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4 Exercises To Help With COPD

Apr 30, 2022 | Blog

COPD can bring with it shortness of breath. Thus, it is important to perform breathing exercises to strengthen the lungs. These exercises will aid you in taking air in and dealing with shortness of breath. Keep reading to get familiar with some breathing exercises for COPD.

Breathing Exercises for COPD

The breathing exercises for COPD include:

  1. Deep Breathing
    Deep breathing exercises will help flow more fresh air into your body. Moreover, it will also help stop the air trapped in your lungs. To do this, follow these instructions:

    1. Push your elbows slightly backward to expand your chest. You can try to do this while sitting or standing, whatever position you find more comfortable.
    2. Take a deep breath to allow air into your lungs.
    3. Do not let go of the breath as long as you can.
    4. Release the breath and cough strongly.
    5. Perform this exercise repeatedly 10 times per hour throughout the day.
  2. Pursed Lip Breathing
    Breathing exercises for COPD also include pursed-lip breathing. This exercising technique will allow you to stay collected and calm by slowing your breathing.

    1. Slowly breathe in through your nose, similar to the act of smelling.
    2. Breathe in for about 2 seconds. You can take help from your abdominal muscles to allow air into your lungs.
    3. Purse your lips and exhale through them.
    4. The exhaling time should be twice the inhaling time.
    5. Breathe out with an audible, slight hissing sound.
    6. Do this exercise repeatedly.
  3. Diaphragmatic Breathing Excercise
    This breathing technique can be beneficial for your diaphragm, making it strong. COPD often leads to trapped air in the lungs. The trapped air can push on your lungs. Consequently, COPD patients start using their neck, back, and shoulder muscles instead of the diaphragm while breathing. The directions for this exercise are:

    1. Lie down on a flat surface, using support for your head.
    2. Bend your knees.
    3. Put one hand on your belly, below your ribcage. And the other on your upper chest, over your breastbone.

    4. Take a slow, deep breath with your nose, allowing air into your belly. You will feel the hand on your belly rise, whereas the one on your chest remains still.
    5. Tighten the muscles below your lips, and purse your lips for breathing out. You will feel the hand on your belly return to its original position.
    6. Repeat this exercise.
  4. Controlled Coughing
    If you cough constantly, it can lead to collapsed airways. As a result, you might find breathing difficult. Controlled coughing helps loosen the mucus and carry it through airways, avoiding collapse. The way to do this is:

    1. Sit on a chair.
    2. Place both feet on the floor and lean slightly forward.
    3. Fold your arms across your belly and slowly breathe in through your nose.
    4. Lean forwards and press your arms against your belly. Exhale.
    5. Open your mouth slightly, and cough two to three times. Your coughs should be sharp and short.
    6. Inhale gently as if you’re sniffing.
    7. Rest and repeat if needed.

    This is one of the best breathing and coughing exercises for COPD, as this technique allows you to clear your lungs of mucus.


    Breathing exercises for COPD are helpful in getting air to your lungs and clearing it of any mucus. Do you have COPD or any other lung condition? Our specialists at Pulmonary Medical Consultants can help you. Contact us at (281)357-1300 or info@lungdoctorhouston.com.


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