People with Cystic Fibrosis often suffer from air trapping and hyperinflation of their lungs. Air trapping is an abnormal retention of air. It can occur because the lungs lose elasticity and air doesn’t escape, and because mucus and inflammation obstruct exhalation. The trapped air can then cause the lungs to overinflate–hyperinflation.
This journal article discusses research around medically supervised exercises and interventions that may decrease shortness of breath by getting the inspiratory muscles to work better and the chest wall to assist with the part of breathing compromised by inelasticity.
Positive effect is has been seen in pursed lip breathing, forward leaning position, and inspiratory muscle training.
There are also simple Pilates exercises that may increase breathing strength. Pilates and diaphragmatic breathing have been studied in COPD patients.
Did you know that Pilates was originally developed as a rehabilitation program for World War I soldiers?
In this article on Active.com, the author describes three Pilates exercises that may open the chest and strengthen breathing. The article gives instructions on how to do the exercises.
Consult your doctor or medical center before starting an exercise regimen to determine what is safe and best for your individual case.
Please share in the comments section below or in the Exercise & Fitness section of the forums any tips for improving breathing that you’ve discovered.