Fall can be a visually stunning time of year, but it can also be tough on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients like you and me. The days are starting to cool off in the fall, but the temporary reprieve can turn into trouble as the seasons change. Chilly temperatures can make doing outdoor exercises harder for people with COPD. However, that doesn’t mean we need to give up on exercising. In fact, there are 3 great indoor exercises that can benefit people with COPD.
Walking is an ideal exercise option for COPD patients in general, but it can also be an indoor exercise option in the fall and winter. After all, you can move your daily outdoor walk into your home by jumping on a treadmill. COPD patients can also find many places in their area where they can walk indoors. Malls and large department stores offer plenty of space to walk around, or you could check out the gyms in your area to see if there are indoor tracks available.
For COPD patients who prefer to bike rather than walk, there’s an indoor option for you as well. Stationary bikes can provide you with all the benefits of biking while helping you stay away from fall issues like colder air and airborne irritants. There are also different kinds of stationary bikes you can use to mix up your indoor biking routine.
If you’re looking for a more active workout, an upright stationary bike could be an option for you. These bikes allow you to stand up, sit in a racing position or sit with your back straight, and these possible positions allow you to work many of your core muscles. For a more relaxed indoor biking workout, recumbent stationary bikes are a better option. These bike machines typically have a seat with a backrest to help you maintain balance, and this can also help reduce the stress on your back and core so you can focus on breathing.
People with COPD can have a weak diaphragm, and this makes diaphragm breathing exercises a fantastic indoor exercise option. Your diaphragm is working if your belly is moving up and down as you breathe. However, many COPD patients rely on upper body muscles for breathing, which can weaken the diaphragm.
Diaphragm breathing exercises are fairly easy to do because they’re often done while you’re sitting or lying down, and there are just a few basic steps you need to know to use them. First, you’ll want to place 1 hand on your chest and the other on your belly. This will allow you to tell which muscles are working as you breathe. Then, breathe in through your nose for 2 seconds and exhale through pursed lips for 4 seconds, and focus on moving only the hand on your belly as you breathe. You can do this exercise for a few minutes several times a day to increase its benefits for your diaphragm and lungs.
At Lung Health Institute, we know that factors like diet and exercise can help treat COPD naturally.
This realization is what led us to design our Anti-Inflammatory Initiative™, or AI2™. This plan includes information about lung-healthy foods, recipes and exercise options. By using our AI2 plan as part of your COPD treatment, you can take advantage of several benefits: This plan is intended to help boost the strength of your immune system, and they can also help train your body to use fats as inflammation-fighting fuel.
Take the next step to Breathe Easier™. Contact a Lung Health Institute patient coordinator today for more information or to schedule a free consultation.
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