Exercise is essential for people with cystic fibrosis. It helps build stronger muscles and improve lung function but it doesn’t have to be difficult. The Stanford Children’s Hospital has devised a simple four-week exercise challenge comprising of a few simple exercises that children (and adults) with cystic fibrosis can do each day in the comfort of their own home without the need for expensive equipment or gym memberships.
The regimen starts with some belly breathing exercises which encourages diaphragm breathing and then the following five simple exercises repeated five times:
Standing with your feet hip-width apart and abdomen pulled in, simply bend your knees and squat down as far as you can and then push up while squeezing your glutes.
Push-ups (or press-ups) start in the plank position but with straight arms under the shoulders, bend your elbows to lower yourself until you’re a few inches off the ground, push yourself back up to the plank position. Pull your abdomen and glutes in tightly as you perform the push-ups for maximum effect.
Begin by laying on the floor with your arms by your sides and knees bent to 90 degrees, then push your pelvis up with your feet and arms flat on the floor and pull in your stomach and glutes.
Lie on your front and tuck your thumbs into your armpits. Draw back your elbows so that your shoulder blades almost meet in the middle of your back and hold for a second then bring the elbow forwards again.
Lower yourself onto the ground with your elbow positioned under your shoulders and feet placed together and flexed. Raise your body off the floor by supporting your weight between your forearms and your toes for five deep belly breaths, keeping your body in a straight line and your stomach and glutes pulled in tight.
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