About Respiratory Disease

A few facts and figures relating to respiratory disease which helps us understand what respiratory disease is, and how common it is too.

What is Respiratory Disease?

‘Respiratory Disease’ is the term for diseases of the respiratory system. These diseases include those of the lung, pleural cavity, bronchial tubes, trachea, upper respiratory tract and of the nerves and muscles used in breathing.

Respiratory diseases range from mild and self-limiting diseases such as the common cold, to life-threatening diseases such as bacterial pneumonia or pulmonary embolism.

Respiratory Diseases are a common and important cause of illness and death.

• One in seven people in the UK are affected by some form of chronic lung disease, including most commonly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.
• In the US, people suffer 1 billion colds per year.
• Respiratory disease is responsible for over 10% of hospitalizations and over 16% of deaths in Canada.

The study of respiratory disease is known as pulmonology.

A doctor who specializes in respiratory disease is known as a pulmonologist, a chest medicine specialist, a respiratory medicine specialist, a respirologist or a thoracic medicine specialist.

Did you now that Inspiratory Muscle Training with POWERbreathe can help improve breathing muscle strength and stamina in people with respiratory disease, such as COPD and asthma:

• Reduced breathlessness & restored breathing power
• Increased inspiratory muscle strength by up to 45%
• Improved quality of life in people with major debilitating conditions
• Enhanced exercise tolerance in people with major debilitating conditions
• Reduced consumption of medication of up to 79% in asthma patients
• Reduced ß2-agonists consumption by up to 79% in patients with asthma
• Showed an improvement in asthma symptoms by up to 75% in 3 weeks
• Improvements in inspiratory muscle strength of 55% in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
• Improvements in endurance of 86% in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
• Improvements in quality of life by 21% in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
• Improvements in dyspnoea by 36% in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Read more about how inspiratory muscle training with POWERbreathe could help relieve your asthma symptoms, symptoms of COPD and other medical conditions where dyspnoea may be present or there is a decline in respiratory function.

If however you’re already using POWERbreathe, then please leave a comment here or on the POWERbreathe Forum as we’d love to hear from you. You can also read more about POWERbreathe and Inspiratory Muscle Training in our Breathing Problems blog category.

Inspiratory muscle training for strength

Our bodies respond to exercise in a variety of ways to increase efficiency. One key factor that contributes to you exercising less is the efficiency of your respiratory health. Regular exercise can improve your fitness by strengthening these respiratory muscles as these are the muscles that aid you in breathing. Not only will regular exercise strengthen your muscles, your lungs will also change to increase your endurance and energy production.

Benefits of inspiratory muscle training

Exercising to increase the strength of your respiratory muscles is beneficiary to you as you are then able to increase your respiratory volumes. it is these volumes that measure the amount of air you can inhale and exhale, as well as the residual amount which remains in your lungs.

Target Heart Zone

Any type of respiratory muscle strength training depends on how you exercising within your target heart zone. For those of you not familiar with heart zones, this blog on the importance of heart rate monitors will help. Typically the heart rate zone is when your heart beats at 50 to 75 percent of its maximum rate.


Like everything if you have been inactive with your training your muscles will not be as flexible. You need to slowly ease back into training and get your body used to the demands that you are placing on it. When coming back to training after a long period of absence you should always start at the lower end of your heart target zone. The heart and the lungs will work together to build the strength in these organs, something which will take some time and effort. Overtime you will become stronger which will mean you can increase the intensity of your workout and get back towards the higher end of your heart rate zone.


Reaching this intensity will not be easy. However, to help you will need to incorporate aerobic activity into your workout. You can maintain your level of fitness by exercising at least three to five times per week. This regular pattern of exercise will also help you strengthen and condition the main large muscles of your body. These muscles will require more oxygen therefore increasing the strength that is required by the respiratory system. The correct intensity for your workout includes activity such as cycling or running.

As with any strength and conditioning exercise, inspiratory muscle training is a key ingredient. Using an inspiratory muscle trainer can help increase your performance in sports and fitness as well as help you to breathe with ease.



Increase your lung efficiency with exercise

Inspiratory Muscle TrainingExercising on a regular basis is critical for fitness. Regular aerobic exercise is essential for cardiovascular fitness as the exercise reduces the amount of work the lungs need to do. However, you cannot increase your lung capacity with regular exercise and if you suffer from lung disorders such as COPD, asthma or emphysema regular exercise will not improve lung function.

Regular physical activity will help strengthen your limb muscles  and help to reduce shortness of breath symptoms and increase your stamina.

Function of the respiratory system

The respiratory system is made up of the nose, throat, windpipe and lungs.  This whole system works together to provide your body with life nourishing air in order for you to survive, as well as removing the waste gasses from your body.  To breathe correctly the airways must be open and clear of inflammation and large amounts of mucus.

Do you have asthma

You do if you suffer from shortness of breath, wheezing and constant coughing. These are all triggered by physical exertion or exercise..  When your airways constrict, extra mucus is produced and this is when the above symptoms will occur.

This doesn’t mean to say an asthma sufferer cannot enjoy running or jogging it just means they should choose indoor track venues rather than running outdoors as indoor their lungs will not breathe in any air pollutants.  Another important point to remember is warm up and cool down. Correct warm up and cool down exercises can also reduce the risk of exercise induced asthma.

Perfect exercise for asthma sufferers include swimming and yoga. Yoga is particularly good as it concentrates on breathing techniques, stretching and meditation.

Do you suffer from Emphysema?

Anyone who has this respiratory condition should take up walking as this is the best form of exercise for emphysema sufferers. Emphysema is a permanent form of COPD and is mainly found in people who are heavy smokers. If you do suffer from emphysema then two or three 15 minute walks per day are advisable. Strength training exercises can help build arm and leg muscles which may ease breathing difficulty while improving endurance. Breathing and balance techniques practiced may also benefit emphysema patients and help with their COPD treatment.