Patients suffering from emphysema and all those with COPD in general are due to engage in exercise program in order to take back control over their lives and improve the overall quality of their lives.
Such exercise program should also increase their self-esteem and make them less miserable because of the illness they are facing with.Initial Steps
In order to achieve some success one needs to be dedicated and commit to everyday exercises. Prior starting with any kind of physical activity, a patient is due to consult his/her health care provider. The doctor will choose the safest exercise program.
It may be difficult at first and patients generally feel exhausted soon after they start exercising. They need not to worry since this is normal and the body will soon adapt to increased need for oxygen.
Most patients set some goals and do not give up until they reach them. For some a goal may be to breathe better while others may exercise in order to be more independent and rely less on their family.
Pulmonary rehabilitation program is a great option which teaches patients how to perform activities without having to deal with severe symptoms of the disease (severe shortness of breath).
Sometimes a patient will need additional oxygen even if he/she does not use it normally. This is not a reason for worry. If this occurs, one may consult his/her health care provider and buy a pulse oximeter. With this device patients can monitor the level of oxygen in their blood and stop exercising when the level is too low.
Types of Exercises for Emphysema Patients
Such patients may benefit from three types of exercises.
Firstly, there are flexibility exercises. They improve patient's range of motion, posture and breathing. They are done before actual exercising. Such exercises generally comprise stretching of the neck, shoulders and calves.
Secondly, there are endurance exercises, those improving the function of the lungs. Endurance exercises are also beneficial for the heart and blood vessels. Walking, biking or swimming are only some examples of endurance exercises.
Finally, one needs to build and strengthen muscles which is perfectly achieved with strength-training exercises. If one has strong muscles, he/she will perform all the daily duties without being helped by other people. Lifting weights and working with stretchy bands are two examples of strength-training exercises.
Breathing and Exercises
Shortness of breath, which can be induced in such patients during exercising, can be reduced, if not eliminated, with pursed-lip breathing. By breathing this way , the amount of oxygen I the lungs remain optimal. One more beneficial thing to do is to exhale during the most difficult part of exercising.