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COPD Exercises

Top 10 COPD Exercise DVDs For People With COPD


Updated March 28, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

After reading this article you can share about your own favorite type of exercise.

COPD exercises are often met with challenge and uncertainty. After all, why exercise if you can barely move around the room without becoming tired and short of breath? In truth, exercising is actually the best way to increase your exercise tolerance and improve your breathing. The key: finding the right exercise program that you'll enjoy and be able to stick to on a daily basis.

The following are a few of the most popular exercise DVDs; many geared for seniors and people with disabilities or illnesses like COPD:

1. Functional Fitness for COPD and Asthma

Functional Fitness for COPD and Asthma
Photo © Suzanne Andrews

A COPD Forum favorite, Functional Fitness for COPD and Asthma is an original exercise video created by occupational therapist Suzanne Andrews that focuses on improving your breathing, relieving your stress and increasing your quality of life as you learn to live with COPD.

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2. Doin' It In Bed: Bed and Chair Exercises for Seniors

Doin' It In Bed
Created by seniors for seniors, this DVD features bed exercises and chairobics for seniors who want to stay young. Includes three sets of exercises, including 19 minutes of bed exercises, 18 minutes of Chairobics and 9 minutes of chair yoga.


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3. Pilates for Seniors

Pilates for Seniors
Photo © Pricegrabber

Created by a physical therapist, this DVD consists of exercises done from either a seated or standing position. It includes instructions for safely getting down and then back up from the floor to avoid injury, and suggestions for a number of bed exercises. Explanations of anatomy, breathing technique and spine positioning precede the workout.

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4. Easy Yoga For Seniors

Yoga for Seniors

Yoga instructor Jane Adams makes yoga come to life through this DVD of simple postures and gentle stretches. Yoga helps muscles and joints gradually regain their strength and increases flexibility, ultimately improving mobility. And, because so much focus is on the breath, it is a perfect activity for people with COPD to help them manage their breathing.

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5. Stronger Seniors

Stronger Seniors
Photo © Pricegrabber

Not just your average yoga DVD, Stronger Seniors is a four-star exercise program developed by Anne Burnell, continuing education provider for older adult populations for the American Council on Exercise. This yoga chair exercise program will help you increase your  strength and flexibility, all in the comfort of your own living room. Great for people who have limited mobility and those in wheelchairs or who use walkers.

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6. Zookinesis for Seniors

Photo © Pricegrabber

Zookinesis is an ancient Chinese exercise system designed to bring your body back to its youthful vitality while restoring muscle tone, strength and flexibility. It also helps improve breathing and concentration. Zookinesis is related to T'ai-chi, Chi-gung and Chinese Yoga. You can start small and do just fifteen minutes at a time working your way up to do the entire session. This DVD is used by countless numbers of senior centers and nursing homes across the country.

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7. Chair-A-Cise

Photo © Pricegrabber

The Chair-A-Cise Series fitness program is a program for everybody. It helps you lose weight, burn fat, tone and improve your strength while providing you with an excellent cardiovascular workout. And, this is all while sitting in a chair! Under the guidance of certified personal trainer and Chair-A-Cise creator Daryl Madison of Lifestyle Fitness, you can complete a safe and effective workout in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

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8. T'ai-Chi for Seniors

T'ai Chi for Seniors
Photo © Pricegrabber

T'ai chi is an ancient Chinese exercise system that is designed to improve your overall health, reduce stress, strengthen muscles and joints, build the immune system, improve balance and coordination and maintain the vitality of youth throughout the life-span. In either DVD or VHS format, many of these exercises can be done from a seated position and the program is specifically designed for people over 65 years of age.

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9. Stretch and Strengthen Exercise Ball Program

Stretch and Strengthen Exercise Ball Program

This fun, small ball exercise workout is said to improve posture, flexibility and mobility while helping to eliminate pain. The DVD is divided into 3 sections. You can choose to do just one or all three. Section I focuses on the upper body; Section II focuses on the lower back, hips and on strengthening the core as well as stretching the hamstrings, the inner thighs and hip muscles; Section III focuses on stretching and strengthening the back as well as integrating the upper and lower body to the core. These exercises work well for customers of all ages. If you practice them regularly, you'll be delighted with the results.

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10. Chair Aerobics for Everyone

Chair Aerobics for Everyone

This DVD features a number of exercises that not only help relieve stress, but also help improve circulation and maintain or increase your strength. Especially helpful for those who are bed-bound.

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