Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) & Exercise
What is COPD?
In Australia approximately 1.4 million Australians have some form of COPD and 14% of all deaths in 2011 in Australia were caused by this disease. The problem with clients is that this disease destroys your lungs and the air sacs inside them which causes shortness of breath and chest pains to occur.
Despite there being no cure, COPD is treatable and largely preventable with the majority of changes occurring with lifestyle alterations.
The most common cause of COPD is cigarette smoking; other risk factors include pro-longed exposure to dust or indoor/outdoor pollution and age.
The main symptoms of COPD include breathlessness, cough which is generally worse in the morning and sputum production which is common in smokers. Things like fatigue, poor appetite, decreased exercise capacity and reduced quality of life (QOL) are common when the disease is progressed.
How does Exercise help?
Although the client may feel breathlessness, COPD patients are capable of exercise. However the EP will modify your program and monitor your state during the entire exercise duration to ensure your safety.
The exercise at any level will almost certainly improve your current state of the disease. In the table below it outlines the benefits of exercise.