Don’t Let a Chronic Condition Sideline You from Exercise

Chronic condition and exerciseYou may think that a chronic condition such as asthma or COPD disqualifies you from exercise. But being active is actually one of the best ways you can help manage, and sometimes prevent, serious medical issues.

Focus on movement that challenges your heart and lungs. Commonly referred to as cardio or aerobic exercise, this includes walking, hiking, running, biking, and swimming. Regular exercise is also a good way to improve your overall health and help stave off heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and hypertension.

Before you head out, though, keep in mind some do’s and don’ts.

Asthma

Do: Include a warm-up period and slowly ramp up to full activity.

Don’t: Exercise outside when the air quality is poor.

Do: Wear a scarf over your nose and mouth when exercising outside in cold weather.

Don’t: Continue if you experience chest pain, coughing, or a sense of restricted breathing.

COPD

Do: Be realistic about the types and amount of activity you can handle. It may be as simple as stretching or walking a short distance. Every bit of movement counts.

Don’t: Let your breathing get out of sync. Slow, steady inhalation and exhalation is the goal. Pursing your lips while exhaling is a good way to make sure your breath is controlled.

Do: Exercise with supplemental oxygen if you normally use it.

Don’t: Continue exercising if you get nauseous or experience chest pain.

Expert Exercise Advice
If you’re new to exercise, or want more tips specifically related to your condition, our pulmonologists can help. For full details about our treatment services, visit: