Physical activity can help your body to use oxygen better, building your energy levels. This can mean that you’re able to do more without getting breathless.

It’s a good idea to talk to your health care team before you start, so you can figure out what the right level of activity is for you. And then it’s all about finding something that you enjoy and can fit into your day.

  • Little and often

    Pick activities that you like and start by doing what you can, even 5 minutes of physical activity has real health benefits. Every bit adds up, and the health benefits increase as you spend more time being active. If one activity, like swimming, doesn’t appeal to you, find something that does. The point is to get out there and move!

  • Make it part of your day

    Try to find things that you can easily add into your existing routine. Even choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevators or escalators will get you moving. The key thing is not to overdo it and to rest if you feel breathless.

  • Find something you love

    If you enjoy it, you're more likely to keep doing it. So if dancing to your favorite songs on the radio for 5 minutes lifts your spirits, then go for it! Or perhaps taking a walk in your favorite park is more your thing.

  • Strengthen your upper body

    Doing exercises which strengthen your upper body can help strengthen your respiratory muscles. If the gym is not for you, you could try lifting cans of food instead.

  • Strengthen your legs

    This has been shown to improve overall shortness of breath and physical stamina.

  • Breathe slowly

    Whatever activity you’re doing, remember to breathe slowly and in through your nose to warm the air before it goes to your lungs, and out slowly through pursed lips.