Exploring Different Kinds of Exercise

After you have your schedule of walking and strength training established, you may want to add yoga to your exercise rou- tine. Deep breathing and postures practiced in yoga can help with relaxation, flexibility and mind-body wellness. A study in the Journal of Thoracic Disease suggests yoga may help people with COPD improve lung function and their ability to exercise. It is important to choose a form of yoga that is safe and appropriate for you.

Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese form of martial arts that focuses on gentle exercise, stretching, meditation and mindfulness. A study in the Journal of Physiotherapy found that Sun-style Tai Chi improved walking performance and quality of life in people with COPD. The other types of Tai Chi have not been studied, though they are considered safe for most people due to their low impact and health benefits.

And just for fun, a study in BMC Pul­ monary Medicine found that people who took singing classes for eight weeks faired better than their peers, who instead took a film class. The singing group showed an improvement in physical well-being by the end of the study. Singing often involves diaphragmatic breathing and it may be an effective complement to pulmonary rehab and pursed-lip breathing.