Exercise and Airway Clearance


Exercise and Airway Clearance

Exercise might help to improve your airway clearance techniques (e.g. Autogenic drainage, PEP, Oscillatory PEP). Doing exercise before, during or after your usual airway clearance may help you to clear more mucus from your lungs.  When you exercise, and when you do airway clearance, needs to work for your lifestyle, so talk to your physiotherapist and together work out what is best for you. You may need to change your exercise and/or airway clearance regimen when you are unwell. It is recommended that you regularly discuss this with your physiotherapist.

Some people find that exercise is an excellent form of airway clearance. Moderate intensity exercise (e.g. running, cycling) may be the best type of exercise to help move mucus from your lungs. The exercise does this by making more air flow in and out of your lungs faster than when you are at rest or doing low levels of activity, and possibly reduces the thickness of the mucus in your lungs. When you do exercise as a form of airway clearance you should perform the forced expiration technique (huffing and breathing control) during your exercise (e.g. every 3-5 minutes) to make sure you get the best effect for your lungs. Using exercise as your only form of airway clearance is not recommended for everyone, and you should discuss with your physiotherapist.



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