cnjolly
Pharmacist George
A:

Hi Cnjolly,

Actually the severity of your COPD will dictate how much you can and can’t do. The solution is working around your physical challenges and let those limitations be your guide in how physically active you can be. I would like to shy away from the term exercise because you don’t have to be an athlete to derive any health benefits from physical activity.

To some people although they have severe COPD and may not be able to go for jog they surely can walk around the house, the yard or the mall for at least 5 to 10 minutes at a time. Some people may be able to walk for longer before going out of breath and need a break or shorter depending on each condition. If you are able to walk for 10 minutes at a time then go ahead and do so then rest for a couple of hours. If you’re able to do more then do so and rest longer.

You can repeat this cycle 2 to 4 times daily or more or less depending on how you feel. If your using oxygen then don’t hesitate to take your oxygen along for the walk. If you are shopping at large discount retailers or supermarkets then use their electric cart since most offer them. But here’s a tip you, don’t complete all your shopping while riding that electric machine and miss out on precious physical activity that’s going to be crucial to slowing down COPD progression.

So if you’re using the store’s electric cart then take it to the isle where your item is located then park it at one end of the isle then get up and walk to pick up your item then go back to the cart. That walk to the item will take you probably a minute or two but if you have 20 or 30 items to pick up then it adds up. Use your judgment and your limitations and DO NOT exceed them.

Rest is as important as physical activity because without rest there will be no recovery, gain or health benefits. If you don’t give your body enough rest then your body can’t recuperate properly and will be under physical stress. Constant physical stress leads to chronic inflammation which will worsen your condition and start breaking down your muscles to produce energy to compensate for the lack of rest. That’s not a state you want to be in.

Just like anyone else, you may have good days and bad days. On your bad days when you’re not feeling so good then rest more but on good days when you feel better then pick it up a bit.

Avoid humidity, hot, sunny or cold weather because more effort will be required from your lungs and heart. If you want to be outdoors then make sure it’s moderate temperature and clement weather or opt for the controlled indoor temperatures of large stores or the mall.

You don’t want to be completely physically inactive because that’s going to make you gain weight which will worsen your COPD and heart. So it’s a delicate balancing act of rest and physical activity.

I would like to apologize to all of you for the delayed responses because I did not realize that your questions where in the inbox and the system did not alert me via email that questions are pending like the alerts I get for all other inquiries. I promise to be more prompt in the future.

Answered By Answered by Pharmacist George
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sheets
sheets October 17, 2012 at 9:11 am   

good morning,skealy..sorry to hear you lost your b/f,sometimes that can be a good thing,lol..what i mean is take that time to focus on yourself and what you need to do,like quit smoking,pulmanary rehab.for me was a god sent,it helped me alot,just the fact of getting out an doing something helps alot…good luck an keep in touch,your friend,paul

skealy
skealy October 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm   

I am in that state.The one you don't want to be in. Going to start going to the pool to exersize. I will start pulm. rehab in about two weeks. I have set my quit smoking date as the 28. My lungs are on fire and it's hard to breath. I will probably take my dog for a walk today that is about 13 blocks if we can handle. She's gotten pretty fat since I've been sitting for months because I've been feeling so bad. Worse the last few, because my b/f dumped me. I have fibro so that has been bad for so long. I had most of my small bowel removed in 06 and not walking causes that problems too. I really need to get my poop in a group and stand up and move and QUIT smoking. This has really taken a toll on my health. It's hard to get going. Really hard for me. Help?

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