5 Pulmonary Rehabilitation Tips You Can Apply at Home

5 Pulmonary Rehabilitation Tips You Can Apply at Home

11 August 2022

Since the coronavirus (COVID-19) threat isn’t entirely over, people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are advised to keep a distance both physically and socially. There are a few things you can do at home to take advantage of pulmonary rehabilitation for COPD, even if you have to restrict your visits to your pulmonary rehab centre to lower the danger of face-to-face transmission.

Check out these self-care exercises and techniques and give them a go in the convenience of your own home. –

#1 – Practicing Belly Breathing

Breathing from the belly, also known as diaphragmatic breathing, allows you to breathe more air with less effort. Research has shown that it can help calm stress responses, which is particularly useful with anxiety. Here’s what you need to do to practice belly breathing –

● Lie down comfortably or sit upright on a chair.
● Keep one hand on your chest while keeping the other one on your stomach.
● Take a breath slowly through the nose and push it out using your belly while keeping the chest flat.
● Count two while breathing in, and count till four while breathing out.

You can try this breathing style whenever you engage in strenuous activities or feel emotionally charged and stressed.

#2 – Doing Stretching Exercises

Your ability to move may be hindered by tight joints and achy muscles. In order to enhance your balance, posture, and flexibility, you must incorporate stretching exercises into your everyday routine. You’ll notice an improvement in your breathing as your posture gets better.

Head tilts are great for understanding where you may be holding tension. You can unwind the tension in your neck, face, and shoulder areas by slowly and consciously nodding down or side to side.

Here’s what you need to do –

● Sit in a comfortable position while keeping your shoulders back. Take deep and slow breaths.
● When you breathe out, lower your chin.
● While breathing in, move your head slowly to the neutral position.
● Move your head from one side to another, naturally and gently, with your breath.
● Bring your head back to its neutral position and practice the whole thing again.

You can try doing shoulder rolls when you finish your head tilts. You have to stand upright with your hands at your sides. Take a breath in and roll your shoulders slowly in the forward direction. When you’re done, relax. Take another breath and roll your shoulders in the other direction. Practice doing this stretching exercise a couple of times to feel better.

#3 – Staying Focused and Motivated

Because you’re staying most of the time indoors, it’s not unnatural that your daily schedule is a little messy. However, that shouldn’t worry you. There isn’t a set time for you to exercise. The best way to maintain a habit is by setting small goals, and when you achieve them, they can act as the factors motivating you to continue doing it the next day.

Try to incorporate exercises throughout your entire day. Here are a few things you can try –

● Whenever you get out of bed, make it a habit to engage in a good stretching session with a yawn to start the day in the right mood.
● Stretch your arms and legs when your binge-watching shows.
● Invite your loved ones to join you for a workout. It not only benefits you but also your family’s overall health.
● Reward yourself whenever you reach your fitness goals. It might be a little indulgence, a long-awaited movie, or a warm bath.

#4–Dealing with Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath isn’t a major threat if you’re able to control your breathing. However, if it continues for long, you should stop what you’re doing and take a break. If you experience any of the following signs, stop your exercise and get in touch with your pulmonary rehab team –

● Increased severity of breathlessness
● Chest discomfort or pain
● Tightness, heaviness, or burning in your chest
● Unusual pain near your jaw, back, neck, shoulders, or joints
● Feeling extremely tired
● Nausea or dizziness

Also check breathing exercises for COPD

#5 – Following Instructions

Your pulmonary rehab team will have given you strict guidelines to follow, so make sure you keep them in mind at all times. You must also watch for signs of overexertion, which is common among people with COPD.

Here are three things you should keep in mind –

● Keep your body hydrated by drinking water and de-caffeinated fluids throughout the day.
● Pace yourself, and refrain from pushing yourself too hard.
● Keep a rescue inhaler close to you and use it whenever necessary.

Wrapping Up

Even if you don’t feel comfortable stepping outdoors for treatment, you might think about participating in virtual sessions to stop your illness from getting worse. Excellent cardiopulmonary rehabilitation programmes are available online, and they can guide you through your food and exercise routines. Ask your doctor about pulmonary rehabilitation; they can direct you to a programme that will work for you.

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