May has been declared National Fitness and Sports Month to try to educate Americans on how they can help prevent diseases and general bad health by getting the physical activity they need. According to Fitness.gov and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an adult should be getting around 150 minutes of exercise per week.
Of course, these 150 minutes can be broke up into smaller amounts of time each day – that divides out to 30 minutes 5 days a week, or about 22 minutes 7 days a week. If you can't reach 30 or 22 minutes every day that you exercise, but you dedicate at least 15 minutes a day, this will still make a difference on your general health. A combination of cardio and strength exercise is recommended, to cover your circulatory and respiratory systems, as well as your bone and muscles strength and balance.
If you have COPD and/or if you are using oxygen therapy, check with your doctor before you start any exercise regimen. Many COPD patients are instructed by their doctor to use oxygen therapy while they exercise, or they might be referred to a respiratory therapist, who will help you exercise while paying close attention to your lung capacity.
Staying physically active is becoming more and more important to Americans because of our changing habits and way of life. The average person is spending more time sitting and being sedentary, which is leading to diseases and physical problems. If you don't get enough physical activity, you are setting yourself up for many diseases and conditions, such as osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and depression, just to name a few. Not getting enough physical activity can also cause your immune system to not work as well as it should.
If you have COPD, getting exercise is even more important. Going by your doctor's instructions and by using an oxygen concentrator while you exercise, you can give your immune system a boost and prevent your lung capacity from decreasing. Strengthening your immune system will help prevent exacerbations by preventing you from getting sick. A common cold can sometimes be enough to irritate your lungs and cause an exacerbation, which will cause COPD to worsen.
By exercising, you are preventing the progression of COPD as well as the development of other diseases and complications that can come along with it, such as heart disease.
In general, people with COPD can do things like weight-lifting and other strength training exercises without issue. After getting advice from your doctor, get help for a few sessions from a physical trainer or a respiratory therapist to make sure you are breathing correctly while you are lifting, and to make sure you aren't overexerting yourself.
Walking briskly, either on a treadmill or around your neighborhood is a gentle cardio exercise that most people can safely do. Riding a regular bike or a stationary bike is ideal if you are concerned about putting pressure on your knees. The CDC recommends 75 minutes cardio per week, broken up by strength training that targets all of the muscle groups, for the other 75 minutes of physical activity during the week.