Breathing Exercises


If you have COPD, you should do breathing exercises

When done correctly, these exercises can help to keep you from getting short of breath during activity.

Purse-lip Breathing Exercise

Purse-lip breathing is one of the best ways to control shortness of breath. Use it when you start to feel short of breath or when it becomes harder to do activities.

1. Sit in a chair with your head supported

2. Breathe in slowly through your nose until your lungs are filled up.

3. Don't hold your breath. Purse (pucker) your lips as if you were going to whistle. Then let the air out slowly.

4. Take twice as long to breathe out as you did to breathe in. A good rule is to breathe in for four seconds and breathe out for six to eight seconds.

5. Repeat.

Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercises (Belly Breathing)

Belly breathing helps the diaphragm (muscle at the bottom of your lungs) move. This lets you take more air into your lungs and makes breathing easier.


1. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Put a pillow under your head. After you do this exercise for some time, you can try it sitting in a chair.

2. Put the palm of one hand on your belly. Put the palm of your other hand on your chest.

3. Breathe in slowly through your nose. Your belly should push out against your hand. Your chest should not move.

4. Tighten your belly muscles. Breathe out slowly through your mouth. Keep your lips pursed. You should feel your belly go down.

If you feel dizzy as you do this, breathe more slowly. Start by doing this exercise for five to 10 minutes, three or four times a day. You can slowly increase the amount of time.

Coughing Exercise

Coughing is also important to keep your lungs clear. Follow the steps below to clear the mucus from your lungs.

1. Sit comfortably in a chair

2. Lean your head forward slightly

3. Place both feet firmly on the ground

4. Breathe in slowly and deeply

5. Try to hold your breath for three seconds

6. Keep your mouth slightly open and cough twice

7. Take a breath and repeat two to four times