How to Exercise when suffer from the COPD



If you've got chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), it's more important than ever to get some exercise—it can save your lung function and slow down the progression of COPD. As you know, the shortness of breath that comes with exertion can make it tempting to move less than you did before. This sets up a vicious cycle: shortness of breath leads to inactivity, which leads to a decline in fitness, which leads to further shortness of breath and inactivity.

To get out of the rut, many experts or doctors will recommend walking, stationary biking, and elliptical training. They work well for people with COPD, but strength and resistance training are playing an increasing role in patients regimens.

As we age, people—particularly those over the age of 60—lose muscle fibers, also healthy people lose fast-twitch muscles, which are used for short bursts of energy. But individuals with COPD tend to lose slow-twitch muscles, which are used for endurance activities as well.

Weight training helps to improve skeletal muscle function so patients can remain active longer. Exercise of the lower legs—frequently walking or cycling—is the main focus of any organized exercise program for COPD, but exercising the upper arms through resistance training is also helpful. (Like anyone starting an exercise program, a person with COPD should be cleared for exercise by a health care provider)

If you have COPD, another advantage of exercising the respiratory system is to learn how to cope with the panic that can occur with shortness of breath.

In the normal life, there will be someone is hit in the stomach and can’t get their breath, but exercise teaches you how to deal with that sensation, to work through it. You know they are going to get up the steps, and they will get short of breath, but now you know, ‘Im not going to keel over and die.”

To fight panicky feelings, Respiratory therapists mainly offer two common breathing techniques: pursed lip and diaphragm breathing. Pursed lip breathing is performed by inhaling through the nose and then exhaling through pursed lips (as if one is going to whistle). The exhale should be longer than the inhale, but air should not be forced out. This breathing helps people relax and reduces the amount of air trapped in the lungs. Diaphragm breathing helps to strengthen this important muscle and is accomplished by lying on ones back with knees bent and making the stomach, rather than the chest, move out while inhaling and in while exhaling.

You can use these two techniques often while you at home or go out, especially the pursed lip. It will help you relax and calm down much.

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