Getting Exercise With COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, known as COPD for short, affects numerous Americans each and every day. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, approximately 16 million adults in the United States suffer from this condition. Fortunately, those with COPD can still live physically active lives. Listed below are some possible exercises that won’t overtax the respiratory system. 

Walking: Whether inside or outside, walking is perhaps the easiest form of exercise. Those not used to walking long distances are best served by starting out slowly; you can always add a little more distance and time to your walks each day.

Cycling: When you think about cycling, you probably picture long bike rides though the outdoors. In fact, many people burn numerous calories from riding indoor, stationary bikes. Furthermore, many gyms offer cycling classes for beginners. 

Arm Curls: Weightlifting doesn’t have to involve massive dumbbells. Even working out with light weights can yield tangible benefits. It’s easy to perform arm curls – simply hold the barbells at your sides, with your palms facing outward. Slowly curl up your arms towards your chest, and then bring them back down to your starting position. Make sure that your elbows do not move upward with your arms. 

Forward Arm Raises: Forward arm raises are similar to arm curls, in that they involve raising free weights from your sides up to the chest. The difference for this exercise is that the weights are held facing towards the body. If possible, aim for two sets of ten to fifteen repetitions. 

Tai Chi: Tai Chi is Chinese form of exercise, believed to have originated roughly 700 years ago (though some estimates put the figure at 1500 years). Not only does Tai Chi work the respiratory system, but it is also beneficial to the heart and muscles. Furthermore, Tai Chi movements do not put an excessive amount of stress on the body, which should be welcome news to those with COPD.

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