Bronchitis is a common medical condition that can range from acute to chronic infections, which usually consists of excess mucus build up, inflammation and coughing. 90% of bronchitis cases are chest colds, which is a viral infection of the airways. Bacterial infections can also be the cause of bronchitis but this is often common among individuals who have preexisting conditions. Smokers will typically suffer from chronic bronchitis because of the long-term inflammation of the bronchi. Because bronchitis can cause difficulty with breathing, you may be wondering if exercising with bronchitis is possible if having acute or chronic bronchitis. Just read on to find it.

Can You Exercise with Bronchitis?

Many people believe that they are unable to exercise if they have bronchitis. While it is a general rule of thumb that if you have an illness from the neck down then rest is needed, but this is not always the case for those with bronchitis. Overall, it is OK to exercise when you have bronchitis, and those with chronic bronchitis from smoking or inhaling other irritants can even benefit from exercising. However, it is always recommended that you speak to your doctor before you begin any exercises regimen.

Exercising with Acute Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis tends to only last for a few weeks. Symptoms of acute bronchitis include a wet cough, wheezing, and phlegm which will clear away from coughing. Coughing can be easily triggered with acute bronchitis since the airways are more irritable because of the inflammation.

While exercising will not make these symptoms worse, rigorous activity can trigger coughing. You will want to stick with light exercises until your cough resides for more comfort. You can begin to increase the intensity of your exercise as your coughing reduces. Typically the airways will remain sensitive for up to 8 weeks after a case of acute bronchitis.

Exercising with Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD is one type of chronic bronchitis. This long-term condition's most common condition is a persistent wet cough along with wheezing shortness of breath and tightness of the chest. These symptoms can make exercising with bronchitis more difficult. Exercise, however, is a highly recommended form of treatment for COPD. A number of professional medical organizations, such as the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease, the American Thoracic Society and the American College of Chest Physicians, have encouraged those with chronic bronchitis to take part in supervised exercises. Contact your doctor before starting a new exercise program or to talk about how you can alter your existing exercise routine to better combat your chronic bronchitis.

Any Recommended Exercises for People with Bronchitis?

Now that you know it can be beneficial to exercise while having bronchitis, you may be wondering what to start out with. These exercises listed below will promote deep breathing and aid in reducing the symptoms of your bronchitis.


Walking can be the most beneficial. Walking can help strengthen the lungs because it can easily bring more oxygen into the body. Begin with ten to fifteen minutes at a slow pace and gradually increase the pace and time as you begin to feel better.


Yoga can help reduce the symptoms of bronchitis because it promotes relaxation and opens the air passage to the lungs. All of the poses in yoga are great for strengthen the core muscles and toning the whole body, but some poses are especially helpful to those who have bronchitis. Half spine twists, shoulder lifts, and relaxation poses are great for those who are exercising with bronchitis. These poses not only relax the body and make it easier to breathe, but also open the bronchioles of the lungs.

Deep breathing exercises

Deep breathing exercises are ideal for strengthening the lungs. These exercises focus more on different breathing techniques as opposed to physical exertion, but can also be incredibly helpful to build your way up to more physical activity. One such deep breathing exercise requires pressing the lips together as if you are about to blow a kiss. Once your lips are pressed, slowly inhale and exhale. Another choice is covering one nostril then inhale and exhale slowly. Repeat on the other nostril.


Any exercise that will encourage you inhale and exhale deeply are great for bronchitis. Swimming a few laps in a pool every day can be a great exercise for those with bronchitis. Going for a slow bike ride or using an exercise bike for 10 to 30 minutes a day is also encouraged. Even strength training can be an option for exercising with bronchitis. Performing any of these exercises once or twice a day can all help clear the mucus from your chest and strengthen your lungs.


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