The idea of exercising hard may seem scary since breathing can be difficult – but it’s actually one of the best things you can do to help your COPD. Almost everyone with COPD is able to exercise safely – but you should ask your doctor about advice in setting limits that are right for you.

Here are some tips to build fitness and endurance

  • Start very slow.
    If you haven’t been exercising, start by just walking – even just for 30 seconds or one minute a day, at first. Do more the next day and the next. You will be surprised how quickly it adds up – and how much better you feel!

  • Lift weights.
    You’ll be able to do more things for yourself if you keep up your arm strength. Again, start small – use a water bottle to build strength in your arms, working your way up to two-pound hand weights. Start with a few repetitions and work up to 15, once/day.

  • Try a class.
    A senior dance class, water aerobics or tai chi can be a fun way to build activity into your life while also being with other people and learning something new.

  • Be smart and careful.
    Don’t exercise if your COPD symptoms are bothering you or you are sick. Call your doctor if you experience fast or irregular heartbeat, can’t catch your breath or you feel dizzy.