Living with a chronic lung condition like asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) can be very difficult and comes with many challenges. The American Lung Association says that breathing exercises can make your lungs more efficient, can help get rid of the stale air in your lungs and increase oxygen levels. In this blog, we will share five breathing exercises that can help those with chronic lung conditions breathe easier.

Diaphragmic Breathing

  • Doing this exercise will help fill and empty your lungs.
    • Start by breathing in through your nose and notice how your belly is filling with air
    • Place your hands on your stomach and watch your belly rise and fall
    • Breathe out through your mouth and try to make it twice as long as your inhale was

Pursed Lip Breathing

  • Pursed lip breathing can help release air that is trapped in the lungs, help you relax, and help with shortness of breath.
    • Take a deep breath through your nose and count to two
    • Purse your lips
    • Breathe out slowly while counting to four

Huff Cough

  • This exercise can help you cough up mucus and will be especially helpful for individuals with COPD
    • Get in a comfortable position Inhale through your mouth a little deeper than normal
    • Blow out the air in three breaths using your stomach muscles, do this while making the sounds “ha, ha, ha”

Buteyko Breathing

  • The Buteyko breathing technique can help improve asthma symptoms and prevent over-breathing and hyperventilation which can lead to low carbon dioxide levels.
    • Take a small breath and hold for 3-5 seconds Exhale through your nose
    • Pinch your nose with your pointer finger and thumb
    • Hold your breath for 3-5 seconds Breathe for 10 seconds, repeat this cycle several times

Yoga Breathing Exercises

  • Doing yoga breathing exercises can help you breathe better, improve breath control and relieve stress Some examples of these yoga exercises include:
    • Savasana
    • Forward and side bend
    • Cobra
    • Camel

Perfecting these breathing exercises will take a lot of practice and consistency. Living with a chronic lung condition can be challenging but with these five exercises, you can help relieve some symptoms and breathe better.