New and Fun Ways to Get Exercise if You Have COPD

Many people dislike working out, but they find the motivation to do it, whether they are trying to lose weight and tone up, or keep their heart and lungs healthy. Some people don't bother to start exercising until they've been diagnosed with some disease that is combated by exercise, and that's okay, too. Better late than never is how we can look at exercise.

Of course, before you start any new exercise program, you should consult with your doctor and follow their advice. If you've been diagnosed with COPD, your doctor might have already told you to get a certain amount of exercise per week and may have also given you some types of exercises that would be good for someone with a lung condition.

Physical activity is good for someone with COPD (as well as many other types of diseases) because it helps your respiratory and circulatory system work together more efficiently to disperse oxygen to all the cells in your body. If you have a portable oxygen machine, you might be advised to use it while you are working out to make sure you are indeed taking in enough oxygen while you exercise.

You should also exercise, even if you don't feel like it. If you feel sick or you are having a hard time breathing, however, you should see your doctor immediately to take care of the problem. Aside from that, you should set aside at least 15 minutes, 3 or 4 times a week to do your exercise.

Pace yourself when you are exercising, especially when you are starting out, and you haven't gotten much physical activity in a while. If you start to feel too out of breath or if you become light-headed, take a breather. Keep your rescue inhaler close by, if you have one.

Doing something fun will make exercise seem like less of a chore, and more like something you can look forward to. The “Wii Fit” game for the Nintendo Wii game system has been found to be a perfect and effective form of exercise for people with COPD. To get the most out of an exercise, your heart rate needs to get to a certain point. A study in Connecticut showed that people with COPD who used the Wii Fit program were able to get to a target heart rate and drastically improve their oxygen usage.

Swimming and water sports are another fun way to get some physical activity if you have COPD. People who are diagnosed with COPD are usually over the age of 45, which is also a time when they might be suffering from joint ailments, like arthritis, or just bones and joints that aren't as strong and resilient as they used to be. Water exercises are ideal for older people in general because they significantly reduce the impact that is hard on joints.

More resistance is also added by the weight of the water, which causes your lungs and heart to work a little harder to pump the oxygenated blood throughout your body. Swimming, pool volleyball, and even wading back and forth in 4 feet of water a few times is enough to get your heart and lungs working effectively.

About Scott Ridl: Scott joined American Medical Sales and Rentals in 2008 as a Web Manager and Content Writer. He is a writer and designer. He is extensively trained on oxygen therapy products from leading manufacturers such as Inogen, Respironics, Chart, Invacare, ResMed and more. Scott works closely with respiratory therapists and oxygen specialists to educate the community about oxygen therapy products, COPD, asthma and lung diseases. He writes weekly columns and is passionate about educating the community on oxygen therapy and respiratory issues.

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