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LIFE STYLE MODIFICATION, REHABILITATION, EXERCISE, & YOGA 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
Email id : drvirendrasingh@yahoo.com
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