Seniors suffering from COPD, or any lung disease that requires the use of a portable oxygen concentrator, can benefit from consistent breathing exercises.
The best breathing exercises for seniors are easy to follow, easy to repeat, and comfortable; while some breathing exercises for seniors living with COPD might be too stressful to maintain. If you or your loved one becomes dizzy at any point during these breathing exercises, we recommend stopping immediately and contacting a doctor for more information.
Speak to the doctor who prescribed oxygen therapy and ask for their input.
The Best Posture for Senior Breathing Exercises
First things first, you have to ensure you have the right posture for breathing exercises. Seniors should pay close attention to their posture to avoid injuries. It’s important to make sure that while you’re trying to fix your breathing you’re not hurting your back. Use these 3 tips to ensure you maintain the correct posture.
1 – Sit up straight or lie down flat.
Sitting up is better for seniors suffering with COPD, but lying down might be better for long term comfort. Either way, ensure that your passage way is clear and there’s no pressure on your chest.
2 – Relax neck and shoulder muscles.
Focus on the tension in your neck and shoulder muscles. Any sign of increased tension or “tightness” is a sign of bad posture for breathing exercises. Adjust your posture until your neck and shoulder muscles are relaxed.
3 – Be comfortable.
Listen to you body and adjust your position until you feel comfortable. Move your cannula and oxygen concentrator to a position that won’t cause pain or annoy you throughout the exercises.
Breathing Exercise – Purse Lip Breathing
This is the easiest breathing exercise for seniors. There are only two steps to complete this breathing exercise.
Step 1: Breathe in through your nose.
Step 2: Breath out through your pursed lips.
Your lips should be pursed as if you are blowing into a straw.
Keep breathing at your own pace. Continue this for a few minutes until you feel a sense of peace. This breathing exercise is similar to mediation techniques, as well. You can keep your portable or home oxygen concentrator close by. If you decide to meditate, try a quiet home oxygen concentrator like the AirSep VisionAire 5 LPM.
Breathing Exercise – Two, Four, Six
This breathing exercise is a little more complicated but still quite easy for people with COPD or pulmonary illness to follow.
Step 1: Breathe in through your nose for 2 seconds.
Step 2: Hold in that air for 4 seconds.
Step 3: Breathe out, through pursed lips and full cheeks, for 6 seconds.
We recommend only doing this for 4 repetitions. This breathing exercise is good for seniors having coughing attacks or anxiety as well.
This is also a great breathing exercise for mornings.
Remember: Practice Makes Permanent
Don’t get frustrated at first. Breathing exercises for seniors are like any other exercises: it takes time to get better and to become consistent.
We encourage you to continue at it and create a schedule. Do these breathing exercises in the morning, after dinner, or before bed.
Remember to be comfortable, and to stop immediately if you get dizzy!
Seniors looking for the best portable oxygen concentrators for JUST exercise can take a look at the preowned Inogen One G4, its one of the lightest and smallest oxygen concentrators.