COPD can transform daily life into a struggle. The good news is that there are breathing exercises that may help people better manage COPD symptoms and enhance quality of life. These exercises help strengthen the abdominal muscles and diaphragm, so individuals with COPD can take in more oxygen and expend less effort into breathing.
Practice these strategies for 5-10 minutes several times a day.
- Lie down on your back on a firm bed or the floor with the knees bent. Support the knees and head with pillows.
- Put one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest.
- Breathe deeply through your nose to a count of three. Use your hands to make sure that your belly rises while your chest remains still.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles, then breathe out through slightly pursed lips to the count of six. Check that the chest remains still.
- Repeat for five to ten minutes as tolerated.
This technique can be used in conjunction with diaphragmatic breathing to help clear mucus from the airways.
- Hold a tissue and sit upright in a comfortable chair. Lean your head slightly forward. Place both feet firmly on the floor.
- Use diaphragmatic breathing to breathe in deeply. Try to hold your breath for three seconds.
- Put one hand on the abdomen underneath your ribs. Press it lightly in and up toward the diaphragm while you cough once. This should help to push the mucus up into your throat. Cough once more to clear the mucus from your throat.
- Spit out the mucus into the tissue.
- Rest for a moment or two and repeat as needed. Be sure to meticulously wash your hands when you’re finished.
Practice this method so you can use it when exercising or other physical activities like climbing stairs or lifting groceries.
- Sit down in a chair and relax your neck and shoulders.
- Take a normal breath in through the nose with the mouth closed.
- Purse your lips as if you were about to whistle, then breathe out slowly and gently for four seconds through your pursed lips. If four seconds seems too long, try to breathe out for twice as long as you inhale.
- Repeat for a minute or so, as long as it’s comfortable.
At Advanced Home Health Care, a trusted provider of home care and memory care in Burlington and the surrounding areas, our care professionals are thoroughly trained and experienced in assisting those with COPD with exercising, along with a full range of in-home care services. Reach out to us at 800.791.7785 to discover more about how we can help you manage COPD symptoms.