What we call correct breathing is actually diaphragmatic breathing. During correct breathing, the breath is taken in through the nose and out through the mouth. During inhalation, our rib cage expands to the sides, and by placing our hands on our ribs, we can feel that we expand during inhalation, and that we evacuate the air inside during exhalation. When we breathe with the diaphragm in this way, the air does not stay only in the upper lobes of the lungs, but goes down to the lower shows. In this way, oxygen is transported to the lower lobes.
The benefits of increased oxygen in the blood to the immune system with proper breathing?
The most important requirement for the immune system is oxygen. With the increase in oxygen in the blood, the hematopoietic (stem cell) response improves and T cell production increases. T cells have a distinct relationship with oxygen and modulate their function in response to environmental oxygen levels. Regulatory T cells maintain immune system homeostasis (balance). In this way, we can improve our immunity by breathing correctly.
With proper breathing, is more oxygen uptake in the body?
We can say yes to this, to explain why; To breathe properly, we must breathe through the nose, not the mouth. In this way, the air passes through a narrower line and moves slowly. In this way, the inspiratory (breathing) time is increased and better ventilation (ventilation) is provided in the alveoli.
In addition, thanks to the nitric oxide secreted when breathing through the nose, the air is softened and moistened and goes to the lungs, so that oxygen easily penetrates the alveoli.
The benefits of increasing the amount of oxygen the body needs and its effect on the immune system?
As the amount of oxygen in the body decreases and the need for oxygen increases during exercise, a temporary hypoxia (decrease of oxygen in the tissues) occurs. The body uses its immune system to develop inflammation in response to hypoxia. We can explain inflammation simply as the body’s response to antigen or tissue damage. Thanks to this response of the immune system, the immune system cells are activated. In other words, by exercising, we increase the body’s need for oxygen and activate our immune system.
Do breathing exercises have any effect on stress control?
Yes, when we take a correct position (with our torso sitting upright and our hands are relaxed) and do breathing exercises, we create a stress-reducing control system on our body, especially when we take deep breaths and keep our exhalation time longer than our inhalation time. Our hormonal and nervous system activates the body in a relaxing way, activating the parasympathetic system – that is, the system where we feel at rest – where danger is removed. When we feel stress, our sympathetic system, which is the opposite of this system, is active. In fact, this sympathetic system is a flight-or-fight response. When the activity of the sympathetic system, which is life-saving for us, takes a long time, it turns into anxiety, starts to harm our body, and if it continues for a long time, this situation also lowers the immune system. In the extraordinary conditions we are living right now, we can put ourselves under anxiety and stress by constantly following the cases and news on social media, experiencing economic concerns, and spending more time at home than our normal routine. In this sense, breathing exercises are very important for our body. We need to take time for ourselves and allocate time to these exercises for our health.
How can we combine exercise and breathing exercises?
Correct breathing is very important in any type of exercise. Cardio-Pulminar While doing exercise, our need for oxygen increases and we start breathing frequently to close this gap. A trained person, on the other hand, takes deep breaths because the exercise leaf has increased his lung capacity, and the breathing frequency is less and the respiratory muscles are less tired, and this provides a great advantage for sending oxygen to the cells in a single respiration. For this reason, it is important to introduce regular exercise into our lives, to increase our lung capacity and to create the right breathing pattern.
Forgetting to breathe or not breathing incorrectly in exercises that force us, such as strength training, can harm us. Holding your breath during exercise is particularly harmful to cardiovascular health and can lead to bad results. For this reason, it is useful to transform the breaths into patterns. Although it varies according to the type of training, we can create a pattern between our movements such as exhale when you have difficulty and breathe in the next movement.
In yoga and pilates exercises, in order to activate the respiratory muscles and increase their flexibility, it is useful to create a breathing pattern such as inhale when you hold your chest open and exhale when you keep your chest closed.
Are there any methods to be applied to remove the secretion in the lungs during and after Covid-19 treatment?
Yes there are and these techniques are used all over the world; percussion, postural drainage, vibration, huffing, coughing techniques and active breathing patterns are behind the methods used. These techniques are practiced by respiratory physiotherapists.
Finally, is there anything you want to say about breathing?
Thank you very much for the questions. The need for oxygen in all metabolic processes for our body is quite high, and the more we breathe correctly in our daily life, the better our quality of life, so I recommend everyone to do breathing exercises that will increase our lung capacity. This is very important for us both to maintain our health and to contribute to the healing process when we have a disease that affects our lungs such as covid-19.