2013 has come and gone. The New Year is a time for reflection, but also a time to set new goals and yes resolutions too. It is no surprise that the most common New Year’s resolution is to exercise more. People usually make this resolution in the hopes of losing weight, looking better and feeling better. While exercise is good for everyone, it is essential for people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Although exercise will not reverse the lung disease, it is an effective way to improve quality of life. Exercising helps people use oxygen more efficiently. It strengthens breathing muscles as well as the rest of the muscles in your body. While losing weight is often desirable for us to look our best, it can also help with excess stomach fat. Fat around our middle tends to press on the diaphragm, making it even harder to breathe. Many studies, show that people with COPD who perform some level of regular physical activity have a lower risk of both hospital admissions and mortality.
Because of the benefits, exercise is actually prescribed for people with COPD. Many follow an exercise regime through their local pulmonary rehabilitation programs. Rehab programs teach those with COPD how to exercise in a group setting and often offer educational components as well to teach people more about their condition and how best to cope. So this year no matter what your resolutions are, it is safe to say we could all use a little dose of exercise and write ourselves a prescription that has many proven benefits. If you have COPD and would like to find out about pulmonary rehabilitation programs offered in your area: visit The Lung Association’s Lung Health Database.
This picture from one of Larry’s blog posts has a great quote to start out the new year and continue in it!
Jill Hubick – Registered Nurse & Certified Respiratory Educator, Lung Association of SK