If you have chronic lung disease, practicing breathing exercises can help you control your symptoms, clear your lungs and breathe with less effort.
Below, we’ve outlined a way for you to practice controlled breathing exercises for 12 days. By following the regimen listed here, you can start slow and work your way up to using these techniques daily.
Days 1 to 4: Pursed-Lip Breathing
Pursed-lip breathing helps slow down your breathing, reduce shortness of breath, prevent airway collapse and exhale stale air from the lungs. It’s a great technique to use during physical activity to control your breathing and improve exercise tolerance.
How to do it: Close your mouth and inhale through your nose. Purse your lips like you’re whistling or blowing out a candle. Exhale through pursed lips. Breathe in a slow, controlled manner.
- Day 1: Start by inhaling for 1 second and exhaling for 2 seconds. Practice performing the exercise correctly for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Day 2: Increase your inhale to 2 seconds and your exhale to 4 seconds. Practice performing the exercise correctly for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Day 3: Today, inhale for 2 seconds and exhale for 4 seconds, but practice performing the exercise for a full 5 minutes.
- Day 4: Repeat day 3, and perform the exercise for anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes.
Days 5 to 8: Abdominal Breathing
Abdominal breathing, also called diaphragmatic breathing, helps you retrain your diaphragm to do most of the work of breathing. Many people with lung disease use their neck, shoulder and chest muscles for breathing, which places more of a strain on these muscles and tires them out quickly. Using your diaphragm to do the heavy lifting helps your lungs fill and empty.
How to do it: Lie down and relax the muscles in your upper body. Place 1 hand on your chest and 1 hand on your stomach. Breathe in through your nose and feel your stomach rise. Breathe out slowly through your mouth while pressing lightly on your stomach to release more air. The hand on your belly should move more during this exercise.
- Day 5: Start by inhaling for 1 or 2 seconds and exhaling for 2 or 4 seconds. Practice performing the exercise correctly for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Day 6: Increase your inhale to 2 or 3 seconds and your exhale to 4 or 6 seconds. Practice performing the exercise correctly for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Day 7: Today, inhale for 2 or 3 seconds and exhale for 4 or 6 seconds, but practice performing the exercise for a full 5 minutes.
- Day 8: Repeat day 3, and perform the exercise for anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes.
Days 9 to 12: Huff-Cough Technique
The huff-cough technique is used to help clear excess mucus from your airways. It’s less strenuous than a traditional cough and causes less fatigue.
How to do it: Sit in an upright position and inhale more deeply than normal. Use your stomach muscles to exhale in 3 short, forceful breaths. Say “ha, ha, ha” while exhaling, as if you were fogging up a mirror.
- Days 9 to 12: Practice performing the huff-cough technique as many times as needed per day. You may feel better after 1 cycle, or you may need 4 or 5 cycles to clear your airways of mucus.
Lung Health Institute Can Help You Breathe Easier™
At Lung Health Institute, we offer chronic lung disease treatment that can help you Breathe Easier. Cellular therapy uses your body’s own cells to potentially reduce inflammation within the lungs and slow the progression of your condition. The process is minimally invasive, minimally painful and has no downtime. Cellular therapy may be able to help you improve the quality of your life and experience fewer symptoms like shortness of breath or coughing.
If you are interested in learning more or scheduling a free consultation, contact one of our patient coordinators today.