If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a few simple steps can help you manage your symptoms and slow damage to your lungs. Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke that can exacerbate lung damage. Control your breathing and keep your airways clear of mucus. Regular exercise and a healthy diet will help you maintain an ideal weight and improve the strength and endurance of your lungs. Regular doctor visits to monitor your lung function will help you stay in control of your COPD.