How to clear your chest with breathing techniques

7) Airway clearance and physical activity

Group of older people doing an aerobics class

© Crown copyright 2009

Physical activity can be one of the best ways to help clear sputum out of your lungs. Physical activity that makes you breathe more deeply and quickly which will loosen the sputum and move it through your lungs, towards your mouth.

It is important to be active and use an Airway Clearance Technique.

Physical activity is a general term used to describe movement of the body that uses energy. It can be as simple as going about your day to day routine.

For more information please see our section on: Physical activity and exercise.


Think about the type of activity that makes you breathless.  This can make you cough and clear your sputum.

  1. walking up a hill
  2. carrying heavy bags
  3. bending to pick up leaves in the garden
  4. housework
  5. washing the car