MAR 20, 2020 8:35 PM PDT

Exercise For Persons With COPD

WRITTEN BY: Abbie Arce

The thought of starting an exercise program can be daunting, particularly for those who have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Persons diagnosed with diseases of the lungs may wonder how they can start or continue a heart-healthy exercise routine. Luckily, these patients have options.

COPD is actually an umbrella term for a group of lung diseases. These conditions black airflow, making breathing difficult. Because exercise increases the body’s need for oxygen, working out can be a scary proposition for COPD patients.

The most common conditions categorized as COPD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. These diseases can be managed with treatment but cannot be cured. They require diagnosis by a medical professional. These diseases can last anywhere from a few years to the remainder of a person's life.

For those looking to exercise despite these conditions, there is a wide range of options. Before selecting a modality, COPD patients should always consult a doctor first. Commonly selected modalities for COPD patients include walking, cycling, aerobics, and swimming. 

Reasons for taking on such a program include improved heart health, improved circulation, reduced COPD symptoms, increased endurance, lower blood pressure, and many more. For achieving optimal benefits, it is recommended that exercisers gradually work up to fitness sessions lasting 20-30 minutes, 3-4 times a week. Many find that exercising every other day helps them to keep a regular schedule.

No matter what modality a person chooses, every exercise session should start with a warm-up to avoid sudden stress on the heart, muscles, and lungs. To do this, exercise scientists suggest low-intensity movement with movement patters similar to the intended exercise. Also important are gentle range-of-motion activities to prepare the joints for movement. Next comes the conditioning phase. This phase is the longest part of the session and is where the highest level of intensity is achieved. Intensity can be monitored using wearable heart rate monitors or via manual heart rate checks. 

The key to getting into a sustainable exercise routine is being sure to start with something easy and building up over time. Beginners can start with as few as 10 minutes of cardiovascular exercise and increase the time gradually as their body adapts.
 

 

Sources: National Institutes of HealthCleveland ClinicMayo Clinic

About the Author
  • Abbie is an AFAA certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with an interest in all things health-science. She has recently graduated with her BS in Applied Sport and Exercise Science from Barry University in Miami. Next, she intends to earn an MPH with a focus in Epidemiology.
You May Also Like
AUG 11, 2020
Cardiology
Investigating the Link Between a Kidney Protein and Hypertension
AUG 11, 2020
Investigating the Link Between a Kidney Protein and Hypertension
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common cardiovascular condition with plenty of treatment options and preventi ...
OCT 04, 2020
Cardiology
The Genetics of Body Fat May Shape Health Risks
OCT 04, 2020
The Genetics of Body Fat May Shape Health Risks
The work may help explain why men and women are at risk for different diseases and often respond to different treatments ...
OCT 14, 2020
Immunology
Happiness Linked to Heart Attack Risk
OCT 14, 2020
Happiness Linked to Heart Attack Risk
Asking patients questions about their personal lives could predict their future risk of a heart attack. A study, publish ...
NOV 03, 2020
Cardiology
The Right Diet Can Help Heart Health & Lower Inflammation
NOV 03, 2020
The Right Diet Can Help Heart Health & Lower Inflammation
Most people know that certain foods are better for our health than others. Some types of food can increase, while other ...
DEC 24, 2020
Cardiology
The Detrimental Health Impact of Ultra-Processed Foods
DEC 24, 2020
The Detrimental Health Impact of Ultra-Processed Foods
Prepared and highly processed foods have become very common, and they've been linked to negative health effects like obe ...
DEC 29, 2020
Cardiology
Does Physical Activity Help Reduce the Risk of Aneurysms?
DEC 29, 2020
Does Physical Activity Help Reduce the Risk of Aneurysms?
An active lifestyle is a proven way to prevent many types of cardiovascular diseases. The increased blood flow can preve ...
Loading Comments...