The official blog of the Lung Institute.
If you have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), then no one needs to tell you about the troubles of breathing. You have to work for every breath, an action that most people do involuntarily. COPD causes a long list of symptoms outside of shortness of breath, you can also experience excessive coughing, wheezing, upper respiratory infections, pneumonia and bronchitis to name just a few. Unfortunately, if untreated, the disease will progress quickly, especially if you continue to smoke cigarettes. Eventually, people see their lung function drop below 80 percent and have to live with supplemental oxygen.
There is currently no cure for COPD, but there are ways to help slow the progression of COPD and even see some increased lung function. One of the ways, is to regularly work some COPD exercise into your daily routine. Here are a few exercises that may help with COPD:
- Yoga, Pilates, or Stretching Exercises: By stretching the muscles and increasing flexibility, the lungs will naturally increase their capacity, and the body will be better prepared for more strenuous forms of exercise. Check out Healthline for more information on benefits of Yoga for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- Beginner Aerobics: Join a gym and try a beginner aerobics classes! The rhythmic pace of aerobics will increase the endurance of the lungs, and will promote social interaction.
- Deep Breathing Exercises: There are multiple types of breathing exercises available. Pick one that is challenging and practice every day. If it gets too intense, stop and rest, but always finish the exercise cycle.
The lungs are not muscles like your heart, but you can still strengthen your lungs through proper exercise. The most predominant exercise for improving lung health is aerobics. These exercises improve your lung’s endurance and forces you to use the entire organ. Your lungs will learn how to utilize oxygen more efficiently, so everyday your will get more bang for every breath. A 40-minute ride on the stationary bike, or a brisk walk a few times a week, greatly increases your lung’s ability to effectively supply the heart with oxygen-rich blood.
Relaxing can help too
When people have a large amount of stress in their daily life, they tend to suffer from anxiety-induced hyperventilation. Over-breathing can lead to low levels of carbon dioxide in your blood, which in turn can lead to a high acidity level in your blood. It can also place extreme stress on your kidneys, the organs responsible for regulating the carbon dioxide in your blood
Simply telling someone to relax usually doesn’t help the situation, but certain activities can decrease stress and anxiety. Allowing your mind to get lost in something other than the stresses of your life can greatly help reduce said stress. Watching a movie, reading a book and listening to music can all help manage anxiety. Additionally, yoga and meditation can put you in a relaxed state of mind, which encourages slow and deep breathing.
If you have questions about better breathing, consult your doctor first. If you or a loved one is interested in stem cell therapy for lung disease, then contact us at the Lung Institute to learn more or call (800) 729-3065 today.