Between the humid air and plethora of pollen, summer and COPD have a hard time getting along.
Though COPD and the summer heat do not get along very well, there are a few ways you can make it work this summer.
Below we put together a list of COPD-safe summer activities. Many are still indoor, but outdoor activities are still possible.
We also gathered some tips that can help beat the heat this summer.
As always, speak with your doctor before participating in any strenuous activities this summer.
COPD-Friendly Summer Activities
Going to the mall is the perfect summer activity.
Walking around the mall is good exercise for COPD patients, plus the air conditioning will keep you cool and there are plenty of places to sit and relax for a minute.
It is also a good way to get some new summer clothes!
The library is a great spot to hangout during the summer.
You can enjoy the air-conditioning while reading a new book or the newspaper.
Libraries are a great place to enjoy a public place but not be out in the summer heat.
Swimming is a great way to be out in the heat but to stay cool while doing so.
We recommend swimming before 11 am or after 3 pm, as the middle of the day can be the hottest part of the day.
If you are unable to swim, relaxing in a shaded spot and dipping your feet in the pool is a great alternative.
Following the above rules about the time of day, go mini golfing with some friends and family.
A good physical activity that should not be too strenuous for you is mini golf.
Bringing some water will help keep you hydrated while you play.
Another great evening activity is going to see a drive-in movie.
As evenings in summer get cooler, it is a perfect time to be outside.
Drive-in movies allow you to be inside and outside at once. If you feel that you are starting to get hot, you can roll up the windows and turn on the air conditioning.
If you are looking to do something this summer that is not as common, horseback riding is perfect for you.
Participating in an outdoor activity that does not require you to do any strenuous moves, is great to do in the summer heat.
Make sure to bring plenty of water and if you feel like you are getting too hot, let the guide know you need a break.
Take a quick pit stop in the shade to have some water and cool down, and when you are ready, get back on the horse.
This is the perfect early morning activity to do, many places will have you go in a group or if you are experienced you can go out on your own.
Find a partner, get a canoe big enough for two and find a nice spot to launch from.
Make sure you have plenty of water and are canoeing in an area that does not have any crazy, rushing water.
The perfect mix of cool water and a nice workout, water aerobics is a fun group activity.
When participating in water aerobics, look into a class in your age range. Trying to keep up with young college students would be tiring!
Water aerobics can be held at your local community center, look to see if they have any summer classes you can take.
What to do to Beat The Summer Heat
Wear Light Clothes
While walking at the mall, make sure to pick up some lightweight clothing for this summer.
Keeping clothes lightweight will help with the heat this summer, as heavy clothes trap all the heat from your body.
Cottons is a lightweight, multi-environment fabric that allows air to flow through it.
Avoid Sun Midday
As we already mentioned, avoid the sun between 11 am and 3 pm during the summer.
When the UV rays are high, you are more likely to get burnt.
Also, when its midday and hot in summer, the air can have less oxygen in it compared to winter and cool air.
Make Sure to Check on Friends and Family as it Gets Hot
Keep in touch with loved ones this summer, as when it gets hot, it can be harder to breathe for everyone.
Check in every day to let them know you are okay.
We recommend setting up a chain with friends with COPD, to make sure you all are doing okay in the heat.
Check Weather and Pollen Reports
Before you make plans outside, look at the weather and pollen reports.
High pollen can be an irritant for COPD, so avoid this irritant when you can.
Make plans according to the weather, trying to avoid outside when its hot and/or there is a high pollen count.
Avoid Summer Campfires and Similar Smoke
Though bonfires are a lot of fun, the smoke can be a huge irritant for COPD patients.
Avoiding campfires and other smoke is important to having a healthy and safe summer. If your neighbors are having a bonfire, close all windows and try not to go outside.
Replace Air Filters Often in the Summer to Minimize Air Pollutants
By replacing your air filters in the summer, they will constantly be blocking your home from pollutants, allergens and dust.
Air filters should be replaced every 30-60 days, and in the summer you may want to replace it every month or sooner.
If you feel your home is very dusty, try replacing your air filter to see if that will help with the dust.
Sleeping Well in The Summer
Sleeping is already very hard with COPD, but in the summer it can be even more of a struggle.
If it is hot enough outside, make sure the air is on at night. Even though it cools off in the evenings, it can still have a high pollen count or high humidity.
In the evenings, check the pollen report and the overnight temperature before you decide to keep the window open or turn on the air.
Even though summer can prevent you from being outside, enjoying the weather, there are a few things you can do to get outside and be active.
Always talk with your doctor about appropriate activities for you.
Try and stay inside between 11 am and 3 pm, when it is the hottest part of the day and make sure to wear appropriate clothing.
Let us know what you like to do in the summer in the comment section below!