COPD Breathing Exercises

When you have the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), breathing exercises are an important way to maintain quality of life, expand exercise capacity, and keep calm during exacerbations.

With COPD, breathing can be a challenge for the following reasons:

  • Airway mucus overproduction
  • chronic cough
  • Inflammation of the airways leading to wheezing
  • Stale air trapped in the lungs
  • Airway mucus overproduction
  • chronic cough
  • Inflammation of the airways leading to wheezing
  • Stale air trapped in the lungs

These challenges can be influenced by a variety of factors, such as air pollutants, pollen, dust, viruses, smoke, and other irritating particles in the air. When your breathing becomes more difficult and you are waiting for your rescue medication to start, taking advantage of COPD breathing exercises can help you get immediate relief.

Breathing Exercises COPD - Control Your Breathing

  1. Pout for breath

Breathing with pursed lips is an excellent way to slow down your breathing and release the air trapped in your lungs. This breathing exercise is great for COPD because it prevents the small airways in your lungs from collapsing prematurely and helps you expel excess air from your lungs. This will give you more room to take in the air on your next breath.

Heres how to do it:

Step 1. Inhale through your nose for 1-2 seconds.

Step 2. Pout your lips like a whistle.

Step 3. Exhale slowly in a controlled manner over 5-7 seconds.

Step 4. Repeat until your breathing is comfortable again.

  1. Diaphragmatic breathing

Diaphragm breathing is another way to optimize the proper use of the respiratory system for breathing. When you feel short of breath, your body begins to compensate for the difficulty by using the other breathing muscles in your back, shoulders, and chest. This reduces breathing efficiency and ultimately makes your shortness of breath worse.

Diaphragmatic breathing helps you use the correct muscles to optimize your body's natural breathing pattern.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1. Put your hands on the upper part of your abdomen

Step 2. Inhale normally through the nose

Step 3. Make sure your stomach moves outward with each breath

Step 4. Keep your shoulders and chest as neutral as possible (do not move up and down)

Step 5. Exhale through pursed lips

Step 6: Make sure your stomach moves inward as you exhale

  1. Coordinate breathing

Coordinated breathing is a great way to breathe while exercising or doing vigorous activity. The basic idea is to coordinate your breathing with intervals of tension and relaxation during exercise.

While you're doing the active part of the exercise (standing while lifting a dumbbell or squatting); exhale through pursed lips throughout the movement. Then, when you're in the relaxed part of the workout (lowering the dumbbells or lowering yourself on a squat), inhale through your nose.

  1. Take short breaths

Holding your breath can provide many benefits, such as mental focus, calmness, overcoming stress, and resilience. However, COPD patients will need to modify this exercise to achieve only about 5 seconds of breath-hold between breaths.

The process of breath-holding is almost the same as pursed-lip breathing, except that between inhalation and exhalation, you will hold your breath for about 5 seconds.

Here is the process:

Step 1. Inhale through your nose for 1-2 seconds

Step 2. After inhaling completely, hold your breath for 1-5 seconds

Step 3. Pout your lips like a whistle

Step 4. Exhale slowly in a controlled manner over 5-7 seconds

Step 5. Repeat until your breathing is comfortable again

  1. cough cough

A gasping cough is a technique to help clear excess mucus from the lungs during exacerbations of COPD. This is a great way to get enough air behind the mucus in your lungs, so there's plenty of motivation to get it out.

These five COPD breathing exercises and techniques will help you regain control of your breathing and help you feel calm as your condition worsens. By practicing these exercises at least once a day, you'll be ready to use them when you need them most.


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