With the breathing challenges associated with COPD, the last thing a person with the disease may feel like doing is exercising and risking becoming even more out of breath. Yet, exercise is crucial for all of us, including those with COPD, to maintain optimal health. In fact, there are several recent studies that document the proven pulmonary benefits of exercising with COPD, and that outline the negative outcomes for inactivity – such as increased hospitalizations and premature death.
Providing the top home health care Towson has to offer, Absolute Companion Care suggests the following types of COPD exercises, as recommended by the American Lung Association (after first getting approval from the doctor):
- Stretches. Stretching is often overlooked when developing an exercise regimen, but it’s vitally important. Research shows that stretching exercises performed in conjunction with cardio resulted in reduced episodes of shortness of breath. Stretch all of the major muscles with these exercises:
- Bend from one side to the other; hold and then switch sides
- Lift your ankle up behind you; hold and then switch sides
- Gently turn the head to one side and then the other
- While seated on the floor with legs outstretched, reach forward as far as you comfortably are able
- Cardio exercises. The goal with cardio exercises is to raise the heart rate, which strengthens the lungs and increases their efficiency. When beginning an exercise program from an inactive lifestyle, or if experiencing more advanced symptoms of COPD, it’s important to keep the intensity level low and then, if possible, slowly work your way up. Walking, bicycling and swimming are all good COPD exercises to incorporate. For those on oxygen therapy, be sure to check with the doctor on the potential need to increase flow rate during cardio exercises.
- Strength training. Strength training helps build and strengthen muscles, including those that are integral to breathing. Again, begin slowly after a period of inactivity and gradually increase efforts over time. For instance, rather than lifting weights at first, hold cans of soup or bottles of water and lift them slowly while bending the elbows. When this becomes comfortable, switch to weights or resistance bands to enhance the intensity of the workout. Simple squats and lunges are also very effective for improving muscle strength.
Absolute Companion Care, the top rated providers of home health care Towson seniors trust, can help with COPD exercises and a wide range of services to improve quality of life for those with COPD, including:
- Exercising with elders to provide motivation and encouragement to stick with an exercise program
- Providing transportation to the local senior center or gym for enhanced exercise opportunities outside of the home
- Take care of light housework, meal preparation, and other chores, freeing elders up to focus on improving their health
- And much more!
To schedule a free in-home assessment to learn more about our home care services for older adults, call us at 410-357-9640. We’ll create a customized plan of care and then monitor that plan ongoing to ensure the perfect level of care is always provided – today, and as care needs change in the future. Partner with Absolute Companion Care and discover a higher quality of life and wellbeing for your elder loved one!