Following are some exercises that will help you get started on conditioning. Your physical therapist will guide you on the very specific program for you. More exercises may be added to your personal program as well as the need for specific breathing exercises program based on your own needs.
Your Physical Therapist will be discussing your options.
Make sure you do not hold your breath while you are exercising. Breathing in and out in a very controlled manner is very important.
Stretching Exercises To Improve Flexibility
Stretching should be done slowly without bouncing. Hold the position for at least 30 seconds. Be sure to stretch both sides.
Angels In The Snow
Stand with your back against a wall or lie down on the floor. Start with your arms down at your sides with your palms up. Take a deep breath in and lift your arms up overhead while keeping them in contact with the wall or the floor as much as possible. Lower your arms as you breathe out. You should feel the stretch in the muscles around your shoulders.
Lying On A Towel
Roll up a towel and lie on top of it so the towel goes lengthwise between your shoulder blades and down along your spine. Relax and let your shoulders and arms touch the floor as you breathe out. You should feel the stretch in the front of your chest.
Stand facing a corner and place one hand on each wall at shoulder level. Leave your feet in place, and lean your upper body and head into the corner. You should feel the stretch in the upper chest muscles.
Lie on your side with a large rolled towel or pillow under your ribs. Place the arm on the bottom out in front of you at shoulder level. Stretch the arm on the top overhead and try to touch the floor. You should feel the stretch in your side.
Stand and place the heel of one leg on a chair with your knee straight and toes up. Lean forward over your leg and reach for your toes. You should feel the stretch at the back of the knee.
Stand with both hands on a wall with one leg behind you. Keep the heel of the back leg on the ground and the knee straight. Lean toward the wall, bending the front knee. You should feel the stretch in the calf muscle.
Exercises To Improve Strength
These exercises should be done slowly. Don't hold your breath during the lifting part of the exercise. You should start with 5-10 repetitions of each exercise and increase the repetitions, as you are able. Be sure to strengthen both sides.
Lie down on your stomach with your arms overhead. Lift up your head, shoulders, and feet from the floor so that your back is arched. You should feel this in the muscles in your back.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Raise your head and shoulders and bring your fingertips toward your feet. You don't need to come all the way up to a sitting position. You should feel this in the muscles in your stomach.
Stand with your back against the wall. Slide your back down the wall until you are in a "chair position". You will need to move your feet away from the wall to do this. If you can't go all the way down to a chair position, go as far down as you are comfortable. You should feel this in your thigh muscles.
Lie on the floor and place your hands with your palms down near your shoulders. Push your body up off the floor with your arms while you keep your knees on the floor. If you are strong enough, you should do the push-up with only your toes in contact with the floor. You should feel this in your upper arms and shoulders.
Exercises To Improve Breathing
These exercises should be done slowly with deep breaths to make your breathing more efficient. You should breathe in through your nose and out through pursed lips.
Lower Costal Breathing: Lying on your back
Lie on your back. Relax and take a deep breath in, letting your stomach rise. Breathe out and pull your stomach in, to push the air out.
Lower Costal Breathing: Sitting up or standing
Sit up or stand and place your hands on the sides of your lower ribs. Take a deep breath in and push against your hands to use your lower ribs to breathe.
Resisted Breathing: Lying on your back
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Wrap the towel or stretchy exercise band around your lower chest area and hold it in place. Push out against the resistance of the towel or exercise band while you take a deep breath in.
Resisted Breathing: Sitting up or standing
Sit up or stand and wrap the towel or stretchy exercise band around your lower chest area and hold it in place. Push out against the resistance of the towel or exercise band while you take a deep breath in.
Exercise To Control Breathlessness
While standing, bend forward and lean on a table with your elbows straight. Breathe out with several short, sharp breaths. Take a small breath in. Repeat until attack has subsided. Make sure you are forcing more air out of the chest than you are taking in. When you are no longer breathless, slow down your breathing.
Breathing During Activities
When you are doing activities that require some effort, such as exercising, try to focus on making your breathing regular. Remember to breathe in through your nose and out through pursed lips. When this becomes a habit, you won't need to concentrate on it as much.
All of those types of exercise are important in a conditioning program. Click here to see the summary of components needed for conditioning program.