Emphysema is permanent damage to the alveoli in the lungs, often due to smoking, it causes:
Exercise intolerance: Some people do not notice shortness of breath directly, but instead note that they are unable to as physically active as they once were, for example, it becomes difficult to walk as far or to climb as many flights of steps.
Muscle atrophy: The combination of decreased exercise along with other effects of the disease can result in muscle wasting and atrophy. This muscle wasting, especially in core muscles, can, in turn, lead to further shortness of breath due to a decreased respiratory effort.
Sufferers find it difficult to do the exercise routines they are prescribed, but I have a solution for this which has worked with several patients. I had read an article in 'New Scientist' during the 1970s that said that imagining doing exercise built muscle as much as doing the exercise, I had a long time in a hospital bed when I had double pneumonia, and I spent most of it, besides concentrating on deep breathing, on imagining doing chest exercises in order to increase lung capacity. A recent study by Erin M. Shackell and Lionel G. Standing at Bishop's University reveals you may be able to make nearly identical gains in strength and fitness without lifting a finger!
That study measured the strength gains in three different groups of people. The first group did nothing outside their usual routine. The second group was put through two weeks of highly focused strength training for one specific muscle, three times a week. The third group listened to audio CDs that guided them to imagine themselves going through the same workout as the exercising group, three times a week.
The control group, who didn't do anything, saw no gains in strength. The exercise group, who trained three times a week, saw a 28% gain in strength. But, the group who did not exercise, but rather thought about exercising experienced nearly the same gains in strength as the exercise group (24%). Yes, you read that right!
The group that visualized exercised got nearly the same benefit, in terms of strength-gains, as the group that actually worked-out.
While there has been no official testing to find out whether mind exercise increases lung capacity, I have found that it works in those that do try it, and with Emphysema it can be very important. (It also helps with Type 1 and 2 Diabetes).
In addition, if you are going to do some work that you find difficult in five minutes time, then breath deeply for five minutes in order to flood your muscles with oxygen, this will provide the energy needed to do the job.
You might find that weight loss would be of help, as shifting the excess weight while moving makes the process slower and harder, I have three diets on my website, namely the Orgasmic Nose Diet for women, and the Anti-Calorie Diet for men, and the Anti Calorie Diet for both, which can help.
In 1918 “The Guardian” newspaper reported a scientific study which found that Vitamin D tablets helped with lung capacity, so this is a cheap way of improving life.
I hope that you know someone you can help with this work.