COPD-Exercises for Easier Breathing
Your COPD makes it hard to breathe. But there are exercises you can do to help move air in and out of your lungs, so you can feel better. Doing these exercises regularly will give you the most benefit. But they’re not hard.
First, let’s look at pursed-lip breathing:
This exercise helps you breathe more air out so that your next breath can be deeper. You do it by breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth while almost closing your lips. So … breathe in through your nose for about 2 seconds … Then breathe out through your mouth for 4 to 6 seconds. Keep your lips almost closed as you breathe out. Repeat this about 8 to 10 times.
The next exercise is called breathing with your diaphragm, or belly breathing.
This exercise helps your lungs expand so they take in more air. Your diaphragm is the large muscle that separates your lungs from your belly. Start by lying on your back, or prop yourself up on several pillows.
Put one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. When you breathe in, push your belly out as far as possible. You should feel the hand on your belly move out, while the hand on your chest doesn’t move.
Then, when you breathe out, you should feel the hand on your belly move in.
You can also do this type of breathing while sitting or standing. Practice this breathing 2 or 3 times a day, or just once a day for about 20 minutes at a time.
The last exercise is breathing while bending forward.
This helps your diaphragm move more easily. You can use it while you exercise, or while resting. And you can do it while standing or sitting. You just bend forward slightly at the waist, but keep your back straight. If you’re standing, you may want to put your hands on the edge of a table or back of a chair. Do these exercises every day, and use them when you feel more out of breath than usual.
Current as of: May 23, 2016
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD – Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD – Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD – Family Medicine