Exercise is a vital part of your treatment. You may feel exhausted and not be able to do any exercise at all. Overcoming this natural reaction is normal and most of us have lived through this malaise. When just breathing is hard work, then you are asking your body to produce the energy to fight the infection AND move the air in and out through airways often partially blocked by thick mucus. Your body is really working hard, like running a marathon . You need to eat the food to run a Marathon to get sufficient energy to exercise and keep breathing. But just eating more energy food alone is not enough as it will just turn to fat. You need to build and use your muscles, particularly in your upper body and lungs. To learn about the food to eat and about how food can affect your breathing click on “Managing Fatigue and Weight Loss”

Many hospitals run exercise program called “Pulmonary Rehabilitation” designed for people with Chronic Respiratory Health problems

We strongly recommend you attend a Pulmonary Rehabilitation program if one is available in your region. Pulmonary Rehabilitation programs are run by Physiotherapists in Respiratory Departments in many hospitals. To learn more about a Pulmonary Rehabilitation program and where they are run, click on the links below.

What is Pulmonary Rehabilitaion ?

Where is a Program near you

Alternatively if there is a Respiratory Physiotherapist in your locality, you will be able to get personal help to learn the best way to clear your airways, exercise your lung muscles and upper body. Respiratory Physiotherapists who practice privately in Australia are very rare. You will find some by clicking the  Physiotherapist tab  Most normal Physiotherapist have little or no knowledge about the muscles used by your lungs.

If you are unable to join a Pulmonary Rehabilitation or find a Respiratory Physiotherapist near you, here are some very helpful exercises you can practice in your home

Click on Respiratory Muscle Exercises to view the Exercise below.

You will also see in the right hand panel of your screen, many other UTube exercise demos which may interest you


Here is another video, which lasts just under 30 Minutes.  To complete the exercisaes you will need some light dumb bells or a can of soup or similar to perform the weight exercises

The video is strongly recommended and if you able to complete the exercise program you will know you have accomplished a worth while task for the day

If you find the exercises too much at this time, just do the initial exercises and gradually do more over time

You may also access the Video by clicking Pulmonary Rehab

Click on  Deep breathing Exercises to view an excellent  ABC program about Exercise and Relaxation

If you want to consider other Lung Exercises, including help when you are short of breath, Search on Google for ‘Respiratory Muscles Exercises”

At the top of the Google search page you will see the above UTube demo which is our preferred set of exercises. In the right hand panel, you will see many other UTube demos which may interest you

Explanation of the muscles used by the lungs

The following describes the muscles used by the lungs. If you show this information to a compenent physiotherapist, or person trainer at a Gym. or better still to an exercise physiologist they will be able to teach you how to exercise your lung muscles. Most of the extra work we ask of our lung muscles occurs when inhaling.

Muscles involved in inspiration and expiration are known as primary and accessory respiratory muscles. These muscles attach to the rib cage and have the potential to passively and actively (forcefully) generate a breathing action. An image of the primary muscles involved in respiration is shown below:


The primary respiratory muscles are the diaphragm and the external intercostals, and the primary expiratory muscles are the internal intercostals. Muscles assisting in inspiration include the sternocleidomastoid, the scalenes, pectoralis major and minor, serratus anterior, latissimus dorsi. Muscles assisting in expiration include the abdominal muscles; rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques, transversus abdominis, as well as the quadratus lumborum muscle in the lower back and the lowest fibres of the erector spinae group.

As we inhale, the muscles involved in inspiration elevate the ribs and sternum, the diaphragm contracts, and the lungs expand to fill with air. As we exhale, the muscles involved in expiration depress the ribs and the diaphragm relaxes, causing the lungs to push air out.

The muscles involved in respiration can be found in the text book”Human Anatomy & Physiology., by Marieb & Hoenn. This text is very easy to read in language most of us can understand. Second hand copies are readily available on Gum Tree

Finally you will benefit a lot by just walking as much and as fast as you can.  It may be very slow but it will help a lot

Yes exercise can be monotonous and not much fun. It is often becomes a matter of gritting your teeth and just getting it done.

The malaise of just feeling so weary you don’t really care, can be so over powering. It is so easy to say to yourself, “I’ll start tomorrow”. When tomorrow comes, the temptation to put starting exercise off again till tomorrow can be just as strong.

Once you start and get into a routine, you might wonder why you did not get started earlier.

You will find you will feel better and get better sooner