Russell Winwood, the COPD athlete, here. Today, I want to talk about some of the benefits cycling offers patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). I have a lot of experience with cycling personally because it’s a major component of the Ironman competition, and I was fortunate enough to complete this event after being diagnosed with COPD.
After spending so much time doing cycling training, I noticed several benefits of this type of exercise, and I’d like to share my experience with you.
- Cycling Is Low Impact — Some of the hardest exercises for me and other COPD patients are high impact. High-impact exercises include things like running and jumping rope, and they tend to place more stress on a person’s body. High-impact exercises are often especially hard on the lungs. Cycling is a more low-impact form of cardio because all you have to do is pedal. While hills and uneven ground can make you breathe harder, this isn’t a problem if you stick to relatively level riding surfaces. I also encourage you to pick a pace that’s comfortable for you. That way you’re less likely to have difficulty breathing while cycling.
- You Have a Greater Sense of Freedom on a Bike — One of the biggest hurdles for many COPD patients is the feeling that you aren’t as free as you once were. This feeling typically stems from the way COPD can reduce your lung function and make it harder to do common daily tasks. After all, if you get out of breath while walking up the stairs, you probably feel a whole lot less free. Cycling can help COPD patients find a renewed sense of freedom. One way it does this is by allowing you to move faster than you could while walking. Most people are also able to travel farther while cycling than they could go by walking for the same length of time. This increased ability to move faster and farther with less impact to your lungs may be just the ticket to brighten the day of many COPD patients.
If you use a portable oxygen concentrator, take it with you. Secure it to the back rack on your bike so you can have the oxygen you need to be active.
As an avid cyclist myself, I’m very conscious of the benefits this form of exercise offers me. However, as with any new form of physical activity, COPD patients should consult with their doctor before trying cycling.
Lung Health Institute Can Help COPD Patients Improve Their Overall Health
At Lung Health Institute, the health care team is dedicated to helping COPD patients maintain a high quality of life. One way we can help chronic lung disease patients with their quality of life is with our 3 Anti-Inflammatory Initiative™, or AI2™, plans.
Each AI2 plan is designed to provide information to patients with COPD. For example, these plans offer tips about exercising, and they also offer information about lung-healthy eating. All the information offered by our AI2 plans is intended to have several benefits for you, including helping to boost your immune system. These plans are also designed to help train your body to use fats as inflammation fighting fuel.
Take the next step to find relief. Contact Lung Health Institute today for more information or to schedule a free consultation.