Inspiratory muscle training and COPD treatment

Patients who suffer from COPD benefit greatly from inspiratory muscle training. This particular method of inspiratory muscle training is extremely good for this patient group because their inspiratory muscles are weaker than normal. The primary cause of COPD arises from smoking, air pollution, asthma, respiratory infections and secondary smoke.

For people who live with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including asthma, bronchitis or any other breathing problem it is important they know how to strengthen their breathing muscles in order to breathe properly and with ease. A good way of overcoming breathing difficulties is in the form of breathing exercises to help these muscles. This is particularly important if you are a runner, tennis performer or cyclist as these all require high volumes of stamina.

Importance of Exercise for COPD sufferers

An important part of pulmonary rehabilitation is exercise. Inspiratory muscle training exercises improve the overall strength of the respiratory muscles. When exercising the muscles train and learn to utilise oxygen much more efficiently resulting in the breathing muscles not having to work so hard. Regular exercise is not only good for physical health but it also boosts your mental health, helps you maintain a healthy weight and improves blood circulation round your body - all positive influences on your breathing.

Be disciplined and begin an exercise regime

Athletes, tennis performers, cyclists and anyone else who suffers from COPD should religiously practice two different types of exercise. The first exercise should be aerobic exercise and this should be a regular routine as aerobic exercise is great for strength and conditioning. The second form of exercise that should be in your regime is equally as important and are exercises that help you to control and correctly manage your breathing. For anyone that suffers from COPD, it is imperative medical advice is sought before undertaking any kind of fitness regime. By taking medical advice you will be well informed as to which exercises you can and can’t undertake.

Which exercises should I do to control my breathing

To improve breathing airflow and decrease shortness of breath, breathing through pursed lips and applying diaphragmatic techniques is most effective. When you find it difficult to breathe, these techniques should be used. Pursed lips exercises are done by breathing in through your nose then pursing your lips as though you are going to whistle then slowly exhaling breath through your mouth.  This technique will probably take 3-4 times longer to exhale than it takes to inhale.

Another effective exercise that can help with your breathing difficulties requires a little more patience. Lay down and place one hand across your abdomen and the other hand on your chest, slowly inhale through your nose while at the same time concentrating on keeping your stomach moving and keeping your chest still. When you have reached this point, slowly exhale through pursed lips, allowing your stomach to fall inward while continuing to keep your upper chest as still as you can.

If you are involved in sports activity, be it high stamina sports like Tennis and Cycling, overall tennis performance can be improved with some simple breathing techniques. These exercises are effective for COPD treatment as well as other breathing problems. If you enjoy walking then simple inspiratory muscle training exercises can make your walk that much more enjoyable.

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