You have decided to learn about how being more physically fit can impact your COPD. That’s great! Some people with COPD feel that they cannot do any form of exercise. They think it makes them feel too short of breath. Others worry that exercising may not be safe for them. They are afraid they might injure themselves. Or they are afraid they may make their lung disease worse. It is wise to be concerned about the kinds of physical activities that are safe for you to do. However, everyone can benefit from including a suitable exercise program into their daily routines.
Before you read this chapter, we suggest you read Section A, Chapter 6, “Exercise Activities and Overall Physical Fitness for Anyone with COPD.” Chapter 6 presents general information about the overall benefits of exercise. It has guidelines for when to seek a medical review of your exercise tolerance level. And it explains some of the common terms used to describe the basics of a fitness program. This chapter offers activity and fitness guidelines for individuals with moderate to severe COPD. These instructions are not meant to be a substitute for getting a medical assessment and exercise suggestions from your health care provider. Your health care providers are the best people to advise you about how much and how often you should exercise. They can give you specific instructions about how to safely monitor your progress.
Throughout this chapter you will find exercise pictures with spaces to fill in. After talking with your health care provider you can design a program using these pictures as a guide. Or, you can ask your health care provider or exercise professional to help you by “filling in the blanks.” In this way, your program will meet your specific fitness needs.