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Fall 2012
Volume 8, Issue 2
Health Chronicle
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Overcoming Exercise Barriers with COPD
Even though many people with chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease (COPD) want to exercise, they
may face difficult barriers that keep them from
being active.
Here are some common reasons why people don’t
exercise. Are any of these true for you?
Reason:
I get short of breath quickly. I can’t exercise
long enough for it to do any good.
Any exercise is better than none. Doing breathing
exercises and activities like walking, swimming and
gentle bicycling can really make a difference. You
may be able to exercise for only a few minutes, but
you will soon be able to add more. Remember to
congratulate yourself for your efforts. Log your
exercise so that you can see your progress.
Reason:
I am too tired.
Strengthening your heart and lungs will help you
feel less tired in the long run.
Reason:
Exercise is too much work.
Exercise does take a lot of effort. But compare that
effort with the option of getting sicker and weaker
with COPD. Helping your body get more oxygen by
exercising is a good way to decrease the frequency
of headaches, sleep trouble and other COPD effects.
Reason:
I don’t like to exercise.
Exercise doesn’t have to be tedious. In fact, experts
say that people who do something they enjoy are
much more likely to stick with it. You can garden,
dance or walk and get great results.
Reason:
I’m afraid to exercise.
Talk openly with your doctor about your concerns.
Ask what is safe for you and how to handle symptoms
you have during exercise.
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