Blowing Up Balloons and Other Fun Shortness of Breath Treatments

Blowing Up Balloons and Other Fun Shortness of Breath Treatments

Creative Ways to Breathe Deeply

Deep breathing is one of the best things for COPD patients to do on a regular basis. Breathing exercises can act as shortness of breath treatment, but it does seem to get monotonous and can seem like a chore after a while.  So why not try to have fun with it while you are at it?  You can do so by following the suggestions below.

Buy a Harmonica

A harmonica is fun to use and you can actually make a tune by following the instructions that come with it.  You may find some videos on YouTube that show you how to play it, too.  Maybe you will have a natural flair at playing and actually entertain some people with it!  The thing about a harmonica is that it forces you to focus on blowing as well as breathing control.  It facilitates deep breathing and helps to increase lung capacity. You’ll get all of these benefits, without thinking about it!  Some harmonica songs require quite a bit of lung capacity, especially for long, continuing notes.  There are more basic tunes to play that are just as helpful for deep breathing.

Blow up Balloons

You may hate this idea, but if you have young children or grandchildren, this can be a fun activity for everyone involved.  You can blow up different types of balloons for the kids to hit and kick.  Everyone can have a good time with you, and all the while, you are doing your breathing exercises.


Blow Bubbles

Believe it or not, you can really work your lungs by blowing bubbles for a while.  You can do this alone or with a bunch of kids trying to pop all the bubbles you blow.  This is delightful for children and a very inexpensive family activity.  You will forget that you are doing this for your COPD.

Move a feather

You can use a feather and attempt to keep it in the air without it dropping to the floor.  You can place it on the table and blow it across a makeshift finish line with another person.  If you end up in a fit of giggles, that’s okay!  Laughter helps your lung capacity as well!

Practice Yoga

You may find a yoga class in your community and join the participants in manipulating their breathing.  You will find that it is relaxing and enjoyable, and there may be other people with COPD there as well.

The best breathing technique to practice with any of these tips are to:

  • Exhale until you feel that your lungs are empty.
  • Inhale very slowing into a deep breath and feel your lungs expand.
  • Hold the air for a count of 3 seconds.
  • Slowly exhale.

Things to Consider

  • If you have exercise-induced asthma, go slow and easy.  Then gradually increase your deep breathing as you feel comfortable.
  • Don’t blow bubbles or other activities outside while the pollen count is high.
  • Be careful as to not rush your breathing during your activities.


Mind Publications (Yoga-Based Program for Emphysema/COPD)

Wilbur’s Music and Blues (The Harmonica and How It Helps Your Lungs)

Yvonne BanksYvonne Banks

Yvonne is a licensed practical nurse who has a passion for helping people to improve their health conditions. Practicing since 2001, she has worked with both geriatric and pediatric patients during the course of her career.

Sep 3, 2014
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