Those living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD, know that the “simple” act of breathing can easily become one of the hardest parts of your day. When it becomes hard for you to catch your breath, panic and anxiety can set it, making breathing that much more difficult and stressful.
Often times activities that we used to enjoy such as walking or gardening can worsen our COPD symptoms, so we find ourselves beginning to avoid these previously beloved pastimes. However, getting in a cycle of avoiding any type of physical activity can lead you in a downward spiral of unhealthy habits, depression, and an eventual worsening of your COPD symptoms. So what can you do to help stop the breathlessness that accompanies active hobbies? The answer is simple; exercise your lungs.
An article from Everyday Health states that exercising your lungs and chest can actually help COPD patients slow down the progression of the disease. One recommended way to keep your chest muscles active and in top shape is to participate in aerobic exercise. These exercises do not have to be strenuous and can be a mixture of walking, stretching, and aerobics through the use of light weights.
Many COPD patients avoid aerobics because of the increased likelihood of a difficult breathing episode occurring. To prevent or help stop one of these events from happening, the COPD Foundation recommends practicing breathing techniques to help slow breathing and take the mind off the episode at hand.
Another helpful exercise for those living with COPD is to practice deep breathing. Respiratory therapist, Mardi Hayden, recommends finding one of these deep breathing exercises that you really like and practice it daily at the same times each day. As your exercises progress, you can gradually lengthen the amount of time that you do the exercise. Hayden recommends this deep breathing technique for those new to breathing exercises:
- Pull your elbows back firmly while standing or sitting
- Take a deep breath
- Hold the breath for the count of five
- Exhale slowly and completely
- Repeat as needed
As with any exercise regimen, it is recommended that you speak with your respiratory therapist or physician before beginning.
COPD can inhibit your lifestyle, if you let it. With these breathing exercises and techniques you can help to manage your COPD and get back to enjoying the activities that you used to love. Another option for helping control and manage your COPD is through the use of oxygen.
Oxygen Therapy can greatly increase the life expectancy and quality of life in COPD patients. Aeroflow Healthcare offers oxygen to our patients that is continually tested against FDA standards to ensure our patients receive only the highest quality and cleanest oxygen. Aeroflow Healthcare also offers the option of receiving your oxygen supplies through insurance. Simply complete our Qualify Through Insurance form and one of our Patient Care Representatives will verify your insurance and contact you to discuss your coverage and options.
Take control of your life again with the help of Oxygen Therapy from Aeroflow Healthcare and these simple breathing exercises.