How to Exercise with Pneumonia

Pneumonia is a serious and fairly prevalent disease that affects the normal functioning of the lungs. Of the 2 million people that contract this disease annually in the United States, 45,000 succumb to its effects. Those who are lucky to emerge from the attack have to undergo a rather painful recovery period, with the possibilities of secondary infections rife. When talking about exercising with pneumonia, the post surgery treatment of the severe cases of pneumonia is the main focus. However, even without surgery and while still on medication, a patient can derive immense benefits from a well structured breathing program.

It is important for pneumonia patients to have regular breathing exercises as this enhances the recovery of the alveoli. Whether or not the alveoli are part of the infected part of the lungs, the large amounts of air ensures that the healing body cells get adequate oxygen. Deep breathing is also therapeutic in the sense that it injects a positive feeling, a major component for a healthy body. Therefore, breathing exercising with pneumonia not only hastens the recovery but also helps in keeping subsequent infections at bay.

One of the annoying effects of a pneumonia condition is incessant coughing that is usually accompanied by phlegm. As uncomfortable as this might be, it is the best way of getting rid of the causative agents. You can use an exercising with pneumonia technique to induce the removal of all the excess phlegm at once. Cover the plexus area of the chest with both hands as you prepare to take a deep cough. As you cough, ensure that adequate resistance is provided on this area and much of the phlegm will be discarded.

Another exercising with pneumonia method is referred to as belly breathing. It is a simple exercise that can be done even on the sick bed. The patient lies on the back and places hands on the belly. Air is breathed through the nose in an amount such that the hands can be seen being raised by the belly. Breathe out through the mouth and the reverse should be observed of the hands. By doing this exercise several times a day, the pneumonia condition improves.

The stomach and chest breathing or the diaphragm breathing exercise is similar, only that the chest is incorporated in the exercise. One hand is placed on the stomach and the other one on the chest to feel the breathing. More keenness is required here as the stomach rise and fall has to be more than that of the chest. This exercising with pneumonia can also be done several times each day and the recovery period may just be shortened.

More complicated exercising with pneumonia techniques have been designed to hasten the recovery process. The pursed-lip breathing method is meant to replace the shallow weak breaths that hamper quick recovery in most pneumonia patients. Breathe through the nose while the neck and shoulder muscles are relaxed. After counting to three, purse the lips and breathe out gently on a count of six. With several such exercises, the short breaths will eventually disappear.

Then there is the HUFF-cough breathing method called so because it is a combination of coughing and breathing. Here, the pursed-lip and the diaphragm methods are combined during breathing. After a normal inhalation, the torso muscles are tightened and air forced out of the lungs in a huff.

Exercising with pneumonia targets the diaphragm, chest and stomach muscle groups. As the diaphragm is the core of all breathing exercises, you should consult a therapist to be guided on how to make the breathing exercises as effective as possible. With little guidance and practice, the patient will be able to manage the pneumonia condition, even on the recovery bed.

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