Did you Know? – Exercise Videos

Posted on March 01, 2021   |   

This post was written by Jane Martin, BA, CRT

The COPD Foundation website and Pocket Consultant Guide app have exercise videos you can use at home.

Spring is coming and pretty soon we’ll be able to open the windows and feel the warmth, sunshine, and energy of a new season. You might be thinking, "Energy? Really? I have enough trouble getting to the bathroom, let alone 'feel energy!'"

For sure, it’s been a long, hard winter. But that’s all the more reason to do your best to get up and move. And we can help you do that. The COPD Foundation has seven great exercise videos you can get to easily, any time you want. They all have good, solid, practical information, and they will help you get you moving – safely and effectively. For those of you who already exercise regularly, these videos may help add variety to your routine and work some new muscles.

These videos are led by respiratory, physical, and occupational therapists who are especially trained in helping people with COPD and other chronic lung diseases. They can help you on your way to breathing better while increasing your endurance, flexibility, and balance. And they are filled with exercise tips along the way. I’m here to tell you… this is not about wearing skimpy exercise clothes, sweating, and pushing yourself to the max. This is about starting where you are and learning how to breathe easier with movement and exercise so you can stay active, healthy, and independent.

Here are links to the videos with brief descriptions and durations rounded up to the minute.

Please note that although all these videos demonstrate low-impact activity, they include options that range from easier to more challenging. It is recommended to try the easier options first. Remember to always consult your health care professional before beginning any new exercise or activity, even if it is low impact.

COPD Foundation Website

COPD Foundation exercise videos

In these two videos, COPD Foundation respiratory therapists Stephanie and Christina talk about exercise in an informal and relaxed way. Christina demonstrates exercise, making it interesting and encouraging! In the second video Christina includes options you can choose based on your abilities and/or limitations.

  1. Staying Active at Home/Upper Body Exercises - 29 minutes
  2. Staying Active at Home/Lower Body Exercises - 17 minutes

As you take a break from exercising, visit our exercise page to learn more.

Starting an exercise program

  • What is a good exercise program?
  • Using oxygen with exercise
  • How will I know if I am exercising enough – or even too much?
  • When should I NOT exercise?
  • Tracking your progress – It helps to keep an exercise log, so you know what you did, when, and how you felt. Were you sore? Did you overdo it? Did it seem too easy? Using an exercise log will help you plan your next exercise session to be painless and effective.

COPD Foundation Pocket Consultant Guide (PCG) App exercise videos

This free app is available for download.

Burke Rehabilitation Hospital exercise videos

These five videos are led by occupational therapist, Christine, and physical therapist, Jonathan. They show you a variety of exercises that can be done while sitting, standing, and lying down, giving you lots of smart tips as you go.

  1. Upper Body Exercises – Slow, relaxed exercise while sitting down. - 28 minutes
  2. Sitting Exercises – Exercise for legs and ankles while sitting down. - 4 minutes
  3. Arm-R-Cize – Exercise for arms while sitting down - 9 minutes
  4. Standing Exercises – Exercise for legs while standing with support. - 11 minutes
  5. Therapy Ball Exercises – Exercise for arm and legs while lying down. - 9 minutes

If you are new to exercise, or if you already have a regular exercise routine, the COPD Foundation is here to help get you up, out, and moving – safely and effectively. Have you seen our exercise videos? If you haven’t yet, do you plan to take a look? Let us know!


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  • I am a COPD patient of 21 years. I just finished the Foundation exercises and found them excellent. I know if I do these on a regular basis, it will be really helpful for me. Exciting!! Oh - I wore my oxygen with no trouble at all.
  • The videos are excellent. I watched both upper and lower body. I am just starting an exercise program at home so these were especially helpful. Also browsed the blog that was mentioned where I found a video on using bands. This site has so many wonderful resources. Thank you!
  • We are so glad you are finding these helpful. Has anyone tried these recently for the first time? We'd love to hear from you!
  • WOW, these are great.. This past year iv become so inactive, these are just what I needed. They are easy to follow and well explained. With COPD we all need to stay as active as we can..and these are a good way to get moving...Thank you !!
  • Jane, thank you for highlighting the exercise resources that are available for the COPD community.
    For most people, being a little more active each day can really add up to having more stamina and more endurance.
    *Tip- Remember to use the Pursed Lip Breathing to help you while you are up and active.
  • If you're an AARP member, they have a ton of exercise videos as part of their rewards program. In fact, you don't need to be a member. fyi //ed
  • I am very surprised that the woman demonstrating the weightlifting exercises didn’t mention the use of the pelvic tilt to stabilize you back & strengthen your core. This also helps you control and target the lifting exercise. For example, when doing bicep curls: stand with you feet slightly apart, bend your knees slightly, and with help from your abdominals, tighten your stomach muscles and tilt your pelvis/hips slightly down and forward. Even without lifting any weight, you should be able to feel the area just above your thighs up through your back stabilize & feel stronger. Remember to isolate the muscles you’re working on & don’t rush. The part of the exercise where you lower the weight back to starting position is as if not more important than the actual lifting portion of the exercise. You are working against your bodies natural inclination to lower the weight to decrease the stress on your muscles, and you’re working against gravity.
    She also didn’t mention that for some with little or no exercise experience, some of these exercises can be done lying down, including triceps, and a forward raise which would be more like a bench press. Lie on your back, knees bent feet flat on the floor. You can do one arm at a time, using your free hand to crossed to the shoulder of the lifting arm to stabilize it. Keep your core tight with the small of your back to the mat. Lower the weight straight back towards you ears then unbend it arcing back to a straight arm up position, but be careful not to hyperextend your elbow. You can also use a chair or low flat surface to stabilize your body. Place one knee and the palm of the hand on the same side flat on the surface. Tuck you pelvis, tighten your abs. Start with the weight held slightly bent up towards your chest and slowly swing/lift the weight straight back, trying to keep it parallel to your body, don’t hyperextend the elbow when you reach back, and then slowly bring the weight back to starting position and repeat. Remember to breathe and not to raise your head, putting unnecessary strain on your knock. Focus on the motion and look straight down at the table or chair. When done with reps on one side, switch sides to the opposite knee and palm on the flat surface ( the ones you just worked) and repeat.) I’ll stop here, but one more quick thing. If you have truly le doing standing bicep curls, look up/Google ‘concentration curls’ which can be done sitting down using the inside of your knee as support. Always pay attention to your core. While these exercises are designed to isolate and work specific muscle groups, when using free weights instead of machines, your whole body is involved in maintaining balance and stability, which not only trains those muscles, but helps to guard against injury. Good luck, have fun and take it slow. Thanks to the COPD foundation for these valuable exercises!