Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, abbreviated as COPD, is a condition that proposes to increase the energy you expend for breathing. COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a condition where you succumb to endure one or several diseases, including bronchitis, emphysema, and certain lung conditions that compromise your ability to breathe. Prescribing anti-inflammatory medications that reduce swelling of the airways, and pulmonary rehabilitation could be a line of treatment followed. Exercise could be a part of the pulmonary rehabilitation, and deliver maximum benefits.
Working out is a great solution through which you would be able to increase your stamina, your energy levels, and most importantly, your lung functioning. Before you take on your regimen, consult your health care practitioner, whether using inhalers to enhance your lung function, would be appropriate. Also, ensure that you take the necessary precautions, while you conduct exercises for yourself.
You are bound to feel extremely lazy to exercise, however, when you analyze and list the benefits that exercise could deliver, you could feel motivated to perform those exercises with thorough diligence, and not to forget, the COPD exercise guidelines. Make a list as to what, exercising can do for you. Here is a list of benefits that exercising regularly could deliver. Here are some vital points I could think of, however, I believe the advantages of exercising are indeed boundless. Feel free to add some more, that you think, fit the bill.
Benefits of Exercising
- Blood circulation is improved
- Manages your chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) symptoms
- Improves stamina so that you may perform activities without feeling tired
- Heart health is maintained, and cardiovascular system is strengthened
- Increases endurance
- Lowers blood pressure
- Tones the muscles; improves joint flexibility
- Strengthens bones
- Helps reduce body fat and helps you reach a healthy weight
- Helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression
- Boosts self-image and self-esteem
- Makes you look fit and healthy
- Fights Insomnia
- Makes you feel more relaxed
- Increase your activity level, provided you are exercising regularly.
- Choose an activity you love, and enjoy indulging in. Exercising should be fun. Add a variety of exercises so you do not get bored. You should not be tired of performing the exercise that you do regularly, rather, you must feel upbeat about the regimen before you begin, everyday. You'll be more likely to stick with a program if you enjoy the activity.
- Set goals; set realistic ones. Building castles in the air would not serve the purpose. Get real, get going. If you have weight loss as your goal; or improving your stamina and endurance is what you aim for, make sure you choose an exercise regimen, that you know you would stick to, with complete candor. Have a conviction about the type of workout you take up.
- Before exercising, ensure that you wait, at least for an hour after eating a meal.
- When you consume liquids while you exercise, remember to follow your fluid restriction guidelines.
- Dress according to the weather, and choose a fabric that does not bother you and make you feel conscious while you exercise. Wear appropriate footwear.
- Schedule your routine and plan to exercise at the same time everyday. You may plan to exercise in the morning while you are fresh and work has not worn you out.
- Exercise at a steady pace.
- Stick to your regimen. Don't give it up. You are bound to get the returns you desire and long for. Patience is the paramount requirement. If you exercise regularly, it will soon become a part of your lifestyle.
- Find a 'buddy'. Both of you could make sure that your motivation meters do not dwindle!
- It is not advisable to workout outdoors, when the weather is very hot or extremely cold. Soaring humidity levels may lead to experiencing excess fatigue. Extreme weather conditions may lead to difficulty in breathing, making you uncomfortable. For days when you are faced with such weather conditions, indulge in indoor exercises or activities.
- Post exercising, make sure not to have a shower with piping hot or stinging cold water. Also, ensure that as you return after exercising, you don't resort to lying on the bed or take a 20 minute nap. This would plummet the resistance level of your exercise routine. If however, you would like to relax, recline on a comfortable chair.
- If you were on a vacation, an important business tour or the weather is playing spoil sport with your regimen, do not abruptly start exercising at the same pace with which you were used to exercising after a long break. Resume your normal pace steadily. This way, you do not urge your body to go from a dormant state to a dominant, active state.
- Skip your workout routine when you are unwell. Resume exercising only when you receive an affirmative signal from your trusted health care practitioner. When you do start exercising again, do not over-exert yourself. Increase your pace gradually.
The four main phases of exercises that you must involve in your daily regimen are stretching, aerobic exercise, and strengthening exercise, followed by a cool down phase.
This is generally the warm-up session that you must perform before you begin with your exercises. This is to ensure that your muscles are loose and do not have any stiffness remaining in them. A warm-up also helps the body 'wake-up' and get ready for the exercise. Stretching helps prevent injury and muscle strain. Regular stretching also increases your flexibility.
Cardiovascular or Aerobic
This is a steady physical activity using large muscle groups. Aerobic exercises are beneficial as they strengthen the heart and lungs, and improve one's stamina. Gradually, aerobic exercise helps decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. It will also improve your breathing, and you would be glad to find the difference when you exercise, as your heart need not work harder during exercise. Walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, skating; you could take up any form of exercise. The most important element, is that you must enjoy what you are doing.
This involves repeated muscle contractions or tightening, until the muscles becomes tired. Strengthening exercises for the upper body are helpful for people with COPD, as they help increase the strength of your respiratory muscles.
The cool down phase is the last phase of your exercise session. A cool down phase, allows the body to recover from the strengthening phase. Your heart rate and blood pressure will return to normal levels. Many of us make a mistake by having a misconception about the cool down phase. A cool down phase does not mean that you must fold your legs or stretch them and take a seat after a vigorous bout of exercise. A cool down is as essential as a warm-up. It indicates that you need to relax your muscles after a workout.
The best way to cool down is to reduce the intensity of the exercise gradually, so that your system does not sustain a jerk, that you have suddenly stopped. Get your body to become accustomed with the current condition of the body. Applying the breaks gradually warns your body that you are decreasing the intensity. If however you decide to stop suddenly, you may not be surprised to find yourself feeling washed out, dizzy, lightheaded, or develop palpitations.
COPD Exercise Benefits
Improved Circulation - A regular exercise regimen can help regulate the heartbeat as this is associated with the condition as well as increase the distribution of oxygen.
Strengthens Muscles - Walking, swimming or cycling; choosing any form of exercise can be beneficial for your system to build endurance and strengthen the muscles of the body. These exercises are of great help to your heart, diaphragm and lungs, as exercises help them grow stronger. This is important, as the organs are not functioning as they are supposed to, and thus, they need to resume their normal functioning.
Weight Management - The extra weight when lost with the help of exercising regularly, will aid you in shedding those extra pounds that could reduce the pressure on the diaphragm, making it easier for you to breathe.
Symptoms May Plummet - Difficulty in breathing, high blood pressure, and blood sugar levels constantly fluctuating, mood swings, anxiety and depression; all conditions could improve through the benefits exercise provides.
You may refer to the guidelines as and when required, and make it a point not to deviate from your goal of improving your condition. Keep your spirits high, and you are sure to emerge a winner!