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Most of us could improve our breathing but our tendency to breathe too rapidly and too shallow becomes exaggerated when a person suffers an asthma attack. If you suffer from asthma try to resist urge to gasp for breath during an attack, and focus on remaining calm and breathing out as fully as you can. Your inhale will follow naturally. Also concentrate on breathing slowly. This is much easier to do if you practiced when you were not having an attack.
Try following exercises when you are feeling well. If you are healthy they will improve your breathing technique. If you suffer from asthma they will help you exhale correctly during an asthma attack.
1. Hum as you exhale slowly, trying to prolong breath without straining. Then repeat, but this time make a buzzing sound. Notice when sound changes and when you become breathless. Stop breathing for a moment then breathe in gently. If you need to gasp for breath you are trying too hard.
2. Breathe in, purse your lips then breathe out in a series of little puffs. Work against pressure of your lips and cheeks, contracting abdomen not chest as you blow.
3. Blow out an imaginary candle. Again your abdomen not your chest should contract as you blow. Your attempts to blow out candle should be fairly quiet. You should be breathing in naturally at end of blow. Repeat as many times as is comfortable but stop if you begin to feel breathless.
We take over ten thousand breaths a day, drawing in about half a liter of air with each one. You can improve this essential act with just a few simple exercises. Try above and learn to breathe properly.
David Kane is the author of ‘101 Top Tips for Asthma Relief’, which gives more ways to control asthma. This and other resources designed to help asthma sufferers monitor and control their condition are available at http://www.asthma-relieftips.com