Warmer weather is swiftly approaching, which means you can enjoy getting your physical activity outdoors without dealing with the chill of winter. If you have COPD or another condition that requires you to use oxygen therapy, your lungs are probably sensitive to the extremely cold temperatures that some areas see in the winter, as well as the extreme heat that some areas have in the summer. For many people, spring is a time for getting outside and taking advantage of the mild weather.
Whether you need continuous oxygen, or you only need it at certain times of the day, you shouldn't be intimidated by some outdoor fun. If you need continuous oxygen, you can bring a portable oxygen concentrator with you. If you only use it for segments of the day, you can still get out and get the fresh air and sunshine. Just be sure to talk to your doctor before you make plans to start an exercise routine.
Tips for Safe Exercise with Oxygen Therapy
Maintain good posture while you are walking or doing any other type of exercise. Standing or sitting up straight improves your lung's ability to breathe. When you are slouching, your lungs and diaphragm are scrunched together, which makes it slightly harder for your lungs to expand.
You will also need to focus on breathing correctly. Breathing correctly is essential all the time, but it is even more important while you are exercising. You might have noticed how a bodybuilder breathes while they are lifting weights – they are breathing deeply and exhaling deeply in pattern with the up and down motion of the weights – this ensures that the proper amount of oxygen is reaching their muscles. If your muscles don't receive enough oxygen, they can cramp up or even become damaged.
While you are getting your physical activity, make sure you are steadily breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Don't breathe so deeply that it becomes uncomfortable; this is unnecessary and can cause more problems.
If you have allergies that occur in the spring, remember to take your allergy medicine at least 1 hour before you plan on going outdoors. Allergy symptoms can be dangerous to people with chronic lung conditions. You should also take off your shoes and jacket as soon as you enter the house and wipe them off to remove any pollen or mold spores. Change your clothes and wash them as quickly as possible and wash your hair after you get home.
Safe Outdoor Exercise With an Oxygen Concentrator
Of course, walking is a good choice, as is riding a bicycle. Your oxygen concentrator will be strapped to your back or secure to your side while you are moving. If you require continuous oxygen, you will need to stick to land or dry exercise, since your concentrator is an electronic machine and contact with water can be dangerous and cause it to stop working.
Other ways of getting outdoor activities are playing easy games, like badminton, horseshoes or slow-paced baseball.
Updated: February 20, 2018