How can exercise and physical activity benefit you?

People with chronic lung conditions are often less physically active, and can have reduced fitness and muscle strength. By exercising regularly, you can maintain or even improve your fitness and muscle strength which will allow you to participate in your activities of daily living.

Undertaking regular exercise at a moderate intensity, such as walking or cycling, for more than a total of two and a half hours weekly for older adults or  five hours weekly for those aged 18 –64 years  , can improve your health. As a result, you will feel better, keep well and are more likely to stay out of hospital.

Exercise will help to:

  • Improve your heart function.
  • Improve your breathing / make you less breathless.
  • Reduce your breathlessness during daily activities.
  • Clear phlegm from your lungs.
  • Keep you out of hospital.
  • Improve your arm, body and leg muscle strength and mass.
  • Improve your flexibility and co-ordination.
  • Improve your balance and reduce your risk of falls.
  • Improve and maintain your bone density.
  • Assist your weight control.
  • Improve your mood and mental function .
  • Increase the number of activities that you are able to do each day or each week.

Following a diagnosis of COPD, speak with your GP about referral to a pulmonary rehabilitation program. Pulmonary rehabilitation has many benefits and helps restore your health to the highest possible level so that you can improve your quality of life and stay well for longer.