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After COVID-19

Symptoms: Feeling short of breath

It’s common to feel short of breath aft​er COVID-19. This feels like you ca​n’t get enough air into your lungs. It can happen when you’re unwell and as you recover because you can lose strength and fitness.

Shortness of breath should get better as you slowly do more activities. As you recover, try the following positions and t​echniques to help to yourself breathe easier.

Body positions to help with shortness of breath

When you’re feeling short of breath, take slow, controlled breaths in any of these positions. You can learn more about how to relax while breathing by listening to the Deep breathing audio track or going to Stress management: Breathing exercises for relaxation.

High side lying

  1. Lie on your side.
  2. Use a pillow to support your head and neck.
  3. Bend your knees slightly.
High side lying  

Forward lean sitting onto a table

  1. Sit at a table.
  2. Lean forward from your waist with your head and neck resting on a pillow and your arms resting on the table. (You can also try this without a pillow.)
Forward lean sitting onto a table  

Forward lean sitting with no table in front

  1. Sit on a chair.
  2. Lean forward to rest your arms on your lap or the armrests of the chair.
Forward lean sitting with no table in front  

Forward lean standing

  1. Stand up.
  2. Lean forward onto a windowsill or other stable surface.
Forward lean standing  

Standing with back support

  1. While standing, lean your back against a wall and put your hands by your side.
  2. Put your feet about 30 cm (1 foot) away from the wall and slightly apart.
Standing with back support  

Ways to breathe when you’re short of breath

Go to the following links for breathing exercises (such as pursed-lip breathing and belly breathing) you can try to help with shortness of breath:

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