Exercises for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, include walking, light weightlifting, leg extensions and water aerobics, according to WebMD. Breathing exercises, such as pursed lips breathing and diaphragmatic breathing, can help increase diaphragm strength for better breathing, states the COPD Foundation.
Stretching and performing activities that improve cardiovascular health can help improve the severity of COPD symptoms, explains Cleveland Clinic. Stationary bicycling, jogging, swimming, skating and other low-stress physical activities help strengthen the respiratory system while toning and gaining muscle mass. As patients increase their muscle tone and endurance level, they may experience less fatigue and shortness of breath in the long-term. Learning how to breathe properly while exercising offers better results.
Most commonly caused by cigarette smoking, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease affects the bronchial tubes and airways, notes the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Damage to the air sacs can weaken and constrict the airways, resulting in less airflow. COPD includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis and progresses slowly. Although there is no cure available for COPD, patients can deal with the symptoms of the disease through exercise regimens and lifestyle changes, such as weight loss and healthier eating habits, that provide management of the disease.