A debilitating condition, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can involve life-long management. With no known cure, it becomes essential to not only care for your health but to do so in a way that addresses the impact the condition can have on the body.
So, what exercises can a COPD patient undertake and what other best practice advice should you follow?
What is COPD?
A form of obstructive lung disease, COPD is characterised by blockages in the body’s airways, resulting in coughing, chest pain, reduced oxygen, inflammation and more. Commonly caused by irritants such as cigarette smoke and air pollution, even mild cases of COPD can significantly impact a patient’s daily life.
This can result in shortness of breath, the excessive production of phlegm, susceptibility to disease and more. This makes it essential to take any steps possible to improve your lung health and overall fitness to help mitigate the effects the disease has on the body.
What exercises can I try?
When it comes to exercise, it is essential to maximise the amount of effort involved and draw the most physical effort on the body. This makes stretching and stationary exercise like yoga effective for strengthening your core and promoting wellness, alongside les demanding exercise options such as walking or cycling.
Breathing exercises are also highly effective and allow you to develop lung strength and better manage your breath. These can involve a combination of deep breathing, diaphragm exercises, pursed lip breathing, and controlled breathing to aid in the event of breathlessness.
Pairing this with weights training, breathing exercises, and having a strict schedule to allow enough time for recovery can provide significant benefits.
What else can I do?
In addition to sticking to a reliable exercise regimen, it is helpful to make sure that your exercise program is supported by additional care. This include, but is not limited to-
Check in with the doctor: Holding regular appointments with your doctor can allow you to follow medical advice and put a solid exercise plan into place. This can help address any other bespoke problems you are facing and allow your condition to be properly managed.
Monitor health: In addition to regular medical visits, it can be helpful to regularly track your health. Staying on top of your oxygen saturation level is extremely helpful and can easily be done through the use of blood pulse oximeters. You can also use a blood pressure cuff to track your cardiovascular health and make sure that you are in the best health possible. There are many instructions on how to put on a blood pressure cuff available online, letting you get an accurate reading every time.
Remove Irritants: If you are still smoking or enjoying an unhealthy diet, now is the time to stop. Cutting carcinogens and irritants out of your diet is the first step toward positive change in your life and tackling withdrawal. Exercising in fresh air is also essential and, wherever possible. Avoiding working or exercising in areas with high instances of air pollution.