Pursed Lips Breathing
This type of breathing can slow down your breathing as well as improving the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. This is easier then the diaphragmatic breathing discussed next and can be used as a beginner exercise to prepare for the next exercise.
- Inhale slowly through your nose (aim for 3 seconds)
- Purse your lips as if pouting or about to blow on something.
- Breathe out as slowly as possible through pursed lips. This should take at least twice as long as it did to breathe in (aim for 5 – 6 seconds).
This type of breathing is also called “belly breathing” as it targets and strengthens the diaphragm. This can assist people struggling from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) as their diaphragms are typically weaker than healthier individuals.
- Relax your shoulders and sit back or lie down depending on what is most comfortable.
- Place on hand on your stomach and one on your chest.
- Inhale through your nose for two seconds, feeling the air travel into your abdomen and feeling your stomach expand outwards. Your stomach should move more than your chest does.
- Breathe out for two seconds through pursed lips while pressing on your stomach.
- Repeat 5 – 10x per day or in the morning and evening for additional consistency.
As adapted from: Whitworth G. (2017). Breathing Exercises to Increase Lunge Capacity.Available: https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-increase-lung-capacity. Last accessed 10th April 2020.