A portable oxygen concentrator is an incredible device that has given thousands of patients renewed freedom and independence. Removing the tether to old, clunky, and outdated oxygen solutions opens the door to endless possibilities and experiences.
Another wonderful benefit to owning a light-weight and portable oxygen solution is your ability to exercise. Staying active and exercising may seem challenging when you suffer from COPD or other lung related illnesses. However, regular physical activity can actually help to strengthen your respiratory muscles, improve circulation and oxygen usage, and even assist in decreasing some COPD related symptoms.
Below you can find 3 of our favorite and less intensive exercises that are easier to complete with a portable oxygen machine. Please check with your doctor before making any changes to your health related habits.
Walking may seem simple, but it’s top on our list due to the fact that it is relatively low-impact and low resistance. Another great thing about walking is that it is completely free to do. Take a walk around your house, yard, neighborhood, local mall, and more. You don’t need any special equipment aside from your concentrator and your own two feet! Scientists have found that patients who maintained moderate or high level(s) of exercise— which in most cases equated to a walking regimen — were hospitalized only 53 percent as often as those who didn’t walk regularly(1).
If you suffer from allergies or other environmental related irritants it’s always important to check the AQI or Air Quality Index (Click Here to Read More about AQI) and the weather before your walk. Always be sure to check with your doctor prior to starting any new exercising and health related habits.
2. Arm Curls
Believe it or not, there are exercises you can complete while remaining seated and they will still be an effective way to improve your overall health! One great example of this style of exercise is the classic arm curl. Simply hold the weights are your sides, palms forward, and lift toward your chest, keeping elbows down, and exhaling slowly. (See the example below)
Lifting weights helps you to build strength, muscle mass, and muscle efficiency. Building muscle mass helps teach your body to use oxygen more efficiently and thus can help improve your COPD related symptoms. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do any serious lifting, even a moderate weight used regularly can help to strengthen your muscles overtime.
Always be sure to check with your doctor prior to starting any new habits.
3. Exercise Bike
Exercise bikes have been around for years and may seem like an outdated piece of equipment, however, they’re a great choice for someone with back, knee, joint, or COPD related issues. Exercise bikes help to strengthen your leg muscles, and works to improve your overall health and endurance. There are many different styles of exercise bikes available, many of our patients prefer a Recumbent bike. A Recumbent bike is a stationary bike that is reclined, with the peddles directly beneath you, allowing you to stretch out your legs. This style is generally less intensive and a favorite for those with knee related issues.
As always, check with your doctor prior to starting any new exercise habits.
Remember: Always speak with your doctor before beginning any new health related habits. If you have questions regarding your ability to preform these exercises, please speak with your doctor directly.