Exercise, COPD & Me

“I wouldn’t be able to exercise. It makes me too breathless. Wouldn’t exercise make me worse?”

It’s very normal to feel this way if you’re short of breath with COPD. Exercise, done in a safe way, is one of the best things you can do to improve your breathlessness.

Many people with COPD find that being breathless is the hardest part of their condition to deal with. Breathlessness can cause people to do less and less activities.

The less you do, the less you are able to do.

This can lead to your muscles becoming weaker and eventually it can become difficult to do much at all

What happens if I don’t exercise?

“It may come as a surprise but breathlessness when you exercise is good for you”

It is a normal response to activity. Breathlessness may occur more easily and more often when you have COPD but that does not mean that activity should be avoided.

Weaker muscles need more oxygen to work. Exercising regularly can make your muscles stronger so that they need less oxygen to do the same amount of work. If you avoid activity that makes you breathless then muscles may weaken and this can cause more breathlessness.

Exercise cannot cure COPD, but it can change how you manage and experience your breathlessness, improve fitness levels and improve your quality of life. It has a positive effect on both your physical and mental wellbeing.

It is important that you pace yourself, but the more you do the more that you will be able to do.

Exercises to do at Home

Make some kind of exercise part of your daily routine. Walking is one of the best things that you can do but in times of poor weather it can be difficult to get out, so you will need to have another plan.

Here are some exercises that can be easily done at home.

You can contact COPD Support Ireland 086-0415128 to check if there are exercise classes in your area with the local COPD Support Group.

“Exercise is like milk – if you don’t keep it fresh, it goes sour very quickly.”