Life style modification, rehabilitation, exercise and yogs for COPD patients

Life style modification, rehabilitation, exercise and yogs for COPD patients

Dr Virendra Singh, MD

Is there any difference in the lungs of a clerk and an athlete? An athlete does not feel breathless even after running for few kilometers whereas a clerk feels breathless after running much shorter distances. Similarly physical training in patients of COPD can help them to breathe better.

What lifestyle modifications are essential for patients of COPD?         
• Stop smoking – This is the only measure that can reduce the rate of disease progression.
• Clearing of airway secretion in the morning is helpful in relieving the symptoms of cough and sputum. Chest physiotherapy also helps in clearing the secretions.
• Breathing techniques should be learnt and they help the patient to breathe better. Breathing slowly and deeply is better. Pursed lip breathing is a technique which involves exhaling through pursed lips.
• Exercise helps in improving the quality of life and exercise capacity of a patient. Talk to a doctor for enrollment into an exercise program suited for a COPD patient. Even walking for half to one hour every day is beneficial.
• Energy conservation is important to prevent onset of fatigue.

How can energy be conserved while performing day to day tasks?                
• Plan your activity and simplify the task
• Perform tasks like combing of hair in sitting position
• Proper rest during the night and daytime is essential
• Take rest before and after an activity. If breathless during an activity, stop and take rest.
• Rest after meal for 30 minutes is recommended
• Expiration requires less energy, and thus exertion should be done during exhalation.
• Similarly, while climbing stairs, during exhalation stairs should be climbed. Pause and rest while inhaling.
• Avoid extreme physical activity

What is the role of exercise and yoga in COPD?                                                     
Exercise improves the well-being of the patients and also increases their physical endurance. Yoga is a form of exercise which involves breathing techniques. Yoga improves physical and mental well-being of COPD patients and also teaches them to breathe better.

         Dr Virendra Singh, MD
Professor & Head
Division of allergy & pulmonary medicine
SMS medical college and hospital,
Jaipur, Rajasthan
Phone no: 91-9414051212
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