Maintaining an active lifestyle with COPD can improve your symptoms and actually strengthen your lungs. But starting an exercise regimen can seem like a daunting, insurmountable task when breathing is an everyday struggle. We’re here to tell you that it’s not. With these tips, you can conquer your doubts and be on your way to easier breathing and stronger lungs.
Talk to your doctor – Ask your doctor what type of exercise is right for you. Find out if you need to use your portable oxygen concentrator when you work out. Consider talking to a nutritionist or personal trainer about a daily exercise routine with COPD. Some common exercise activities for people with COPD include walking around the neighborhood, riding the stationary bike at the gym, or taking a low impact class like tai chi.
Stretch – Let your muscles know that you’re about to use them. It doesn’t matter how far you can reach, as long you’re increasing blood flow and preparing the body for activity.
Warm-Up – Don’t start out at your quickest pace or most difficult regimen. By starting out slow, you can acclimate your body to exercise conditions. Low intensity exercise with COPD helps your lungs get ready for heavier breathing.
Breathe – This is the most important part of exercise with COPD. Your muscles need oxygen to move, and you need to supply it. Instead of focusing on the difficulty or how slow you move, try to feel yourself breathing in and out. Breathing during exercise with COPD can seem challenging, but it can become easier over time.
Take your time – Never overexert yourself. Start with a short walk, and try to increase the length a little bit every day. Know your limits and keep at a steady pace. COPD can seem like a debilitating condition when exercising, but with a daily regimen you make small improvements over time.
Have fun! Try to think of exercise as something other than a chore. It should be an enjoyable activity that you can do three to four times a week and look forward to. Consider your own unique preferences and find a way to make exercise with COPD a rewarding part of your life.
Exercise with COPD is possible! By taking it slow and believing in yourself, you can minimize your symptoms and live a healthier lifestyle.