It can be hard to find the time to exercise, especially if that includes a drive to the gym. Thankfully, there are many exercises you can do in the comfort of your home.
For COPD patients, loosening up the muscles around the neck, chest and upper back may offer more room for the lungs to expand, which could make breathing easier.
- Raise your arms as you breathe in, and lower them slowly as you breathe out.
- Sit in a straight-backed chair with your arms outstretched. Breathe in, and then slowly breathe out as you turn your trunk and arms to the left. Rest and then repeat on the other side.
- While seated, lift one leg up as you breathe in, then lower it, breathing out. Repeat with the other leg.
Regular exercise can increase the strength and function of your muscles. When your muscles are strong, they’re efficient and use less oxygen, reducing the amount of air you need to breathe in and out for a given exercise.
- Arm curls – hold the weights at your sides, palms forward. Breathe in. Now lift toward your chest, keeping elbows down and exhaling slowly. Slowly lower your arms back down as you breathe in.
- Forward arm raises – hold the weights down at your sides, palms facing in. Inhale, then exhale slowly as you raise both arms straight out front to shoulder height. Inhale as you slowly lower your arms.
- Calf raises – stand 6-12 inches behind a sturdy chair with your feet hip-width apart. Hold on for balance. Inhale. Now lift up high on your toes and exhale slowly. Hold the raised position briefly. Lower your heels back to the ground, inhaling slowly.
- Leg Extensions - sit in a chair that supports your back. Inhale. Exhale slowly as you stretch one leg as straight as you can, without locking your knee. Breathe in as you slowly lower your foot back to the floor. Do one set with your right leg, then one set with your left.
Having a list of exercises you can do without leaving your home will help you to stay motivated to get some exercise every day. It’s always important to consult your doctor before starting an exercise routine.