Breathing Exercises For Seniors

As people grow older, they face various health conditions. And to deal with these, they often go to great lengths. But did you know that even something as simple as proper breathing can help you improve your health? Home health care provider Amavi guides you through great exercises for that purpose. 

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Understanding The Effects Of Improper Breathing

Breathing is one of those things that you often don’t think about. After all, you do it naturally. But as you age, your breathing rhythm changes significantly. That can often be due to various things, such as weakening lungs or the onset of medical conditions.

In turn, those changes in your breathing can significantly affect your overall health. For instance, irregular breathing means that your body is not getting enough oxygen. That lack of oxygen has a significant impact on all your bodily functions. 

Beyond that, irregular breathing also affects your mental state. You feel more tired and irritable. It can also make it difficult for you to think correctly. Ultimately, this can harm your mental health in the long run. 

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The Benefits That Trained Breathing Can Bring

While the above changes are an inevitable part of aging, you can still mitigate them by training your breathing again. These exercises offer various benefits that seniors like you will find crucial. 

It Strengthens Your Lungs

Like physical exercises that strengthen your entire body, breathing exercises are great for improving your respiratory health. Regular breathing exercises help your lungs get rid of stale air. This air builds up over time, making it harder for your diaphragm to come in contact with the incoming air and draw oxygen. 

Additionally, the exercises help strengthen the muscles surrounding your airway and the passageway itself. That allows it to take in more air and build lung capacity. That is vital since it increases your oxygen reserves for various activities. 

It Improves Heart Health

Another fascinating effect of frequent breathing exercises is that they can also help strengthen your heart. As you already know, your breathing and blood circulation are interconnected. The rhythmic motions that breathing exercises induce in your lungs also influence your heartbeat. It helps regulate the beats and keep them within the right range. That lowers your blood pressure. 

It Relieves Stress

When you experience strong emotions, your breathing becomes a lot more labored. That also elevates your blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart ailments. These breathing exercises are a great way to take your mind off stressful events and relax, returning your breathing to normal.

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The Types Of Breathing Exercises Seniors Can Try Out

As it turns out, seniors have many different types of breathing exercises to choose from. Each of these exercises has its specific uses. You can then combine these types into a routine that best suit you. 

Complete Breathing

In complete breathing, you stay in a straight-up position. You then exhale and relax your stomach muscles. From that position, you inhale and let your abdomen fill with air. Hold that for a moment and then exhale. Pull your belly to let all the air out. 

Humming Breathing

This follows the same way as the above complete breathing. However, you hum along as you exhale. The sound helps you make your breathing more rhythmic. As such, it is a good option to help you focus on a single object or task. 

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Some older people might sometimes need to lie on their backs for extended periods, such as when they are under bed rest. This breathing technique is handy for that specific situation. Start by placing your hand on your navel. Place your other hand above it on your stomach. Focus on breathing from your diaphragm. You know you are doing this right if the hand on your navel rises before the one above it. 

Pursed Lip Breathing

Begin this type of breathing by relaxing your head, neck, and shoulders. Close your mouth and inhale through your nose only. Now, exhale by pursing your lips tightly and expelling the air through them. Here, make your exhale longer than your inhale. Simply let the air out naturally and do not force your breathing. The technique is effective for relieving anxiety or if you have difficulty breathing due to conditions like a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 

Chinese Breathing

Tai chi is a type of martial arts exercise that is well known for improving flexibility and breathing. That makes it very popular among older people. However, if you can’t go for a complete program, you can use this simple exercise derived from it. 

Start in a standing position with your arms on your side. Take three short breaths. During the first breath, raise your arms to the front. In the second breath, sway them to the side. Raise your arms above your head on the third. Slowly exhale while returning your arms to the starting position. 

Buteyko Breathing

The Buteyko technique might be more suitable if you have a respiratory condition. Make sure that you are in a quiet place where you can relax. Start in a comfortable position. Slowly take shallow breaths through your nose. You might want to ask your home health care provider whether the technique would suit your condition. 

Paced Breathing

In the above types of breathing exercises, you simply breathe in and out in a more random manner. With paced breathing, you focus on how fast and how often you breathe. It is a great technique for reducing stress and anxiety.

Start by doing the above pursed lip breathing technique. Breathe out until your lungs feel empty. Breathe in for a count of four. Note that you can decide on the pace of your count. Hold your breath for another count of four and exhale, also with a count of four. Here, empty your lungs before starting again. 

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Creating Your Breathing Routines

While these exercises are great, just doing them as they are might not bring the maximum benefits for you. Instead, what you want to do is to build a routine around them. The idea here is that, by incorporating them into your daily activities, you can acclimate to these breathing techniques better. 

You can start by incorporating these techniques into your morning routines. These would work great to set your mood and make you feel more invigorated. You can also do the routines before you sleep to help you ease your mind off the day’s events. That ensures a good night’s rest. 

When you go under home health care with Amavi, we can help you maintain these routines. Our caregivers will keep track of your exercises and guide you through them. Sign up for consultations today and get the best home health care for your needs. 


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