Effective exercises to increase lung capacity, reduce body stiffness

It is advised to allow the body to take its time to heal and hence, only indulge in basic exercises after recovering from Covid-19. But if you are not too sure about where and how to begin, here is some help from Pilates trainer Yasmin Karachiwala who had earlier shared how a set of exercises helped her to reduce body stiffness as well as increase lung capacity in the post-Covid phase.

“I started these exercises very slowly with low intensity doing only as many reps as my body felt comfortable doing. I was also constantly listening to my body, which is the most important thing any of us can do post-Covid,” she said.

She went on to demonstrate the set of exercises that helped her.

Here are the exercises

*Abdominal Breathing Diaphragmatic

*Lateral Lung Breathing

*Side Bend – Single Lung Breathing

*Cat and Cow – Spine Mobilisation

*Twist and Hold (Spinal Rotation with Breath)

*Mini Swan – Thoracic Extension

*Hip Flexor Stretch (Releasing tightness due to sitting all day)

*Butterfly Stretch – Stretch Hips, Glutes, Groin and Inner Thigh

She, however, added that her symptoms were mild. “If your symptoms are not mild or you are yet to fully recover, please consult your physician/doctor before doing any of these exercises,” she mentioned.

How early can you exercise post-Covid?

Since Covid-19 primarily affects the lungs, patients’ breathing capacity (lung capacity) decreases, and it usually takes a month for it to regain its actual capacity, post-Covid care is extremely important.

Flexibility exercises (like stretches, yoga) and strength exercises (like climbing stairs, lifting weights and working with resistance bands) can be useful. Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise regime, suggested Dr Bhavik Patel, medical operations, Bhatia Hospital Mumbai.

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