Carolyn's Collection

Exercise And COPD
Before I start I would like to make sure you understand that I am NOT a trained professional and any thing I might write is from my own research and personal knowledge. Before you start an exercise program of any kind you should check with your doctor.

Perf Exercise tips starts out:
"Hearing the suggestion, or advice, to start exercising is enough to make anyone groan with dread. When, in addition, you have trouble breathing it may seem like an impossibility. We know how difficult exercising is for you, but everyone should exercise. If you have respiratory disease you must exercise.
More about that later.
Let's take first things first and get you started."

"Starting an exercise program can be very difficult - so why bother? Is it really worth it? You bet, it is! We could list a whole page of benefits, but the biggest benefit is the freedom you will again have. Being limited to an area only as large as that which you can cover in a few minutes of walking is worse than being in jail! No wonder people with respiratory disease often are depressed or irritable. Who wouldn't be!

And that is another benefit of exercise.
*Your sense of well being will increase and life will feel worth living again.
*You'll sleep better at night.
*Your arthritis usually improves and is better than it has been in years.
*Bronchial secretions at first seem to increase, as you cough them up after walking.
But a regular exercise program is the best thing you can do to decrease your sputum or get rid of it entirely. So then what happens?
*You aren't as susceptible to infections and you feel better!"

An exercise or conditioning program is one of the most important aspects of managing COPD. Regular exercise can enable you to improve your overall strength and endurance. By improving general fitness, respiratory muscles are strengthened. This improves your ability to perform activities despite shortness of breath.

When your muscles are strengthened by exercise it will take less O2 to do the physical things in your life, therefore you will be using your O2 for the important things like your heart and other organs.  This does not mean that exercise will get you off O2 but you will feel better overall and after awhile you will not be as SOB as you were.  You will have more energy to do the little things in life that are so important for us.

For example summer is now upon us.  If you sit without exercising all winter long and spring arrives and you want to go out to your garden - be it flower, vegetable or both you will find it very difficult to do.  You are too tired...too SOB... not enough energy.  Now you won't enjoy your gardening because it has become a chore to be dreaded not a pleasure!

Yes exercise can be tiring but it is a good tired -   "a job well done" tired but please don't push yourself to the point of exhaustion or pain. You will be a bit tired and maybe a bit sore at first but don't let it go beyond that.

If at all possible have your doctor recommend a formal Pulmonary Rehab class. 
If one is not available ask him what he would suggest.  Remember - don't start any type of exercise without your doctor's consent.

Here are 2 very good websites on Exercising with COPD: 
Perf2wind gives the whys and wherefores
Huff and Puff gives exercises for people with Lung diseases.