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How To: Conserve Energy with COPD

Posted by Caleb Umstead on Jul 8, 2014 11:15:00 AM


As a patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) every ounce of energy is precious, this is due to the fact that COPD naturally drains your body of energy exponentially. Leaving you to feel tired, weak, and unmotivated to do things that you normally enjoy, which is why taking additional steps to conserve energy should be a top priority for your health! Luckily for you we have prepared a few adjustments and changes in your everyday life that will benefit your health and most importantly give you energy to enjoy life again!

Fight Against COPD & Regain Your Energy

Limit Stair Usage 

Walking up and down the stairs is a strenuous activity no matter what stage of COPD you are at, so whenever possible avoid using the stairs to avoid over exerting yourself. However if the stairs are the only option then make sure to take frequent breaks to catch your breath.

Trade T-Shirts for Button Ups

When shopping or choosing what clothes to wear you should opt for shirts that are button up or have a front zipper. Regular t-shirts require you to lift the shirt over your head which for many patients getting dressed every morning is a difficult task leaving them with breathlessness.

Resting is Key

You should always allow yourself plenty of time to sleep at night, because with a poor nights sleep you will feel drained and drowsy all day. When performing activities that require a lot of energy be sure to take frequent breaks so you never over exert yourself. Something to also be noted is after eating allow yourself 20-30 minutes to sit down and rest, but try not to nap. Taking a quick nap throughout the day is a great way to boost your mental focus and energy, but napping too much can make sleeping at night even more difficult.

Make your Routines Easier 

Everybody has their own personal routines every morning while getting ready or cooking, and if you suffer from COPD those morning routines have become increasingly difficult to preform. Some adjustments include, instead of shaving or putting on makeup standing up instead bring a chair into the bathroom and sit down. While cooking sit down and prepare the meal, such as when chopping veggies or cutting excess fat from lean meats and chicken. Performing regular routines and preparing meals while sitting down will conserve your limited energy.

Ask for Help 

Whenever you are faced with having to move, lift, or pull an object over 10 pounds ask a friend or family member if they would do it so you can avoid straining yourself or causing an exacerbation.

Space Household Chores Out 

When you have multiple chores that require a lot of energy be sure to space them over a few days, this way you are not ended up with numerous energy draining chores all in one day.


Always speak with your respiratory specialist before starting an exercise routine to see if it is right for you*. They will sit down and design an exercise routine that is beneficial for your specific health, and in most cases they will recommend pulmonary rehabilitation. Take it slow don't over exert yourself, remember you have COPD so your lungs are damaged and it takes time to build stamina. Once you get on a set exercise routine you will gradually begin to see a surplus of energy throughout all your activities, exercise will also increase your overall outlook on life!

As COPD progresses you may begin to notice a loss of energy, leaving you feeling drowsy and unmotivated to preform everyday activities and chores that you once did without a problem. However you can counteract those felt symptoms by simply adjusting everyday tasks and routines to see an increase in your overall energy throughout the day!

Your diet also plays a significant role in how much energy you have throughout the day. Download your free COPD meal plan created by nutritionist Kellie Hill to ensure you have clean, healthy energy all day long!

COPD Meal Plan Download


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Topics: COPD, COPD Treatment, Disease Management

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