Living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can make every day a challenge. However, there are breathing exercises that can help ease COPD symptoms and improve quality of life. These exercises help strengthen the abdominal muscles and diaphragm so those with COPD can take in a higher level of oxygen and put less effort into breathing.
Do these exercises five to ten minutes several times every day to ease COPD symptoms.
- Lie on your back on a firm bed or the floor with the knees bent. Support your head and knees with pillows.
- Place one hand on your stomach and the other on the chest.
- Breathe deeply through your nose to the count of three. Use your hands to check that your stomach rises while your chest stays still.
- 4Tighten your abdominal muscles, and then breathe out through slightly pursed lips to the count of six. Confirm 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. Bend the head slightly forward. Place your feet firmly on the floor.
- Use diaphragmatic breathing to inhale deeply. Try to hold your breath for three seconds.
- Put one hand on your belly underneath your ribs. Press it gently in and up toward the diaphragm while you cough once. This should help move the mucus up into your throat. Cough once more to clear the mucus from your throat.
- Spit the mucus into the tissue.
- Rest for a moment or two and repeat as necessary. Be sure to thoroughly wash your hands when you are finished.
Practice this technique so you can use it when exercising or performing physical activity like climbing stairs or carrying groceries.
- Sit down in a chair and relax your shoulders and neck.
- 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 feels comfortable.
At Endeavor In-Home Care, our professional caregivers are thoroughly trained and experienced in helping those with COPD with exercising, along with a full range of in-home care services. Contact us online or at 480-498-2324 to learn how we can help ease COPD symptoms with at home care in Phoenix and the surrounding areas.