COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a long-standing lung condition characterized by a blocked airflow that makes breathing difficult. Diseases that fall into this category are chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It can be difficult for your parent to imagine exercising when they find themselves out of breath from just walking up a few stairs, but, done religiously, exercise can improve the symptoms associated with COPD. Symptoms include: shortness of breath, tightness in the chest and a chronic cough.
If you can help steer your parent toward a regular exercise program, the benefits will be many. These include an improved circulatory system which can help the body use the available oxygen better. This, in turn, facilitates an increase in energy and improves the symptoms of COPD. Your parent will discover greater stamina as well as increased strength, flexibility and balance. Regular exercise has also been shown to reduce stress and help induce a good night’s sleep.
Types of Exercise
It’s always best to talk with your parent’s primary health care provider before starting an exercise program, particularly if they have been stationary. They may recommend a pulmonary rehabilitation program which often consists of exercise training three days per week. Their goal is to educate and train your parent in order to manage their COPD and stay active and functioning at their peak performance. While exercise cannot reverse the effects of COPD, it can help your parent feel and breathe better.
Other exercises that are particularly useful for those with COPD include aerobic exercise which strengthens not only the muscles, but the lungs and heart as well. Help your parent choose an exercise that they will enjoy which ensures long-term compliance. This may include bicycling (stationary is best for those with balance issues), walking, hiking and swimming or water aerobics. Exercise that increases muscle strength in the upper body, where the respiratory muscles reside, is also beneficial. Breathing exercises, such as diaphragmatic breathing and pursed-lip breathing, also help. According to Norman H. Edelman, MD, chief medical officer at the American Lung Association, pursed-lip breathing “tends to prevent the large airways from collapsing,” a common condition found in those with emphysema.
Home Care Provider
COPD often leads to difficulty performing the everyday activities of living. If your parent needs help with these daily tasks such as meal preparation, bathing, dressing, light housekeeping, transportation and running errands, consider obtaining the services of a home care provider. They can also provide motivation and support when it comes to your parent’s exercise regime by providing companionship and a gentle nudge.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Memorial, TX, contact the caring staff at Personal Caregiving Services at 832-564-0338. Providing Care in Houston, Bellaire, West University Place, Katy, and Sugar Land and the surrounding areas.
In 1989 after selling his family owned food service business, Mr. Gerber pursued his compassion for the elderly by completing his geriatric education and training requirements to be a licensed nursing home administrator (LNFA) from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.Previously he received his undergraduate business degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his Masters in business administration (MBA) from the University of Houston.In 2003, Mr. Gerber earned his Certification to be a Senior Advisor (CSA).
Sid Gerber is a Google Verified Author
Latest posts by Sid Gerber (see all)
- Does High Blood Pressure Put Your Mom More at Risk for Dementia? - October 12, 2017
- Helping an Older Adult Cope with a Parkinson’s Diagnosis - October 5, 2017
- Does Diabetes Affect Bone Health? - September 28, 2017