feel better.

Exercises to help you breathe

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With COPD, the less you do, the less you’re able to do. Weak muscles need more oxygen, so you can become short of breath with simple daily tasks. Exercise can change that. The more you do to condition your muscles, the easier daily activities become. The easier they are, the more independent you can stay.

Make sure to breathe slowly during your exercises. Inhale through your nose with your mouth closed to warm and filter the air. Exhale through your mouth for twice as long as your inhale.  If you feel your breath getting fast or shallow, stop, rest and relax your body.

Walk – Just about everyone with COPD can exercise. Walking is a great choice, especially if you’re just getting started. Do it anywhere — outside, in a mall, on a treadmill. If it seems daunting, add 30 seconds or 10 yards each day. Even a slow pace will do you good. If you haven’t been active lately, check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

Bike–  A stationary bike can work well for people with COPD. You can pedal away in the privacy of your home, In a gym or rehab setting, where you can find supervision and meet people. Ask the instructor before jumping into a group cycling class, to be sure it matches your ability. As you improve, try a spin outside on a traditional bike and soak up the scenery.

Light resistance training–  Lifting light weights can help you reach a high shelf or lug a gallon of milk, or climb the stairs with more ease.  Choose hand weights, stretchy bands, or water bottles and get recommended exercises from a professional.

Exercise Your Diaphragm–  This move strengthens a key breathing muscle, the diaphragm. Lie down with your knees bent or sit in an easy chair. place one hand on your chest, one below your rib cage. Slowly inhale through your nose so that your stomach raises one hand. Exhale with pursed lips and tighten your stomach. The hand on your chest should not move. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes, three or four times a day. Breathing this way will become easy and automatic.

First in Training, NC

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