Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive lung condition that will change your life if you have it, and I should know. Hello, there. My name is Russell Winwood, and I’m known as the COPD athlete.
Since my own COPD diagnosis, I’ve been able to run marathons and complete 3 Ironman competitions. While not every COPD patient will be able to handle this level of activity, there are some tips I use that may help you gear up for your spring running with COPD.
5 Tips for Gearing up for Spring Running With COPD
There are 5 tips I use in my own training that may help you get back to running this spring if you have COPD.
The first of these tips is to set a goal for yourself. My wife, Leanne, first raised the possibility of my competing in a fourth Ironman competition in 2019. After considering the hard work and difficulties such an undertaking would pose, I decided to make this my goal.
For other COPD patients looking to try running again this spring, setting a goal is equally as important. In fact, you may find it’s easier to create a plan to gear up for running once you’ve established it as a goal for yourself.
The second tip I can offer you: take the time to build your knowledge. You’ll need many kinds of knowledge in order to successfully reach your goal of running this spring. For instance, you’ll need to know how much activity your body can take now, and you’ll also have to find ways to gradually build up your exercise tolerance without provoking an exacerbation of your COPD symptoms.
Taking your prescribed medications regularly is another important tip I recommend. Medication is one of the main ways many of us manage our COPD symptoms. I encourage you to talk with your doctor about your medication and how it might affect your running training program. That way you’ll be able to find the right mix of medications to support you as you work toward your goal.
The fourth tip I want to offer you is to find ways to make your nutrition work for you. I know that the way I eat affects my COPD symptoms and my exercise tolerance. When I’m training, I try to stick to a diet that offers a high level of healthy fats, moderate levels of protein and a small number of carbs. I use this diet because it helps reduce my lung inflammation, and it also provides me with a more stable source of energy for my training.
The fifth tip I’d recommend to get yourself back into running this spring is to take it slow. Gradually increasing your level of activity is key. After all, pushing yourself too hard may cause your symptoms to worsen and lead to you losing the opportunity to reach your goal. To avoid this, you should keep in close touch with your doctor during your training.
Using these tips, I hope you’ll be able to gear up for running this spring even though you have COPD. You can be sure I’ll be using them as I prepare for my Ironman race this year. I wish you luck in reaching your goal, and I hope you’ll send some my way, too. Remember, whether it’s running or walking, goals are important!
Lung Health Institute Can Help You Find Better Nutrition Practices for COPD
At Lung Health Institute, our health care team knows nutrition can have a dramatic impact on COPD symptoms.
This is why we’ve developed our 3 Anti-Inflammatory Initiative™, or AI2™, plans. One feature of these plans is information that can help you eat a diet that’s high in healthy fats, gives you moderate levels of protein and provides you with a low level of carbs. Using this information, you may be able to train your body to use fats as fuel to fight inflammation. These plans also include information that may help you take control of your health by boosting your immune system.
Contact one of our patient coordinators today for more information or to schedule a free consultation.