Always check with your Health Care Professional before starting any exercise program or new activity.
“I can’t exercise. No way! I’m too short of breath!”
It’s normal to feel this way if you’re short of breath with COPD. However, exercise , done correctly and safely, is one of the best things you can do to be less short of breath. Shortness of breath is called dyspnea (disp-nee-yuh).
Almost all individuals with COPD have dyspnea, and because of it, they tend to do less and less. The less they do, the less they are able to do, and eventually they become too weak to do much at all. This is called progressive de-conditioning. De-conditioning is losing fitness from lack of exercise.
Exercise itself cannot reverse COPD, but it can change the way you feel, breathe, and function.
At first, your exercise routine should be slow and easy. Even if you think you can do more, take it slow. Your muscles are not used to working like that! Your exercise time and effort should gradually increase over time - each day, do a little more. When you’ve reached the point that you’re feeling better and breathing better, don’t stop. Keep it up at least three days a week.
Exercise cannot reverse lung disease but it can reverse de-conditioning and improve your quality of life.
If your health care professional has told you to use oxygen with activity, you should also use oxygen with exercise. Your usual oxygen flow rate (the number you set on your oxygen machine) may not be enough for you during exercise. Ask your health care provider how to set your oxygen for exercise.
While you’re here, look over these topics to learn tips on how to live better with your COPD.