COPD flare ups can be bad, bad enough to land someone in a hospital. COPD is a group of progressive lung diseases that include chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Symptoms consist of shortness of breath, chronic cough, fatigue, wheezing and chest tightness. Whether your symptoms are mild or severe-regular exercise can prevent you or a loved-one from ending up in the emergency room.
Of course the symptoms from COPD can make exercise difficult, however, there are modified exercises you can do to help. Regarding mild COPD, light cardio is recommended at least 5 times a week for up to 30 minutes. Regular exercise can lower your resting heart rate and blood pressure so your body can use oxygen more efficiently. Your lungs won’t have to work so hard if you do this on a consistent basis. Exercise also makes you less susceptible for flare-ups and can help you lose weight, which in turn makes it easier for your lungs to function.
With more severe COPD, getting set up on a rehab program will be most beneficial. A respiratory therapists and team of professionals create a program for you to follow based on your exercise capabilities. Most pulmonary rehabilitation programs focus on breathing exercises, cardio and resistance training. The team helps you develop a year-long exercise plan to sustain your progress and once you complete the program, your exercise capacity gets reassessed.
Talk with your physician about your options. If you’re interested in pulmonary rehabilitation, ask your doctor to refer you to a program that follows American Heart Association guidelines. The benefits of exercise itself can be lasting and give you a better quality of life overall.