The hardest part is starting. Some days it is harder than others and I do my exercise on those days in 10 minute intervals. For some people with heart problems or if you are just starting out it may be advisable to rest every few minutes and start again. Anything is better than not exercising.
Mobility is the most important thing for those of us with COPD and it is very important that we keep moving. Use whatever you can to keep yourself moving, even a simple can of soup can be used for arm weights. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
Increase and decrease intervals and repetitions as you need to. It’s OK to have a down day just don’t park there or think that any situation you are in will last forever. What you can not carry out in one day will be compensated on another day.
Don’t forget your breathing exercises. Abdominal breathing should be an important part of your exercise regiment. Deep belly breathing 20 times, 3 times per day.
I track of my exercise routine in my health tracker journal, so that I can see how well I have done on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. I can also track bad days and good days. The good days far outweigh the bad days.
When eating, make sure you are sitting up straight, making as much stomach room as possible. Eat slowly, and if you have been prescribed oxygen, eating is exertion and it is the time to use supplemental oxygen.
Eating 6 small meals a day rather than 3 large ones will suit you better because if you eat too much at one time, bloat tends to set in. Bloat pushes on the lungs and leaves less stomach room and can become extremely uncomfortable.
Make your big meal of the day breakfast and have smaller meals as the day goes on. This gives you the most nutrients at the beginning of the day when your energy is at its highest and are needed the most and will be worked off during exercise and as the day goes on.
You don’t need to drink with every meal. Water is good for mucus elimination but too much fluid intake can make breathing harder. Skip salt as it will make you retain water, also making breathing more difficult. Avoid carbonated beverages, caffeine, energy drinks and chocolate as they can make you edgy. (My weakness is chocolate and I can not give it up.)
Work at finding foods that will make your condition better and help you live a longer life. Fill yourself with low-fat, lean proteins such as fish, beef, poultry and eggs. Skip the gravy and sauces as they are usually high in calories and taking up too much stomach room.
Fruits and veggies are a rich source of minerals and vitamins, especially root veggies, but remember that all veggies and fruits are not the same. Some are better for you than others. Avoid any gas inducing foods like fried spicy foods or cabbage and broccoli. Everyone differs so make note of what makes you feel unwell and stick to avoiding it. A journal will help here. Eat healthy and make of note of not putting anything in your mouth that will not help your condition.
Play music and sing your favourite song. Yep, even if you have COPD, you should sing everyday. There are lots of singing groups for people with COPD and it has been proven to be a great way to increase lung function. Grab a harmonica, go to YouTube and find someone who can teach you to carry a tune.
Listen to motivational tapes will help you in keeping a positive mind. What was the last TED talk you listened to? Educate yourself and learn something new everyday.
Meditate and be mindful and stay in the moment. Stop over thinking everything. Focus on a goal and work on fulfilling it. You have to have something, a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
Keep a journal to write your thoughts and feelings, your struggles and your victories. You don’t have to show it to anyone only you will know what is written in it. It turns out to be a great note when you visit the doctor.
Be social when you can so that when you can’t you are not totally alone. Make the effort, even if you are the one that has to cook and if you can’t cook have a tea party. It will be so worth it.
Be the person you want to be and if you still have something to give than give it to someone.
Then and most importantly, cut those people out of your life that don’t make you feel good about yourself.