For more exercises check out our YouTube Channel: Cystic Fibrosis Fitness Institute
Implementing A Body Weight Warm Up Could Help Improve Your Next Respiratory Treatment
Improving lung function, or decreasing the rate of decline in lung function, is very important when battling a pulmonary condition. Lung function is the body’s ability to breathe air (inspire) into the lungs, pass oxygen through the blood and to the body’s tissue, pull carbon dioxide out and expel it when you breathe out (exhalation). These abilities change when battling a pulmonary condition because of cardiopulmonary and respiratory restrictions within the lungs and circulatory system. This increases the difficulty and makes it harder to breathe at a normal rate. This is where at home respiratory training can become beneficial.
If you have respiratory restrictions during breathing, you will have muscular restrictions. When your muscles are tight, your posture changes, as your respiratory muscles are also postural muscles. When your body is fighting to continuously increase oxygen to the muscles, the body will primarily focus on getting air into the lungs, rather than using the respiratory muscles for posture and strength. This alteration can cause increased tightness and tone throughout your body. Have you ever woken up from a long nights sleep and felt stiff? We all have, so what do you do? You get up and stretch out a little and move and the tightness starts to subside. This happens because you were sleeping in a few positions for an increased amount of time, causing the body to increase muscle lengthen some areas and increasing tone and tension in other areas. So, when you get up, by moving around your body starts to loosen up and you are able to feel more mobile.
This is the same thing as performing a warm up before you complete a workout. You do not start a workout with some progressive warm up. You start off slow and get the body moving, increase blood flow, and then start your workout. This same approach can be used for your respiratory treatments. If you integrate exercises that focus on your breathing, ribcage and thoracic expansion integrity, you will progressively warm up the muscles that aid in respiration and posture. When you warm these muscles up and get the body on track for treatment, you will allow the body its full potential to clear mucus and get the most out of your next treatment.
Remember to think of your respiratory treatment like your workout. Pick 1-3 warm up exercises that focus on ribcage and thoracic mobility and integrate them before your next respiratory treatment. With our clients, we have observed improved mucus clearing, some have felt as if they could get more air into their lungs when they breathe in, and over time they have felt as if they could breathe easier. All the things you are looking for from respiratory treatments. Of course, everyone is different, so pick the exercises that work best for you.
Spend 3-5 minutes warming up before your treatment. This may take a few sessions, so allow your body to understand what your trying to do before you change or modify an exercise. Take your time and reassess every couple of weeks.
Below are some examples of exercises that have worked well for our clients.
90 Degree Pec Stretch Staggered Stance Intercostal, Lat. and QL Stretch
1-2 sets/20-30 sec hold 1-2 sets/20-30 sec hold
Ribcage and Thoracic Spine Exercises
90/90 Breathing Wall Supported Rib Tuck Quadruped T-Spine Rotations
1-2 minutes 1-3 sets 3-5 breaths 1-3 sets 4-8 per side
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