Daily Tips and Exercises for the COPD Patient - Walking Exercises (From Lincare)

Discussion created by luvsroses_barb on Jan 4, 2009
Latest reply on Jan 6, 2009 by luvsroses_barb

REMEMBER: If you have oxygen, check with your physician about the correct amount to use when you're walking.

Do not attempt to walk and talk while beginning your exercise program.

Inhale through your nose and exhale through pursed lips.

Exhale at least twice as long as you inhale. Don't force the air out during exhalation.

1. Start with short walks. Your breathing muscles and your walking muscles need to get into shape.

2. Use "rhythmic breathing." Count the number of steps you take while inhaling, and double the number of steps for exhalation. Example: 2 steps - inhale, 4 steps - exhale. Do not change the rhythm from inhalation to exhalation.

3. With practice you may find that a 1-3 rhythm is more comfortable than 1-2. Use the rhythm that is most comfortable for you.

4. Gradually increase your walking distance as you get stronger. Try to add a little more distance every week. Don't overextend yourself.

5. Set reasonable goals. Plan rest stops. Don't allow yourself to get overly tired.

6. During inclement weather or times of the year when you're most uncomfortable, you can get your exercise in climate controlled areas like shopping malls or in a more formal environment like a hospital's rehabilitation area.

7. Remember, to go slowly, don't rush, get stronger gradually and most of all, enjoy yourself.

I'd like to add that when I first started rehab, the very first thing they have you do is walk on a treadmill. Everyone is different based on the severity of their COPD (or other disease) and their age. I am 46 years old and have moderate emphysema and was started out at 5 minutes. Do what feels most comfortable to you. If it hurts, you're working to hard. You'll get there, just take it one step at a time and before you know it you'll be walking farther than you ever realized possible.