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December 27, 2017 | Pulmonology
For people with COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, exercise can be very beneficial. This is particularly true of exercise that works the heart and lungs, but when your breathing is obstructed, it can be difficult to know what kind of exercise will be beneficial and where to begin.
Exercise offers many benefits to people who suffer from COPD, including:
Before you begin any exercise routine, it’s important that you talk to your doctor about what you can do, and how much is safe.
Once you are cleared by your doctor to exercise, start by setting some realistic goals to keep you on track. To stay motivated, choose activities you enjoy, vary your workout routine and find an exercise partner who can keep you accountable.
During your workout:
Precautions are important when exercising with COPD. You don’t necessarily have to stop altogether if you get short of breath while exercising – your doctor can offer specific recommendations about when you should stop. A few other precautions include:
If you have COPD, you should generally avoid heavy lifting or pushing, chores like shoveling or raking, pushups or isometric exercises (pushing against immovable objects), walking up steep hills, or outdoor exercises when the weather is very hot, cold or humid.
There are certain signs that should cause you to immediately stop exercising. You should also sit down, and keep your feet raised while resting. If this doesn’t immediately make you feel better, call 911. Even if you do feel better, make sure to mention these symptoms to your doctor. They include:
Here are a few exercise types that can help with COPD:
Your doctor can offer additional recommendations for exercising with COPD.
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“COPD and Exercise: Breathing and Exercise Programs for COPD.” WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/lung/copd/copd-and-exercise-breathing-and-exercise-programs-for-copd#1
“Breathing Exercises with COPD.” Healthline.com. https://www.healthline.com/health/copd/breathing-exercises
The Live Better Team
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.