What started as an isolated incident in Wuhan, has now turned into a worldwide pandemic. And do you know how this virus is transmitted? It attacks our bodies through our lungs. The coronavirus causes the infection by penetrating into healthy cells. The invader makes copies of itself and multiplies inside your body. It latches its spiky surface proteins to receptors on healthy cells, particularly those in your lungs. Your lungs might turn inflamed and become unable to get enough oxygen to the bloodstream, negatively affecting the body’s capacity to take on oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. That’s the main cause behind the deaths caused by this severe disease.
Having a physically active lifestyle keeps your lungs healthy as your respiratory tracts have to work harder for providing the additional oxygen that your muscles need. Working out regularly at home not only makes your muscles stronger but also strengthens your lungs and heart. Thus, in turn, you become more physically fit, and your body becomes better at getting oxygen into the bloodstream and transmitting it to the working muscles. Hence, over a period of time, you become less prone to be short of breath during exercise.
1. Breathing exercises
Breathing exercises are an important part of managing respiratory conditions as they clear up the sticky mucus from the lungs which keeps the airways open. You can do some simple breathing exercises: Breath deeply 5–10 times, before coughing strongly a couple of times, and repeat. Deep breaths are good for you as they encourage air to get into the depths of the lungs. Another thing to try is diaphragmatic breathing. For this, relax your shoulders and sit back or lie down before placing one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Breathe in through your nose for two seconds. Feel the air make its way into your abdomen, and feel your stomach move out. Your stomach should move more than your chest. Keep breathing for two seconds through pursed lips while applying pressure on your abdomen. Repeat!
2. Arm curls
Use simple objects, like hand weights, stretchy bands, or water bottles to do some arm curls at home. Hold the weights at your sides, palms facing forward. Inhale. Now elevate your arms towards your chest, keeping elbows down, and breathe out slowly. Then, slowly lower your arms back down, as you are breathing in. Try to do up to two sets with 10-12 repetitions.
3. Pushing out
Pushing out is a great exercise because it increases the capacity of your lungs to absorb oxygen. Stand in an upright position and loosen your knees. Bend down as you breathe out all the air from your lungs. Then, return to the standing position while breathing in. Fill your lungs with as much air as you can and hold your breath as long as possible. Let your arm extend over your head before lowering back to the starting position while exhaling. Repeat this exercise 3-5 times daily.
Skipping keeps your heart, lungs, and circulatory system healthy and also plays a part in improving your body’s endurance. Stand in a comfortable position while keeping your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the jump rope handles using both hands. Swing the rope over your head using your wrists. Hop over the rope quickly as it comes towards the front of your feet. Now repeat.
5. Squat jumps
While regular squats are great for your body, squat jumps give new zeal to the traditional. This is one exercise that you are definitely going to feel in your quads. Do a normal squat while standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. After completing the downward motion, jump in the air. As you land, lower your body back into the squat position. This finishes one rep. Make sure you land in a controlled position while keeping your balance steady. Make sure you keep a steady pace throughout the workout. Do two to three sets of 10 reps. This exercise can train your lungs to increase their capacity, which will help in inhaling more oxygen.
Stay healthy, stay safe :)