If you suffer from COPD, then you know what it’s like to struggle with everyday activities that others don’t think twice about. And although you’re using an oxygen concentrator to improve your symptoms, did you know that there are a number of healthy activities you could be doing to improve your condition and better your quality of life?
Eat a Healthy Diet
Although you may be tempted to reach for fast food or frozen pizza after a long day, take a moment to consider how important a healthy diet can be for managing and improving your symptoms. And although a green smoothie won’t cure your COPD, eating foods high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals will help your body fight off chest infections that could lead to hospitalization.
Follow these healthy eating tips to better manage your COPD:
- Drink Enough Water: Aim for at least eight 8oz glasses of water every day to help thin mucus, prevent dry mouth, and transport nutrients throughout your body.
- Eat More Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are chock full of vitamins and minerals that are used by your body to build a stronger immune system that can fight off infection.
- Don’t skimp on meals: Don’t skip meals or try to restrict your calories if you’re still hungry. Fighting COPD takes a lot of energy, and some sufferers will need to eat more calories than the average person to help their bodies fight off infection and stay healthy.
You may be wondering how you’re supposed to exercise when daily tasks get difficult, but it’s important to try and move your body every day when you have COPD.
Aerobic exercise like walking, hiking, swimming, and biking will help strengthen the chest muscles and aid with breathing. Building stronger chest muscles means that daily activities like washing the dishes, climbing the stairs or going grocery shopping will be easier.
Even walking for 30 minutes a day will help strengthen your chest muscles. When starting a new exercise routine, keep these tips in mind:
- Start Slow: Don’t overexert yourself too quickly. Building fitness takes time and dedication.
- Set Goals: Be reasonable with your goals. Having something to work towards will give you the motivation to keep going.
- Exercise with a Friend: Having a workout buddy will keep you accountable.
Get A Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is essential for your health and treating your COPD because being constantly sleep-deprived can result in a worsening of your symptoms. Try out these tips to ensure you’re getting the shuteye you need to manage your COPD.
- Set a Sleep Schedule: Give yourself a bedtime and stick to it!
- Avoid Caffeine: Stick to herbal teas in the evening so that caffeine doesn’t interfere with your sleep cycle.
- Set the Right Atmosphere: Dim the lights in your bedroom and minimize annoying sounds.
- Get Checked for Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea can cause pauses in breathing while you’re sleeping, resulting in fitful and non-restorative sleep.
What you need to remember about living with COPD is that by adopting a healthy lifestyle, you can help manage your symptoms so that you’re able to live a more enjoyable and active life!