Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of lung diseases, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis that make it increasingly difficult for sufferers to breathe. However, if you or a loved one suffers from COPD, there are some breathing exercises that can help strengthen the diaphragm and abdominal muscles, allowing more air to move into and out of the lungs without tiring your chest muscles. An example of one of these exercises is as follows:
- Lie on your back on a flat surface with knees bent. Use a pillow under your knees and head for support if needed.
- Place one hand on your stomach and one on your chest to allow you to feel your diaphragm as you breathe.
- Inhale deeply through your nose for a count of 3. Your stomach and lower ribs should rise, but your chest should remain still.
- Tighten your stomach muscles and exhale for a count of 6 through your lips. The hand on your chest should remain still.
- Repeat steps 1 – 4 for 5 to 10 minutes.
Aunt Ann’s Home Care works with COPD patients to assist with breathing exercises and symptom management at home. Contact Aunt Ann’s in San Francisco (415) 974-3530 or the Peninsula (650) 757-2000 to find out how our home care services can benefit individuals with COPD.