Getting around on a day to day basis is no longer as easy as it once was when you are diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the constant feeling of breathlessness and lack of energy is enough to stray you away from ever wanting to perform any physical activity. However, pushing yourself to get up and exercise is something your should strive for, as regular exercise will in fact enhance your overall quality of life and health! For a little boost in motivation, today we will be talking about the many benefits exercise has on your COPD.
How Does Exercise Benefit COPD Patients?
- Frequent exercise will increase muscle strength, stamina, and even bone strength will improve.
- Helps reduce those nights of tossing and turning which typically result in little to no sleep, exercise will burn excess energy leaving you feeling tired when bedtime arrives.
- Watching yourself gain distance in how far you walk, or improving overall exercise intervals will produce only feelings of happiness which will greatly improve your mood and self-esteem.
- Simply going on a daily walk is enough exercise to greatly reduce your risk for heart disease, so push yourself to go the extra distance when you feel ready!
- Accelerated energy levels that will allow you to perform more activities without being drained of energy or gasping for breath.
- Improvements to your immune system, meaning you are less susceptible to potential life threatening infections such as pneumonia or the flu.
- Regulates your appetite so you are hungry around common eating hours.
- As time goes on and you exercise more and more, naturally your exercise ability will also improve.
Designing an Exercise Routine with Your Doctor
You are now equipped with the knowledge of how exercise can benefit and improve your quality of life, but before starting any exercise routine you should first schedule an appointment with your doctor or respiratory specialist. Doctors are tools that are extremely knowledgeable and should be used extensively. During your appointment you should sit down and design an exercise routine with your doctor but you should also be sure to ask the following:
- Are there specific types of exercise I should avoid? What types of exercises should I focus on?
- Is there a specific duration I should exercise for? How frequently should I exercise?
- When planning to exercise, should I take my medicine at a set time?
How to Reduce Exercise Related Breathlessness
Does the feeling of breathlessness still have you hesitant about exercising? Eliminate those worries with these basic steps:
- When first beginning to exercise give yourself the benefit of the doubt, as you do have COPD, be sure to set goals that are obtainable and only go the distance you feel comfortable with. Remember, the longer and more you work out will eventually lead to increasing your exercise tolerance.
- When breathing make sure to exhale with pursed lips.
- Use assistance when walking up the stairs, such as hand railings so you always have a balanced center of gravity.
- If at any time you begin to feel tired or short of breath, sit down and take a break until you are able to regain your breath.
The things in life worth trying for are always no simple task, and the same goes with exercising with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Remember to set realistic goals that you can obtain and follow the exercise routine your doctor has designed for you and you will be on your way to a happy more healthier life!