Using a Portable Oxygen Concentrator to Maintain an Active Lifestyle

Having COPD, or another condition that requires oxygen therapy, doesn't necessarily mean you need to sit at home all day and take it easy – far from it. You can still do all the things you've been wanting to do, as long as you pay attention to your body's needs and heed your doctor's advice.

If you want to help coach your grandson's baseball team or go camping with your granddaughter’s girl scout troop, you can do those things, even if you need to use oxygen therapy. This means you don't need to only spend time with your grand kids when they come over to visit.

You may have an oxygen concentrator at home, which can be cumbersome and not easily transported. This is where a portable oxygen concentrator comes in. A portable oxygen concentrator is something you will need if you want to go about your active lifestyle. They are truly worth having if your doctor has prescribed regular oxygen use, and you still want to take that vacation across the country with extended family.

Having COPD makes it harder for your body to take in oxygen. An oxygen concentrator works by filtering the air it inspires. The air around you only contains about 21% oxygen. Our bodies need plenty of oxygen to function properly. If you're short of breath or having trouble breathing, even over a short period of time, your blood oxygen level can drop and this becomes dangerous.

They come in different sizes that will easily fit into a luggage bag and are so lightweight that you won't take much notice. There are options for plugging them into an outlet, as well as being rechargeable with a lithium ion battery, like the kind that comes in many digital cameras. Some rechargeable batteries in these units function like a laptop, with a battery life that lasts for 5 hours or more.

You can also easily roll your portable oxygen concentrator around with you as you tour the sights in a new town, with the use of a slim rolling cart. Don't worry about taking up too much room around crowds, or getting in the way of others – you will actually have less width and weight to carry with you than someone with a baby stroller, or someone transporting their children in a wagon.

There are also bags that make it extremely easy for you to carry your lightweight oxygen concentrator around with you wherever you go. These bags can be carried like a purse or a back pack that no one will even notice.

You can't take oxygen tanks on an airplane, but you can take a portable oxygen concentrator with you on flights. Some oxygen concentrators are designs specifically so they can function just as well at 10,000 feet as they do on the ground. Be sure to compare units so you can buy one that will fit your personal travel needs.

You can still go anywhere with your family and participate in all the activities with your granddaughter’s girl scout troop out in the woods. These memories and quality time spent with your loved ones is completely worth it.

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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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