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
Applied Sport and Exercise Science
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
APR 19, 2022
Cardiology
Daily Coffee May Improve Longevity and Heart Health
APR 19, 2022
Daily Coffee May Improve Longevity and Heart Health
Good news for coffee fans!
MAY 12, 2022
Plants & Animals
Coffee's Impact on Cholesterol Depends on Drinker Sex, Brewing Method
MAY 12, 2022
Coffee's Impact on Cholesterol Depends on Drinker Sex, Brewing Method
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages on the planet. Produced from the seeds of the Coffea plant, coffee beans are ...
MAY 12, 2022
Clinical & Molecular DX
Researchers Show Influenza Directly Infects the Heart
MAY 12, 2022
Researchers Show Influenza Directly Infects the Heart
Heart complications are often observed in severe or fatal cases of Influenza. These problems can include electrical malf ...
JUN 19, 2022
Neuroscience
Heart Disease and Diabetes Double Dementia Risk
JUN 19, 2022
Heart Disease and Diabetes Double Dementia Risk
Having two or more cardiometabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disaese, and stroke, doubles dementia risk. ...
JUN 26, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Vitamin Supplements are a 'Waste of Money' for Healthy Americans
JUN 26, 2022
Vitamin Supplements are a 'Waste of Money' for Healthy Americans
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends against using beta carotene or vitamin E supplements to preven ...
JUL 13, 2022
Cardiology
Eating Eggs May Lower Heart Disease Risk
JUL 13, 2022
Eating Eggs May Lower Heart Disease Risk
Eating up to one egg per day may lower heart disease risk.
Loading Comments...