Because of the breathing issues connected with COPD, the last thing someone living with the disease may feel like doing is exercising and risking becoming even more out of breath. Nevertheless, exercise is necessary for all of us, including those with COPD, to retain the best possible health. For that matter, there are multiple recent studies that outline the verified pulmonary benefits of exercising with COPD, and that outline the adverse effects for inactivity – like increased hospitalizations and premature death.
Providing the top senior care Overland Park, KS has to offer, Hearts at Home proposes the following types of COPD exercises, as recommended by the American Lung Association (after first receiving permission from the health care provider):
- Stretches. Stretching is in many instances ignored when establishing an exercise plan, but it’s very important. Research shows that stretching exercises completed in combination with aerobic exercise brought about decreased episodes of shortness of breath. Stretch all of the major muscles with the following exercises:
- Bend over from one side to the other; hold and then switch sides
- Lift your ankle up behind you; hold and then switch sides
- Slowly turn the head to one side and then the other
- While seated on the floor with legs outstretched, reach forward as far as you comfortably are able
- Cardio exercises. The objective with cardio exercises is to raise the heart rate, which strengthens the lungs and increases their functionality. When starting an exercise program from a sedentary way of life, or if experiencing more advanced symptoms of COPD, it’s important to keep the intensity level lower and then, if it is possible, slowly work your way up. Walking, riding a bicycle and swimming are all great COPD exercises to incorporate. For those on oxygen therapy, be certain to check with the physician on the possible need to increase flow rate while doing cardio exercises.
- Strength training. Strength training helps build and strengthen muscles, including those that are integral to breathing. Again, begin slowly after a period of inactivity and gradually increase efforts over time. For example, as an alternative to lifting weights at the outset, hold cans of soup or bottles of water and lift them slowly while bending the elbows. When this feels comfortable, shift to weights or resistance bands to improve the intensity of the workout. Simple squats and lunges are also very helpful for improving muscle strength.
Hearts at Home, the top rated providers of the senior care Overland Park, KS seniors trust, can help with COPD exercises and a wide variety of services to improve quality of life for those with COPD, including:
- Exercising with seniors to provide motivation and encouragement to keep with an exercise program
- Offering accompanied transportation to the local senior center or gym for additional exercise opportunities outside of the home
- Take care of light housekeeping, meal preparation, and other duties, freeing seniors up to focus on improving their health
- And much more!
To set up a free in-home evaluation to learn more about our home care services for seniors, call us at 913-440-4209. We will formulate a personalized plan of care and then track that plan continually to ensure the most appropriate level of care is always provided – today, and as care needs change in the future. Partner with Hearts at Home and discover a higher quality of life and wellbeing for your senior loved one!