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Overcoming Long COVID: Essential Breathing Exercises

Have you been feeling tired, short of breath, or struggling with lingering symptoms long after recovering from COVID-19?

You may be experiencing what is known as long COVID.

Thankfully, there are simple breathing exercises that can help improve your lung function and overall wellbeing.

In this article, we will explore some essential breathing techniques that can aid in overcoming the challenges of long COVID.

Let’s dive in and learn how to breathe our way to better health!

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Resources for COVID-19 rehabilitation include:

  • Breathing exercises
  • Physical training
  • Rehabilitation interventions

These resources aim to:

  • Improve functional exercise capacity
  • Address difficulty breathing
  • Enhance quality of life for individuals with long COVID or post-COVID conditions.

Managing fatigue post-COVID-19 recovery involves:

  • Pacing oneself
  • Taking rest breaks
  • Gradually increasing activity levels.

To cope with shortness of breath after COVID-19, individuals can:

  • Practice deep breathing exercises
  • Use relaxation techniques
  • Employ strategies to improve lung function and endurance.

Working with a physical therapist or occupational therapist to design a personalized therapy plan is important to address specific symptoms and impacts of long COVID.


  • Strength exercises
  • Endurance training
  • Stress management techniques

Can help individuals enhance their recovery process, improve their overall quality of life, and regain their pre-COVID level of physical and mental well-being.

Benefits of Breathing Exercises


Before beginning breathing exercises, it’s important to consult a physical therapist or healthcare provider. This is especially crucial if there’s a history of injury, dizziness, or recent hospitalization. Safety measures for breathing exercises include avoiding overexertion, paying attention to the body’s signals, and stopping if feeling lightheaded or in pain.

For individuals recovering from Covid-19 symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath, or loss of taste or smell, it’s advised to progress exercises gradually, monitor for any worsening symptoms, and seek guidance from a healthcare professional for suitable therapy. To ensure safety and effectiveness during rehabilitation interventions aimed at enhancing functional exercise capacity and quality of life, it’s important to follow proper breathing techniques, create a comfortable environment, and practice mindfulness.

Diaphragmatic Breathing (Belly Breathing)

Phase 1: Deep Breathing While On Your Back

Deep breathing while lying on your back has many benefits for your well-being. It can increase lung capacity, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve sleep quality.

This type of physical therapy can be helpful for those with long covid or post-covid symptoms. To do deep breathing on your back correctly, focus on using your diaphragm to fully expand your lungs for better oxygen intake.

A physical therapist can guide you through customized breathing exercises to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Incorporating humming or relaxation techniques during these exercises can reduce stress and aid in recovery.

Deep breathing on your back is commonly used in rehabilitation to address shortness of breath and fatigue, which can positively impact your endurance and mood.

Phase 2: Deep Breathing While on Your Stomach

Phase 2 involves deep breathing while laying on your stomach. This can help improve lung function and increase oxygen flow in the body. By lying in this position, individuals can fully expand their lungs for better air exchange and oxygen use.

Techniques for deep breathing include inhaling deeply through the nose, feeling the belly rise, briefly holding the breath, and exhaling slowly through the mouth. These steps help deepen each breath and engage the diaphragm effectively.

Using these methods with proper body positioning enhances the exercise benefits and strengthens respiratory muscles. Incorporating relaxation techniques during deep breathing can reduce stress, calm the nervous system, and improve mood.

These deep breathing exercises can improve lung capacity, endurance, and quality of life. This is especially beneficial for individuals recovering from long covid with symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath, and brain fog.

Phase 3: Deep Breathing While Sitting

Deep breathing while sitting is a good way to help your lungs and get more oxygen. Expand your diaphragm to let your lungs fill up and exchange oxygen better. You can make deep breathing even better by inhaling through your nose and exhaling slowly through your mouth.

Relaxation techniques like humming or picturing calm scenes can also help reduce stress and make your breaths deeper. Try doing deep breathing for 5-10 minutes, 2-3 times a day.

If you’ve had long Covid and feel tired, struggle to breathe, or have foggy thinking, deep breathing can make your lungs work better, reduce stress, and help you recover.

Work with a physical therapist or a rehabilitation specialist when doing these exercises. It can improve how well you can exercise, your quality of life, and your mood after dealing with post-Covid symptoms.

Phase 4: Deep Breathing While Standing

Deep breathing while standing can help individuals recovering from long covid in several ways:

  • It improves lung function and capacity.
  • Reduces stress and anxiety.
  • Aids in overall well-being.

When deep breathing techniques are used regularly:

  • Respiratory muscles become stronger.
  • Oxygen flow to the brain increases.
  • The body’s ability to cope with fatigue and other symptoms improves.

To make deep breathing while standing more effective:

  • Engage the diaphragm.
  • Inhale deeply through the nose.
  • Exhale slowly through the mouth.

Adding mindfulness techniques can help individuals stay present and focused, enhancing mood and reducing stress. Integrating these exercises into a daily routine can positively impact the recovery process, improve exercise capacity, and enhance overall quality of life.

Yawn to a Smile

Transitioning from a yawn to a smile is beneficial for individuals experiencing long covid and fatigue. By inhaling slowly through the nose as if preparing to yawn, then exhaling with a gentle smile, deep breathing is promoted. This simple exercise improves oxygen flow, lung function, and reduces stress and anxiety, leading to a better mood and quality of life. Adding “Yawn to a Smile” to a daily routine enhances exercise capacity, decreases shortness of breath, and boosts endurance.

This technique, proven superior to typical care, aids in the recovery from covid-19-related respiratory issues. Practicing deep breathing and relaxation exercises like this helps manage symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain, and brain fog, supporting long-term recovery.


Humming is a unique breathing exercise. It offers various benefits for individuals recovering from long covid and struggling with fatigue.

When practiced, humming can help improve lung function. It does this by engaging the diaphragm and strengthening respiratory muscles. This physical engagement aids in increasing oxygen flow. This is beneficial for recovery from covid-19 and improving endurance levels.

Humming also has a positive impact on the nervous system. It promotes relaxation and reduces stress levels. The calming effect of this therapy contributes to mood enhancement and overall quality of life for individuals post-covid.

Additionally, humming can aid in reducing symptoms of shortness of breath and promoting a sense of well-being. By incorporating humming into rehabilitation interventions, individuals can experience superior outcomes in functional exercise capacity and overall recovery.

The simplicity and effectiveness of humming make it a common and valuable addition to breathing exercises for individuals undergoing physical therapy or rehabilitation programs.

COVID-19 Rehabilitation Resources

Breathing exercises can help manage fatigue after experiencing long Covid. They enhance lung function, increase oxygen intake, and strengthen the diaphragm and respiratory muscles. This boosts endurance and reduces exercise intolerance in post-Covid individuals. Deep breathing techniques can gradually improve physical capacity, combat fatigue, and weakness.

To relieve joint and muscle pain from long Covid, flexibility and strength exercises provided by physical or occupational therapists are beneficial. These exercises increase muscle strength, improve flexibility, and reduce joint pain, aiding in recovery and enhancing physical function.

Boosting mood and mental health during long Covid recovery is vital. The virus affects the nervous system and overall well-being. Relaxation techniques, cognitive strategies, and a positive mindset help cope with symptoms like brain fog and mood changes. Therapies targeting mental health support, such as brain stimulation exercises, improve quality of life and overall well-being during recovery.

Managing fatigue after Covid

How to treat long Covid fatigue

Strategies for treating long Covid fatigue are:

  • Incorporating breathing exercises into daily routine.
  • These exercises can help improve lung function, reduce stress, and increase energy levels.
  • Rehabilitation interventions, such as physical therapy focusing on functional exercise capacity, have shown to be beneficial.
  • Pacing oneself, taking rest breaks, and gradually increasing physical activity can help manage fatigue symptoms effectively.
  • Deep breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, and specific physical exercises can alleviate fatigue symptoms and improve quality of life in those recovering from long Covid.
  • By following these therapy and exercise regimens, individuals can work towards better energy levels and reduced fatigue impact post-Covid recovery.

Get more support

Managing fatigue after Covid can be made easier with the help of rehabilitation interventions and therapy.

  • Individuals can benefit from personalized physical exercises to enhance their endurance and functional exercise capacity.
  • Consulting with a physical therapist or occupational therapist can assist in creating a tailored rehabilitation plan to address fatigue.
  • Deep breathing exercises can boost lung function, reduce stress, and aid in overall recovery from post-Covid fatigue.
  • Engaging in strength and flexibility exercises can help alleviate joint pain and muscle discomfort often experienced during fatigue.
  • Gradually increasing activity levels and using relaxation techniques can effectively manage post-Covid fatigue symptoms.

To cope with shortness of breath after Covid:

  • Incorporate various breathing exercises into your daily routine.
  • Diaphragmatic breathing, “Yawn to a Smile,” and “Humming” techniques can enhance lung function and oxygen intake, helping alleviate shortness of breath.
  • Respiratory rehabilitation-focused physical therapy sessions can improve breathing capacity and endurance.
  • Monitor symptoms like dizziness or exercise intolerance during physical activities to gauge the impact of interventions.

By following these strategies and seeking professional guidance, individuals can effectively manage shortness of breath post-Covid and enhance their quality of life.

Coping with shortness of breath after Covid

Get more support

Feeling overwhelmed with long covid symptoms? Need more help to manage them? Various rehabilitation interventions can assist you. Here are some options:

  • Physical therapy
  • Breathing exercises
  • Other forms of therapy

These interventions target symptoms like fatigue, joint pain, brain fog, and shortness of breath.

Incorporating these exercises and therapies into your routine can improve:

  • Exercise capacity
  • Quality of life
  • Overall well-being

Get guidance from a physical therapist or healthcare provider. They can create a plan tailored to your needs and goals.

With the right strategies and support, you can:

  • Make significant progress
  • Regain strength and endurance

Remember, you’re not alone. There are resources and services available to support you at every step of your recovery journey.

Tips for brain fog, memory or thinking problems

What does brain fog feel like?

Symptoms of brain fog can include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Feeling mentally sluggish

It can impact a person’s ability to think clearly and concentrate. This makes it challenging to focus on tasks, remember information, and make decisions.

The sensation of brain fog feels like a haze or cloud over one’s thoughts, unlike feeling simply tired or forgetful. It creates a sense of confusion and disorientation that goes beyond typical fatigue.

Strategies like deep breathing exercises, regular physical activity, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep can help alleviate symptoms of brain fog and improve cognitive function.

Engaging in rehabilitation interventions focusing on cognitive therapy, relaxation techniques, and mental exercises can aid in recovery from brain fog associated with long covid or other conditions.

Why does Covid cause brain fog?

Covid-19 can cause brain fog. It affects the nervous system, leading to cognitive issues and memory problems. This can impact breathing and lung function. The severity of brain fog varies among patients with Covid-19. Rehabilitation methods like physical therapy and breathing exercises can help in recovery. Managing fatigue and brain fog is possible with strategies like pacing, resting, and gradual activity increase. Exercises for joint pain, strength, and stress relief are also helpful.

These approaches improve life quality for those dealing with long Covid.

Relieving joint and muscle pain from long Covid

Want to get fit and healthy?

If you want to get fitter and healthier, consider these tips:

Incorporate healthy habits into your daily routine.

Seek guidance on starting your wellness journey.

Think about physical rehabilitation interventions for long COVID and fatigue.

Deep breathing exercises are crucial for rehabilitation therapy:

Enhance lung function.

Reduce stress.

Improve sleep quality.

Techniques like “Yawn to a Smile” and “Humming” can aid in recovery.

Increase functional exercise capacity.

Working with a physical therapist can help:

Improve quality of life.

Boost endurance.

Pacing yourself, taking breaks, and gradually increasing activity can manage symptoms.

Brain fog, joint pain, and fatigue can be dealt with.

Combine deep breathing exercises and tailored rehab for better recovery.

Enhance overall health and well-being.

Boosting your mood and mental health

Get mental health support

Seeking mental health support during recovery from long COVID and fatigue is important. It’s critical to have therapy to improve mood and reduce stress.

Understanding how symptoms like brain fog, joint pain, and fatigue affect overall well-being is key. Working with a physical or occupational therapist can help individuals learn strategies to manage symptoms and improve exercise capacity.

Breathing exercises, such as deep breathing to engage the diaphragm, can help lung function and reduce breathing difficulties. Relaxation techniques like humming can reduce stress levels and improve quality of life.

Recognizing the connection between physical and mental health is important. Both aspects should be prioritized for optimal recovery. Seek support and resources for mental health as you work towards full recovery from long COVID.

Loss of taste or smell during long Covid

How long does loss of taste or smell last?

Loss of taste or smell is a common Covid-19 symptom. It can last long in people with long Covid. How long it lasts depends on factors like the initial infection’s severity, individual health, and olfactory system damage extent.

Physical therapy and rehab can help with recovery. Deep breathing exercises are one example. They focus on improving lung function, capacity, and overall respiratory health. This can boost endurance, exercise capacity, and quality of life. Managing stress through relaxation and balancing physical activities can also help with symptoms like taste or smell loss.

Working with a physical therapist or rehab specialist can provide tailored exercises and therapies. These can address specific needs and support recovery from lingering symptoms.


What are some essential breathing exercises for overcoming Long COVID?

Some essential breathing exercises for overcoming Long COVID include diaphragmatic breathing, pursed lip breathing, and paced breathing. These exercises can help improve lung function, increase oxygen levels, and reduce shortness of breath.

How can breathing exercises help in recovery from Long COVID?

Breathing exercises can help in recovery from Long COVID by increasing lung capacity, reducing shortness of breath, and promoting relaxation. Examples include diaphragmatic breathing, pursed lip breathing, and deep belly breathing.

Are there specific breathing techniques that are more effective for Long COVID patients?

Deep breathing exercises like diaphragmatic breathing and pursed lip breathing can help Long COVID patients improve lung function and manage symptoms. Practicing these techniques regularly can increase oxygen levels and reduce breathlessness.

How often should one practice breathing exercises to see improvement in Long COVID symptoms?

It is recommended to practice breathing exercises for Long COVID symptoms at least 3-4 times a day for 5-10 minutes each session to see improvement. Practicing deep breathing, pursed lip breathing, and diaphragmatic breathing can be beneficial.

Can breathing exercises be combined with other forms of therapy for better results in managing Long COVID?

Yes, breathing exercises can be combined with other forms of therapy such as physical therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and occupational therapy to better manage Long COVID symptoms. These combined therapies can provide a holistic approach to improving overall well-being and functioning.