These four types of exercise can help you if you have COPD. How much you focus on each type depends on the COPD exercise program your health care provider suggests for you.
Stretching exercises lengthen your muscles, increasing your flexibility. Stretching can also help prepare your muscles for other types of exercise, decreasing your chance of injury.
Aerobic exercises use large muscle groups to move at a steady, rhythmic pace. This type of exercise works your heart and lungs, improving their endurance. This helps your body use oxygen more efficiently and, with time, can improve your breathing. Walking and using a stationary bike are two good aerobic exercises if you have COPD.
Strengthening exercises involve tightening muscles until they begin to tire. When you do this for the upper body, it can help increase the strength of your breathing muscles.
Breathing exercises for COPD help you strengthen breathing muscles, get more oxygen, and breathe with less effort. Here are two examples of breathing exercises you can begin practicing. Work up to 5 to 10 minutes, three to four times a day.