Breathing Techniques to Help With COPD

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Whether you are lightly exercising or are going about regular activities, COPD means you may find yourself short of breath. When that happens, stop and use these techniques to reset and get your breathing back under control. When you feel like you can't catch your breath, it's natural to tense your shoulders. Before you begin, focus on relaxing them.

Next take a few moments to practice pursed lip breathing, close your lips and breathe in through your nose. Try to Inhale for 2 seconds. You don't have to breathe deeply a normal breath will do. Breathing through your nose helps deliver warmed, moisturized air to your lungs.

Next purse your lips and breathe out for twice as long as you breathed in. If you inhaled for 2 seconds, exhale for 4, but don't force the air out, go slowly. This helps your body absorb oxygen more efficiently. After a few minutes, you should feel back to normal.

To strengthen your diaphragm, practice diaphragmatic breathing regularly. Place one hand on your belly and one on your chest. As you inhale, keep your chest still and let your belly expand. As you breathe out, tighten your abdominal muscles. Your hand should feel your belly go back down as you exhale.

You can do this laying down or sitting up, aim to do it 5 to 10 minutes at a time several times a day. This exercise will make your breathing easier over time.