Exercises for COPD

copd-sphereCOPD is the short definitions for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. In the United States alone COPD is the fourth leading cause of death.  This respiratory illness is primarily caused by smoking, genetics, air pollution and asthma. Secondary smoke and respiratory infections can also occur in COPD.  This disease affects your quality of life as it makes breathing incredibly difficult. However, a regular exercise program can help you manage the disease better as well as increase the quality of life.

Importance of Exercise

Pulmonary rehabilitation and exercise go hand in hand as it improves the overall strength and endurance of the respiratory muscles. during exercise the muscles in the body learn to use oxygen more efficiently which means the lungs don't have to work so hard.  Another benefit of exercise is that it boosts mental health and help you maintain a healthy lifestyle - healthy weight and blood pressure. exercise also improves blood circulation round your body which helps with your breathing

Begin an Exercise Routine

Anyone who is a COPD sufferer should practice two types of exercise - regular aerobic exercise for general strength and conditioning and exercises to help control and manage breathing. However, it is imperative you talk to your GP before undertaking any form of exercise program. Always start off slow and rest immediately if you experience shortness of breath, chest pain or feel dizzy.

Exercises to Control Breathing

Pursed lip and diaphragmatic breathing help improve your airflow and decrease shortness of breath. Pursed lip exercises are done by breathing in through your nose, pursing your lips as though you're going to whistle, and then exhaling slowing through your mouth. It should take you 2-4 times longer to exhale than it took to inhale. Separating the chest from the abdomen, the diaphragm muscle is essential for breathing. Learning to properly use and strengthen this muscle can be accomplished by following this exercise: Lay down, put one hand on your abdomen and the other on your chest, and inhale through your nose while concentrating on making your stomach move while keeping your chest still. Then exhale through pursed lips, letting your stomach fall inward while continuing to keep the upper chest as still as possible. Regular exercise can help aid you in your COPD treatment and make your quality of life better.

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