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One of the great benefits of regular exercise is that it can improve your circulation. Improved circulation means your body can make better use of oxygen and help alleviate shortness of breath. By following a regular exercise routine you'll be strengthening your heart and cardiovascular system and lowering your blood pressure at the same time. Exercise will also give you a boost of energy and make you feel more relaxed when done. Along with the physical benefits it will provide, exercise can also increase your confidence in your abilities.
Only you and your doctor can determine what exercises will be of the most benefit to you; but consider the ideas below as a good place to start:
Aerobic & Cardiovascular Exercise - Aerobic exercise improves cardiovascular fitness, allowing your body to use oxygen more efficiently. Try some of the following:
Resistance training - Working out with light weights is a great way to build strength gently over time. If you dont belong to a gym, or you dont have weights at home, try holding a can of beans or a book in each hand really any comfortable weight will do. You can do traditional lifts with your weights or just carry them with you when you go for a walk. As your muscles are conditioned and trained - especially in your upper body - your respiratory muscles will become stronger and more fatigue resistant.
Stretching A great way to start and finish any exercise program is by stretching. Stretching before you exercise relaxes your muscles and improves your flexibility and range of motion; and when youre done with your exercise routing stretching can help you to avoid muscle strain and injury.
Yoga - Yoga is a great option for COPD sufferers. It's a combination of stretching and strengthening exercies, meditation and stress reduction techniques like controlled breathing, which can help reduce anxiety and induce relaxation while strengthening the body.
3 STEPS TOWARDS GOOD EXERCISE ROUTINE
When exercising, be sure to start with a light warm up period to help your body slowly adjust from rest to exercise. Start with stretching and move to a low intensity level exercise. Next you'll move into your conditioning phase where you will complete your primary exercise. This is where you will build muscle, burn calories and begin to increase your tolerance. Remember to start slow! Lastly you should include a cool down and stretching period. This will allow your body to gradually recover from the conditioning phase.
TIPS FOR EXERCISING WITH COPD
A WORD OF CAUTION
If you ever experience any dizziness, nausea, irregular heart beat, severe shortness of breath or pain you should stop exercising immediately. SIT DOWN, ELEVATE YOUR FEET AND TAKE A BREAK. If you do not feel better quickly, call your doctor.
Following a daily exercise routine can help control and minimize the symptoms associated with your COPD. With effort you may soon find you have improved endurance and can be more active in daily life without becoming fatigued. With a few precautions and guidance from your doctor and respiratory therapist, exercise will make you happier, healthier and stronger!