime are

Deep breathing while sitting and Deep breathing while standing.  


Home Exercises For Covid Patients 

Quarantine can be a very traumatic experience. Moderate home exercises could immensely boost the overall health and mental wellbeing of an isolated patient. 

Here are some suggested home exercises for Covid patients.    

Light Aerobics 

Light aerobics helps maintain good cardiovascular health. It also helps with stiffness and strain owing to being bedridden for prolonged periods. 

Light workouts 

Lift light weights like a couple of books. Try a couple of squats and bench presses. It doesn't have to be very intensive and can be done in a few sets with as many breaks. 

Outdoor sports

You can play badminton or frisbee in the confines of your home, if you are not completely bedridden. 


Proning position for Covid Patients At Home

If the Oxygen saturation plunges below 94%then it is medically advised to try “Proning”. It is helpful in maintaining oxygen saturation during severe Covid infection. 

A step by step guide to self-proning

Use pillows - one below the neck, one below the chest through upper thighs and two below the shins. Spend a maximum of 30 minutes in each of the following positions - 

  • Begin with lying on your belly 
  • Now lie down on our right side
  • Sit up and extend your legs in front of you
  • Now lie down on your left side
  • Switch to the initial lying on the belly position


Dos and Don'ts 

1. Avoid excessive Proning. 

2. Avoid Proning immediately after a meal. 

3. Adjust pillows to sustain Proning positions.

4. Avoid Proning if you are pregnant or have cardiac issues or have injuries. 


Exercises To Improve Your Health After Covid

Here are some exercises that will help you bounce back after Covid. 

1. Chest Expansion

·        Inhale and open the chest and lift your chin.

·        As you exhale, bring your arms together and place them on your back like giving aself hug

·        Repeat a few times

2. Cat and Dog Stretch 

·        Crouch down on all your limbs.

·        Inhale while rounding the back.

·        Exhale while arching the back. 

·        Repeat the movement with one leg in and out. 

·        Switch to your back and repeat the motions with your hands. 

3. Cycling 

Cycling is the most fun cardiovascular exercise that can help rehabilitate sore muscles, creaky joints and better lung health. 


The Bare Minimum

While it’s slightly difficult for everyone to follow a stringent health regimen, it’s however advisable to do the bare minimum. 

Staying well fed - a wholesome diet rich with nutrients and essential vitamins. 

Staying hydrated - guzzle at least 4 litres of water. 

Refrain from smoking - avoid it like a plague!

Stay physically active - if you can’t do rigorous workout, make sure you do light exercises. 

Stay healthy! Stay alive!


For more info get in touch with our physios at Physiotattva!


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