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Beneficial Breathing Exercises for People with COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to two types of lung conditions that affect a person’s ability to breathe—emphysema and bronchitis. In many cases, WebMD says people with COPD tend to suffer from both, which “reduce the amount of oxygen exchange in the lungs and thicken the lining of the airways.”

This can lead to wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and accumulation of mucus within the lungs. As COPD is progressive, these symptoms tend to worsen over time, but regularly practicing these five breathing exercises can help to manage them.

1. Pursed Lip Breathing

According to the Cleveland Clinic, pursed lip breathing is a valuable exercise to help release trapped air in the lungs, reduce the effort required for breathing, relieve shortness of breath, and promote relaxation.

To do this exercise, the source says to first relax the muscles in the neck and shoulders. Then, inhale slowly through the nose while counting to two. Purse the lips as if you were going to blow out candles, then exhale slowly through the lips, this time counting to four.

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