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Breathing Exercises - Types, Advantages, and Techniques

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Breathing trouble is commonly faced by many young and older people. Read this article to know more about how to tackle this problem.

Written by

Dr. Lochana .k

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Vishnu Prasad Dangi

Published At March 14, 2022
Reviewed AtApril 13, 2024

Why Are Breathing Exercises Needed?

Healthy living is judged by the proper breathing of fresh air. In a situation followed by pollution from industries and vehicles, getting pure air is something very demanding from the world. Only remote villages rich in agriculture are still blessed with high-quality air. Deforestation is done at high rates. So, there is difficulty in maintaining a pollution-free environment. There are sarcastic advertisements that say we would buy oxygen for money. This might be true if the breathing problems persist generation after generation. To keep a body fit and healthy, it has to be prepared with specific exercises. Keeping a muscle in the inertia of rest would lead to degeneration of that particular muscle. Only by continuous activation, a muscle can be made healthier. Athletes get trained by working on their muscles over and over. Similarly, we have to activate the muscles of the body by doing stretching exercises so we can inhale good air.

What Are the Advantages of Breathing Good Air?

The advantages of breathing air are a part that has to be discussed deeply. Fresh air helps to improve the process of digestion. An improved digestion process will aid in better absorption. The blood pressure rates will be normalized. It will act as a backbone for increasing immune functions. Once immune power increases, the body will become resistant to more infections. Abnormal heart rates will be normalized in the case of continuous breathing exercises. The obesity rate will be greatly reduced in people who practice good habits. Fresh air gives a sense of happiness and is a good mood-enhancing agent. It is a very good cleanser of the lungs. When you breathe good air, there is an increased possibility of making your brain sharper. It helps to maintain memory cells, and also it can improve self-confidence and quick decision power.

Will Breathing Techniques Help COVID-19?

If the patients suffer from COVID-19, the disease caused by a coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), breathing exercises or techniques are recommended to help them get air right into their lung bases. This breathing exercise will not cure COVID-19 disease. It may help ease some of the respiratory symptoms. The typical respiratory symptoms associated with coronavirus are dyspnea or shortness of breath. COVID-19 patients must go on an exercise regime. Proper breathing exercises also help maintain SpO2 (oxygen saturation) levels and prevent emergency conditions.

Breathing exercises types

What Are the Types of Breathing Exercises?

There are various breathing exercises, and the following are some of the most commonly practiced types of breathing exercises.

  • Lion's Breathing: When it comes to exercise and breathing, yoga is the best solution. In yogic and meditative practices, this particular exercise is known as Simhasana in the Sanskrit language. Steps to do this exercise are:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position. You might cross your legs and sit back on your heels.

  2. It is good if you press your palms on your knees with your fingers.

  3. Inhale very deeply through your nostrils and open your eyes wide.

  4. Open your mouth as much as you can and stick out your tongue.

  5. Make a loud and long "ha" sound.

  6. You can put your attention between your eyebrows or somewhere between the tip of your nose.

  7. Do this repeatedly for two or three times.

lion's breathing

  • Pursed Lip Breathing: This is one of the simple breathing techniques. This method can make you decrease your pace of breathing. It can be practiced at any time. It is especially helpful during effortful activities like bending, lifting, or climbing stairs. The steps involved in practicing this type of breathing are as follows:

  1. Begin by sitting in a comfortable place and start relaxing your neck and shoulders.

  2. Keep your mouth closed tightly, and start to inhale slowly only through your nostrils by counting 2.

  3. After that, purse your lips depicting like you are going to whistle.

  4. Finally, exhale slowly by blowing the air you inhaled for a count of 4 through your pursed lips. It means the ratio of inhaling and whizzing (exhale) time is 2:4.

The other methods of breathing exercises are belly breathing, breath focus, alternate nostril breathing, equal breathing, resonant breathing, and the Sitali breathing method. Bhramari and Anulom and Vilom pranayam are most popular exercises. The best time for practicing these exercises is early in the morning, on an empty stomach between 4 to 6 AM.

What Are the Advantages of Breathing Exercises During Stress?

The way a person breathes in different situations affects their whole body and influences their mood in those situations. It will decrease mental tension during stressful conditions. Compared to the other methods of stress relief, breathing exercises are quite easy to learn and can be quickly done at any place where a person experiences stress. There is also a negligible need for any special materials or equipment to practice them. There are so many breathing exercises available and you can choose different exercises based on your comfort and likeliness. It is important to note that breathing exercises have been scientifically proven to reduce stress hormone levels that result in decreased heart rate and blood pressure during stress. Therefore breathing exercises can be very useful during stress.

How Does a Daily Ritual of Breathing Exercise Along With Meditation Influence Your Life Positively?

Though breathing exercises have a variety of benefits on physical well-being, they also have a positive influence tremendously on the mental health of the people practicing them. Some of the best qualities acquired by practicing breathing exercises are mindfulness, increased memory power, calmness, and confidence. These individuals have been found to be more productive than those who do not practice breathing exercises and meditation. These individuals are said to be more confident in making the right decisions, even under stressful conditions.

What Are the Advantages of Breathing Exercises in Sleep Habits?

This extremely competitive era demands today's generation so much multitasking, hard work, and sacrificing sleep as a daily practice. People work for extra hours and have an irregular work-sleep routine. This has made this generation to get increasingly affected by insomnia and stress disorders. Due to irregular sleep cycles, your body might be confused about when and where to sleep and might not obey your command when you ask for sleep. Practicing breathing exercises before sleep can help you in overcoming insomnia; also, it has been proven to provide a good quality sleep. It can provide a calmness to all the chaos faced during the whole day. This can improve the mental well-being and productivity of the individual during his or her working hours. Breathing exercise devices are available online and they come with a adjustable volume measurement.

For further assistance, you can get help from our online platform.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Breathing Techniques Work the Best?

Close the lips and take a few short, brief breaths while inhaling through the nose (exhale quickly ). For approximately ten seconds, try it. Breathe normally for 15–30 seconds throughout this pause. Repeat several times. Breathing promotes lung expansion and improves the supply and absorption of oxygen.


What Five Breathing Methods Are There?

Try incorporating one of these breathing exercises daily if individuals are feeling stressed or know the triggers. A few minutes may make a significant impact. However, even a brief amount of time can have a significant impact.
- 4-7-8 breathing.
- Box breathing.
- Diaphragmatic breathing.
- Alternate nostril breathing.
- Pursed lip breathing.


How Do I Stop Anxious Breathing?

- Breathing exercises for stress. Let your breath travel as far into the abdomen as possible without straining it.
- Practice taking in and exhaling via the nose and mouth.
- Gently and often inhale.
- If this helps, softly let it run out while once more counting from 1 to 5.


How Can I Manage My Breathing Better?

- Grasp the tummy with one hand and the chest with the other.
- One may relax and concentrate on breathing by closing the eyes.
- Close the mouth and inhale slowly through the nose.
- Exhale the breath via the nose.
- Make the breathing slow, calm, and smooth, and try to exert as little effort as possible.


Which Exercises Strengthen the Lungs?

Exercise the heart and lungs with aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, or jumping rope to ensure they work properly. Exercises that improve core strength, such as weightlifting and Pilates, also help to correct posture and tone the muscles that control breathing.


How Can I Assess My Lung Capacity at Home?

- Position the pointer.
- The mouthpiece should be connected to the meter.
- Take a deep breath and sit or stand up as straight as you can.
- The lips should be securely sealed around the mouthpiece.
- For one or two seconds, exhale as quickly and forcefully as possible.
- The gauge's number should be noted.
- Two more times, repeat these actions.


What Causes Lung Damage?

Lung cancer is mostly caused by cigarette smoking. However, the risk of contracting the illness can also rise when someone breathes secondhand smoke. Additionally, substances including uranium, beryllium, vinyl chloride, and arsenic, as well as asbestos, radon gas, air pollution, and these gasses' byproducts, radon, are all associated with lung illness.


Can You Breathe Incorrectly?

On the inhale, instead of the diaphragm being drawn down and the chest expanding, the chest contracts, and the diaphragm rises. This shallow breathing pattern might aggravate respiratory difficulties and potentially lead to other serious health consequences.


What Is Breathing Technique Ideal for Sleep?

While counting to four, discreetly inhale through the nose while maintaining a shut. Keep the breath held for seven counts. Then, count to eight while gently exhaling through the lips. Before switching back to regular breathing, repeat this cycle around six times.


What’s the Average Lung Age?

By age 20 to 25 years old, the lungs are fully developed. It's typical for lung function to diminish with aging beyond the age of 35 gradually. As people age, breathing may be more challenging. Our ability to breathe deeply seems to get worse with age. However, a persistent sickness or severe condition like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), COVID-19, or cancer can also cause our lung capacity to diminish.
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Dr. Lochana .k
Dr. Lochana .k



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