Tai Chi - a gentle, flowing form of exercise practiced widely in China - has gained popularity in the United States in recent years, spurred in part by growing evidence for its health benefits.
Since the late 1950s, hundreds of studies have suggested that tai chi may benefit people with a wide range of medical conditions, including COPD.
Tai Chi combines sequences of slow, flowing upper- and lower-body movements with breath awareness and a variety of thinking skills that include focused attention and imagery.
While classic Tai Chi is done standing, a modified version can be done sitting, so it's highly adaptable and therefore ideal for people with different fitness levels.
All of the arm movements, and to some extent the leg movements, can be practiced while sitting in a sturdy chair. For example, you can extend your legs, move them from side to side, or lift them, even when you're sitting.
Studies suggest that Tai Chi can help people with COPD boost their ability to walk and do other types of exercise, as well as improve their quality of life.
The benefits are thought to arise from the combination of movement, breathing, and relaxation.