Exercise is an important way to maintain overall health, and can be essential for COPD patients.
What are the top 10 best exercises for COPD patients?
Walking: This is the easiest exercise which anyone can do. Walking can not only improve fitness levels, but also improve mood. Fresh air and being outside can be excellent for overall health. Starting small with shorter distances and working up to longer walks is the best way to improve fitness levels while going easy on the body.
Cycling: Cycling either on a stationary bike or on a sports bike is a great option to improve fitness levels. Starting small and working distance up slowly is the safest way to maintain good health. Setting goals and sticking to them is important, especially if you are new to cycling.
Lifting weights: Weight lifting may sound a bit scary, but you can choose how much you lift. With COPD, the emphasis should be on breathing and working through the exercises. Releasing breath cyclically can help restore a healthy heart rate and breathing rate.
Arm exercises: Starting with lower weight is recommended. The best exercise is to hold the weights with palms facing each other and arms at the sides. Slowly raise the arms up to chest level and return them to the starting position by the side of the body. Make sure to breathe evenly.
Leg raises: From a seated position, hold the arms straight up. Raise the legs and breathe out. When lowering, the legs breathe in. Doing about 15 repetitions can restore proper breathing and improve health.
Yoga: Concentrate on light exercises which help restore natural breathing patterns like pranayama. A proper warm up and stretching is very important for people with COPD.
Meditation: This exercise doesn’t require much energy. A quiet and calming spot is the only thing one needs for meditation. Start with deep breaths and slowly go back to a natural breathing pattern. This can help relieve stress and restore oxygen to the body.
Diaphragm exercise: Sit on a chair and place one hand above chest and the other on the diaphragm. Inhale and exhale slowly. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth.
Tai Chi: This Chinese exercise encourages mild breaths with a special routine and flow. This improves breathing, strength, and balance.
Sports: Any sport such as soccer, basketball, or baseball can encourage regular breathing and improve physical fitness. This is especially important for people with COPD who require extra help in maintaining oxygenation throughout the body.