Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a long-term condition that can’t be completely cured, but early treatment can make a difference. Lifestyle changes, medication, pulmonary rehabilitation, oxygen, and surgery are all treatment options that can help. The most successful treatment usually involves a combination of medical interventions and behavioral changes.
Different types of exercise can help COPD patients in different ways. For example:
- Cardiovascular exercise involves steady aerobic activity that uses large muscle groups and strengthens your heart and lungs. This type of exercise improves your body’s ability to use oxygen. Over time, you’ll experience decreased heart rate and blood pressure and your heart won’t need to work as hard during physical activities, which will improve your breathing.
- Strengthening or resistance exercises use repeated muscle contractions to break down and then rebuild muscle. Resistance exercises for the upper body can help build strength in your respiratory muscles.
- Stretching and flexibility exercises like yoga and Pilates can enhance coordination and breathing.