COPD patients often find themselves doing fewer and fewer actions that require physical effort. Unfortunately, this lack of exercise further lowers their ability to endure exercise in general. This can ultimately lead to a more advanced stage of physical unfitness. This unfitness is partially caused by “progressive deconditioning.” Deconditioning, or losing fitness, occurs when you stop exercising. It becomes progressive because the less you do, the less you feel able to do! We’ve all heard the saying “use it or lose it.” How quickly you lose fitness depends on several factors. These include how fit you were to start with and how long you’ve been exercising. It also depends on how long ago you stopped exercising on a regular basis.
- Design an exercise program that is fun to do
- Master the art and work of breathing
- Set reasonable goals for keeping and improving your fitness
- Learn how to check your progress so that you can safely advance your program and improve your fitness