Because of the breathing difficulties associated with COPD, the last thing an individual battling the disease may feel like doing is exercising and risking becoming even more breathless. Nevertheless, exercise is crucial for all of us, including individuals with COPD, to keep in optimal health. In fact, there are some recent studies that outline the verified pulmonary advantages of exercising with COPD, and that show the damaging outcomes for inactivity – including increased hospitalizations and early death.
Providing the top at home care in St. Louis and the surrounding areas have to offer, Compassionate Nursing Services suggests the following types of COPD exercises, as recommended by the American Lung Association (after first getting consent from the health care provider):
- Stretches. Stretching is often neglected when creating an exercise routine, but it’s extremely important. Research indicates that stretching exercises completed in combination with cardiovascular exercises brought about reduced episodes of shortness of breath. Stretch all of the major muscles with the following exercises:
- Bend over from one side to the other; hold and then switch sides
- Raise your ankle up behind you; hold and then switch sides
- Carefully turn the head to one side and then the other
- While sitting down on the floor with legs outstretched, reach forward as far as you comfortably are able
- Cardio exercises. The aim with cardio exercises is to raise the heart rate, which strengthens the lungs and boosts their efficiency. When beginning an exercise program from a sedentary lifestyle, or if experiencing more advanced effects of COPD, it’s necessary to keep the intensity level low and then, if possible, slowly work your way up. Walking, riding a bike and swimming are all effective COPD exercises to try. For those on oxygen therapy, be sure to check with the doctor on the possible need to increase flow rate while doing cardio exercises.
- Strength training. Strength training helps in building and strengthening muscles, including the ones that are integral to breathing. Again, start slowly after a period of inactivity and gradually increase efforts over time. For example, rather than lifting weights at the outset, hold cans of soup or bottles of water and lift them slowly while bending the elbows. When this is comfortable, transition to weights or resistance bands to increase the intensity of the workout. Simple squats and lunges are also very helpful for improving muscle strength.
Compassionate Nursing Services, the top rated providers of at home care in St. Louis and the surrounding areas, can help with COPD exercises and a wide variety of services to improve quality of life for those with COPD, like:
- Exercising with older individuals to give motivation and encouragement to continue with an exercise program
- Providing transportation and accompaniment to the local senior center or gym for enhanced exercise opportunities outside of the home
- Take care of light housekeeping, meal preparation, and other tasks, freeing seniors up to focus on improving their health
- And much more!
To set up a free in-home evaluation to learn more about our home care services for seniors, call us at 314-432-4312. We’ll formulate a customized plan of care and then monitor that plan ongoing to be sure that the ideal level of care is always provided – today, and as care needs change in the future. Partner with Compassionate Nursing Services and discover a higher quality of life and wellbeing for your senior loved one!