Staying Active with COPD

Health, Home & Family
on April 16, 2012

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a group of different lung diseases that makes it increasingly difficult for sufferers to breathe. According to the Mayo Clinic, emphysema and chronic asthma bronchitis are the two main conditions that make up COPD. Most COPD is caused by long-term smoking. While the damage caused cannot be reversed, staying as active and healthy as possible is the best way to prevent worsening symptoms. Here are five tips to help you stay as active as possible.

Maintain a healthy weight. Take your doctor’s advice and maintain a healthy weight to protect yourself against the symptoms of COPD. According to the COPD Foundation, you may need to lose weight to make it easier to breathe, or gain weight to ensure that you are better equipped to cope with an exacerbation (worsening of symptoms). Design a regular weekly exercise regime, and eat a healthy, balanced diet.

Pace yourself. Whether you are exercising or simply going about everyday activities, make sure that you pace yourself. If you try to do too much too quickly, then you will rapidly become out of breath and find that you cannot continue at all. A moderate and steady but sustainable pace ensures that you are able to stay active for longer.

Customize your home. You can purchase a range of different items around the house, such as a shower stool, which can make everyday tasks much easier. Rearrange things to ensure that the items you need every day are easy for you to reach. De-clutter rooms so that it is easier to move around freely. By making your everyday life easier, you will have more energy and enthusiasm to take part in other activities.

Meet other COPD sufferers. It can be very difficult to remain motivated when you are alone. Consider joining a support group for COPD sufferers, and make a commitment to meet up regularly. You are more likely to remain motivated if you exercise with others, and a support network can help you on the days that you are struggling.

Find something you love doing. Everybody is motivated in different ways. Some forms of exercise are likely to be very unappealing, so look for activities that you naturally enjoy. Go for a walk in your favorite park. Take your friend’s dog for a stroll, or go for a gentle swim. Anything that you can look forward is much more likely to help you see regular, sustained benefits.