When you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic lung disease like COPD, it’s important for you to do whatever you can to improve your breathing. Medical treatments, like the Lung Health Institute’s lung restoration treatment™, can help reduce inflammation and help you Breathe Easier™. There are some simple steps you can follow at home to help improve your lung health too.
The Lung Health Institute wants you to improve your lung health in every way possible. To help you out, we put together this list of breathing exercises to help improve your lung function.
Five breathing exercises to improve pulmonary function
- Pursed-lip breathing — This is a breathing technique that helps release trapped air from your lungs to make it easier for you to breathe and relax. To do this, inhale slowly through your nose. Purse your lips like you’re going to whistle and slowly exhale through them. Do not blow or force the air. It should feel like you’re just letting the air escape.
Do this four or five times a day or as needed to help improve your breathing.
- Deep breathing — Taking controlled deep breaths can help reduce shortness of breath and release trapped air from your lungs. To do this, sit or stand with your back straight and shoulders back. Your chest should feel like it’s expanding. Take a deep breath through your nose and hold it for a few seconds. Exhale slowly through your nose. This should feel like the air is escaping, not being forced out.
Do this three or four times a day for ten minutes to help improve your breathing.
- Controlled coughing — Coughing helps remove mucus and blockage from your lungs. Coughing fits are distracting and uncomfortable, but you can actively work on unblocking your lungs with controlled coughing to avoid coughing fits. To do this, sit in a comfortable chair and take a deep breath through your mouth. Exhale through your mouth in three short bursts.
Do this a few times a day to help clear up the blockage. Stop the exercise if you feel it’s making you tired. It is a bit more stressful than other exercises, but it does help clear up your lungs, which is good for your overall ability to breathe.
- Diaphragm exercising — Your diaphragm muscle plays an important role in your breathing. Exercise this muscle to improve your breathing by lying on your back with one hand on your chest and another on your belly. Take a deep breath through your nose. You should feel your belly expand. Release air slowly through pursed lips and push on your belly while doing this to further engage the diaphragm muscle and release trapped air.
- Activity breathing — When you engage in physical activity, you can get tired more quickly if you can’t breathe well. Coordinate your pursed-lip breathing technique with activity to get the most out of your breathing. Inhale through your nose as usual and exhale through pursed lips during the stressful part of activity. For example, if you’re lifting a heavy object, exhale through pursed lips when lifting.
Breathing exercises are a great way to improve your breathing, but for more noticeable results, you should contact the Lung Health Institute. Our patient coordinators can help you discover treatment options that can help you Breathe Easier™.