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Sunday, July 3, 2011

HEALTH, SWIMMING: Breathe your way to health!

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NAMITA JAIN / The Hindu / July 3, 2011.

Swimming helps improve lung capacity Photo: R. Ragu
Swimming helps improve lung capacity Photo: R. Ragu.

Did you know that asthma, bronchitis and emphysema, the three major types of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, are major causes of death the world over? As they affect one's respiratory capacity, it's essential to follow an exercise regimen that will reduce breathlessness and make one feel energised
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. The three major types of COPD are asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. These conditions are related to a reduction in breathing capacity and respiration. Asthma is the leading cause of respiratory problems the world over. It is linked to several potential causes, which include heredity, infections, stress, allergy, air pollution, cold temperatures, psychosocial and environmental factors. Bronchitis is an inflammation of the air passages leading to the lungs. It often occurs during the cold season and is usually coupled with an upper respiratory infection. Emphysema is an obstructive lung disease and occurs when lung tissue is damaged or destroyed. It is often caused by smoking.
Medications and intelligent understanding of triggers can result in tremendous physical ability in order to benefit from an exercise routine. The primary aim of exercise is to reduce breathlessness. Research indicates that as tolerance for physical exertion is built up over time appropriate exercise can help those with COPD reduce stress, sleep better and feel fitter and energised.
Consider the following exercise guidelines
Consult your physician: ..........................

Avoid exercise if:.....................................

Breathing exercises.................................

1. Diaphragmatic breathing.....................

Breathing technique:...............................

2. Pursed Lip Breathing..........................

Technique: ..............................................

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