It’s the new year –
Put Exercise on Your Resolution List!
Exercise is always included in New Year’s resolution lists. People with chronic lung disease have more of a challenge than most but often achieve more satisfaction when they work toward and meet their goals. After talking to your physician, he/she will probably recommend two types of exercise: Aerobic, which increases oxygen flow to your muscles, and upper and lower body exercises to strengthen your muscles.
Quadricep Strength Important to Good Health
Ann in England writes, “I aim to walk 30 minutes each day and try to do squats and/or lunges to improve my quadricep muscles. It has been said by one of the leading respiratory consultants in the United Kingdom, that the strength in your thigh muscles is a better meas- ure of your COPD health than the FEV1% (Forced Expiratory Volume in one second) reading. I also use small hand weights to build up upper body muscles.”
Website for Physical Activity Information
Chris from California recommends the web site www. livingwellwithcopd.com for information about physical activity and COPD. The password for the site is COPD. You may also try visiting http://nih seniorhealth.gov/exercise/toc.html. Just a mild work- out helps to strengthen muscle tone, increase energy and strengthen your heart.
Rehab at Home!
For those that do not have access to a pulmonary rehabilitation program, a clinical trial reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine, suggests that reha- bilitation at home is safe and effective for people with COPD. Over 250 patients with moderate-to-severe COPD were randomly assigned to participate in an eight-week rehab program at home or as outpatients. Participants performed aerobic and strength exercises three times a week at home. An exercise specialist began the pro- gram in the individual’s home and then made weekly telephone calls for encouragement and to answer any questions. After one year, patients in both groups showed similar improvements in breathing difficulties.
To find a pulmonary rehabilitation program or Better Breather support group near you, go to www. emphysema.net and click on their main website link. In the center column, you will find the listing to go to for information.
“Things Will Be Fine in 2009!”
Burton Bacher of Peoria, AZ, has often discussed with his fellow pulmonary rehab participants how there seems to be a discrepancy between the amount of exercise he thinks he has done, compared to the amount he actually did! We think he expressed the problem per- fectly in this poem. Burt came up with the slogan for 2009 and is looking ahead with “Better Again in 2010!”