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Exercise for Asthma
- Author :
- TATA AIG Team
- Published on :
Asthma is a respiratory disease in which the person’s lung airways narrow and swell at the same time, causing chronic inflammation and recurring breathlessness. The causes of Asthma are genetic but also may arise from environmental factors, like pollen, dust, and other irritants. Individuals allergic to these elements may develop Asthma. Pollution, strong smells, toxic fumes, and even over-the-counter painkillers can cause and worsen Asthma.
Every eighth person in India suffers from Asthma, and it is not a curable disease. But the patient can improve his health condition with some lifestyle modifications, exercises, and medical care. These include asthma yoga exercises, yoga breathing exercises for asthma, and other sports exercises.
Read on to find out the exercise good for asthma.
Breathing Exercises for Asthma
Breathing exercises have many benefits for various parts of the body, especially for blood circulation and improving the functioning of the lungs. Asthma yoga exercises improve lung capacity and the passage of air through the respiratory tract. It also improves the intake of oxygen by increasing blood flow and minimising inflammation in the airways.
Here are some powerful breathing exercises for asthma that are easy to do:
Alternate nostril breathing
Alternate nostril breathing, known as Nadi Shodhan Pranayama in Sanskrit, is one of the easiest and best exercises for asthma. Nadi means flow, and Shodha means purification, aka purification of the mind and body from toxins. Here is how you can go about this asthma yoga exercise:
- Close your eyes
- Place either hand on the opposite knee
- Place your index and middle finger on your eyebrows
- Place your ring and little finger on one of your nostrils. If you place it on the left nostril, put your thumb over on the right one
- Close the right nostril or the nostril with the thumb over and exhale with the nostril left open, then inhale through the left nostril
- Switch between the nostrils and place the ring and little finger over the left nostril and exhale through the right one. After exhaling, inhale through the right nostril.
- Repeat this breathing pattern for nine such cycles
Diaphragmatic breathing is another exercise good for asthma. It is also very easy to perform. Diaphragmatic breathing helps you relax and increases oxygen flow to the blood and lungs. It has other benefits, like reducing blood pressure and eliminating gas from the body. Here is how you can go about this breathing exercise:
- Lie down on your back
- Bend your knees or let them be in the sleeping position
- Place one hand on your abdomen, place the other on your chest
- Keep your chest still and breathe in deeply through your nose. You should feel your stomach extending outwards
- Breathe out slowly while feeling your stomach retreat to its regular position
- Repeat this breathing cycle 10-15 times
Yoga Lung Exercises for Asthmatics
Yoga is one of ancient India’s best gifts to the world. The entire globe has recognised the immense power and benefits of yoga. Yoga is one of the only movement forms to combine the mind and body and balance both. This is why it is extremely effective for asthma. Gentle and moderate asthma yoga exercises can work wonders in regulating and reducing asthmatic symptoms. Here are some of the best lung exercises for asthmatics.
The Cobra Pose The cobra, known as Bhujangasana, has multiple holistic health benefits but is very helpful for asthma patients. Apart from strengthening the spine and stretching the shoulders, it stimulates the abdomen and lungs and helps relieve stress and fatigue from these parts. It is a very easy asana, and you can do it every day.
Here is how you can do the cobra pose.
- Lie down flat on your stomach and keep your forehead and feet on the ground
- Pull your legs close together and flatten your feet
- Place your hands on the ground, beside your chest and below your shoulders
- Breathe/ inhale slowly while simultaneously lifting your head, chest, and shoulders in a slow motion
- Support your torso/ abdominal weight on your arms and arch your back to the point your spine gets curved
- Once you are in this position, take your head backwards and look upwards
- Hold this upward position for 10-20 seconds and do regular breathing the entire time
- Exhale and begin to bring your torso back to the ground
- Repeat the cycle 5-10 times
The half-spinal twist
The half-spinal twist or the Ardha Matsyendrasana is another exercise good for asthma. This exercise improves oxygen supply to the lungs by increasing lung capacity. It also enhances the elasticity of the spine and stretches the muscles of the spinal cord.
Here is how you can perform this exercise:
- Sit down and stretch your legs on the floor
- Keep your feet together and bend your left leg inward
- Make sure the heel of the left leg faces the right hip
- Bend your right leg over the left knee
- Place your left hand over your right knee
- Put your right hand behind your back
- Twist your waist and neck slowly to the right
- Look over your right shoulder, all the while keeping your spine erect
- Inhale and exhale slowly and gently, staying in this position for 15-20 seconds
- On the last exhale, release your hands, waist, chest, and neck to relax
- Keep your head straight and repeat this for the other side of the body
Asthma is a chronic condition that can impact one’s quality of life and day-to-day activities. It cannot be left unchecked and requires medical support from time to time. These exercises can improve the overall lifestyle of asthma warriors and make it easier for them to perform otherwise simple activities like walking, climbing the stairs, and engaging in light to moderate physical activity.
Apart from this, health insurance can help cover the expenses associated with hospitalisation and medication. If you do not have a health insurance plan for your family, we suggest you get one from Tata AIG. Buying health insurance from us is very convenient for people. It only takes a few steps. Further, you can use our health insurance premium calculator to see how much you have to pay for a health insurance policy.