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How to improve lung function if you have COPD? The answer is simple: exercise! Don’t doubt that exercise will make a difference because it does. 

If you have COPD, you should be active. Yes, there are exercises for people with COPD to help improve lung function. To be honest, if you aren’t active, you’re improving your chances of things remaining the same or getting worse sooner than later. 

You need to strengthen your muscles because the weaker or less mobile you are, your muscles will require more oxygen. If you get short of breath while you’re cooking, you need to exercise, my friend. I know it’s hard, but each day you don’t use your muscles, you lose your muscles. Together, we can learn how to improve lung function naturally.

COPD and Exercise Tolerance 

Remember to control your breathing while you’re working out. Breathe slowly and stop and give your heart a rest if you begin to over-exert yourself. Regroup by doing breathing exercises for COPD. For example, try inhaling for about 2-3 seconds, and exhaling double the amount you inhale. Breathe in through your nose and breathe out with pursed lips. If you’re on oxygen therapy, it’s okay to continue using your oxygen while exercising. 

How to Increase Lung Function 

If you’re into acupressure at all, try a few simple exercises. They should make you feel better while you use these physical exercises to help strengthen vital muscles in your body. 

Tip: It’s a good idea if you stretch before and after a workout session. 


If you’re suffering from COPD, you should exercise when and if possible. Walking is an excellent idea for a workout because it strengthens many muscles at once. One of the best things about walking is you don’t need a walking trail or treadmill. You can walk almost anywhere. 

Go to the mall where the atmosphere is pleasant, temperature-controlled, and lots of people are around. You can also walk around the outside of your home, inside your home, or your neighborhood. Set your own pace but check with your physician before you YouTube lung exercises and begin doing them. Your doctor may have some dos and don’ts for you to consider.

Calf Workout

People with COPD know the importance of proper breathing, but few don’t they realize they must take care of their legs. If you sit more often than you walk, you can develop blood clots, so work those calves! 

Adding a calf workout to your routine will make walks or cycling easier. Grab a sturdy chair and stand behind it about 6-12 inches and place your feet equal to hip-width apart. Breathe in and lift your calf muscles by flexing your feet and breathe out slowly. Pause briefly and lower the heels of your feet and inhale. Do a couple of sets, 10 reps or more if you can handle it. 

Leg Extensions 

For stronger thighs, sit in a chair that supports your back. Inhale. Now 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. Getting too easy? Add ankle weights. Work up to two sets of 10-15 reps.


How to improve lung function with COPD? A stationary bike can work well for people with COPD. Pedal away in the privacy of your home, in a gym, or rehab facility. However, it’s fun when you can meet people and be able to exercise on your level of ability. Remember, if you start to feel short of breath, take a time out. 

Breathing Exercises to Increase Lung Capacity 

Diaphragm Breathing Exercises to Strengthen Lungs: Breathing using the diaphragm method helps to strengthen the lungs. You can do it sitting in a chair or while you’re in bed. Bend your needs and with one hand on your chest, and the other just below your rib cage, inhale slowly through your nose. Your stomach should rise as you inhale. Exhale pursing your lips and tighten your tummy. Don’t move your hand that’s on your chest.

Repeat this exercise for about 5-10 minutes, a few times per day. It will eventually become second nature to you and you’ll improve lung function without realizing you’re exercising. You don’t have to have lung exercise equipment to keep fit. 

Tai Chi Lung Exercises for COPD: Tai Chi is a traditional Chinese practice that helps tone muscles and because it deals with movements that require deep breathing exercises, it’s good for the lungs. For people with COPD, it’s also an excellent choice for breathing exercises for stress. It isn’t a vigorous workout so it relaxes the body and mind.  

Upper Body Exercise Improve Lung Function

Arm Curls

Lifting weights can help you grow stronger. You’ll be able to reach or carry items you haven’t been able to manage before. Grab a set of hand weights or water bottles and try a few arm curls. Take a breath in while lifting the bottles toward your chest, palms facing you. Try not to raise your elbows while you’re doing this. Breathe slowly and return your arms to your side. The goal is to improve lung function, so do at least two sets of 10 reps.  

Forward Arm Raises

With weights at your sides, and palms facing in, inhale. Next, breathe out slowly as you lift both arms straight in front of you so they are shoulder height. Take in a breath as you lower your arms slowly. Forward arm-raises strengthen shoulders and upper arms. Work up to completing two sets of 10-15 reps. Begin with light weights and advance to a slightly heavier about every 14-21 days. The goal is to give your muscles a workout. 

Although you’re working to improve lung function, it’s perfectly okay to take a day off if you’re not feeling up to par. I mean, if you’re wheezing or short of breath, call your physician and take the appropriate advice. If symptoms don’t improve, and you experience irregular heartbeats, or if you get dizzy, call for help right away.

When you have COPD, you must realize the importance of deep breathing. Always make sure you’re doing the correct deep breathing techniques when working out and never workout when you’re starving or have had too much to eat. While you must have food for energy when you’re working out, being stuffed or starved make situations more difficult. 

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