5 Breathing Exercises for COPD


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a group of progressive lung diseases that block airflow and make it difficult to breathe. The common conditions that makeup COPD are Emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The damage caused to the lungs from COPD can’t be reversed. Shortness of breath, chest tightness, large amounts of mucus that collect in the lungs, wheezing, or a chronic cough are some of the common symptoms of COPD. With time these symptoms can get worse. However, regular breathing exercises can help you exert yourself less during daily activities. This can make you feel more energetic overall. The 5 common breathing exercises for COPD are given below.

Deep breathing

  1. To allow your chest to expand more fully, sit, or stand with your elbows slightly back.
  2. Inhale a deep breath through your nose.
  3. Hold your breath and count to 5.
  4. Exhale your breath slowly until you feel that you inhaled air has been fully released.

This common type of breathing exercise prevents air from getting trapped in the lungs. This can cause you to feel short of breathing and as a result, you can inhale more fresh air.

Huff cough

  1. Make yourself comfortable in a chair. Inhale a deep breath through your mouth, slightly deeper than a normal breath.
  2. Blow out the inhaled air in 3 even breaths while making the sounds “ha, ha, ha”. You can imagine that you are blowing the air a mirror to cause it to steam.

Mucus can build up more easily into your lungs when you have COPD. This breathing exercise helps you to cough up mucus effectively without making you feel too tired.

Coordinated breathing

  1. Before beginning the exercise, inhale through your nose.
  2. Purse your lips and breathe out through your nose during the strenuous part of the exercise.

There are chances for you to hold your breath due to anxiety when you feel short of breathing. Coordinating breathing with the above-mentioned two steps can prevent this from occurring.

Pursed lip breathing

  1. Take a deep breath through your nose with your mouth closed and count to 2. You should follow this pattern by repeating in your head “inhale, 1, 2”. It doesn’t mean that the breath has to be deep, a typical inhale will do.
  2. Purse your lips.
  3. Breath out slowly and count to 4 while continuing to keep your lips pursed. You should not force the air out, instead, you can slowly breathe out through your mouth.

Diaphragmatic breathing

  1. Make yourself comfortable with your shoulders relaxed; put a hand on your chest and the other hand on your stomach.
  2. Take a deep breath for 2 seconds, feeling your stomach move outward.
  3. Exhale slowly by pursing your lips and pressing lightly on your stomach.

4, Repeat the steps as you are able to.

Final verdict

Many of the COPD patients are benefited from these breathing exercises and they experience greater involvement in exercise capacity than those patients who don’t. One of the potential benefits is improved quality of life.

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