COPD Patients: It’s Important to Stay Active

(ARA) – A diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) often results in a patient feeling helpless and depressed about not being able to maintain a normal, active lifestyle. However, with a chronic lung disease like COPD, it’s particularly important, and tremendously beneficial, for patients to exercise and stay active. 
It is a misconception that people with COPD are unable to stay active post diagnosis. On the contrary, exercise can help patients feel less short of breath, strengthen muscles (including the heart) and can improve a patient’s mood, according to the National Jewish Medical and Research Center. 

COPD patients should always consult with their doctor to collaborate on developing an appropriate exercise program prior to beginning one. Done properly under a doctor’s supervision, exercise can increase energy levels, muscle strength, cardiopulmonary endurance and help with shortness of breath. Not to mention the additional benefits of losing weight and lowering blood pressure and blood sugar levels. 

If you have COPD and are overweight, the extra weight can make it even more difficult for you to breathe. Losing the weight by participating in a doctor-supervised exercise program will help to reduce the strain on your heart and lungs. Common activities include stretching, strength exercises such as leg lifts and arm extensions and endurance activities like cycling, swimming and water aerobics. 

Patients and their caregivers may be concerned about blood oxygen saturation (measured by oximetry) levels during periods of activity. In the past, patients would be required to visit a clinic to have their blood oxygen saturation levels monitored. Today, however, doctors often prescribe a fingertip pulse oximeter for patients with COPD. 

By self-monitoring with a personal fingertip pulse oximeter such as Nonin Medical’s GO2, blood oxygen saturation can be measured safely and independently – anytime, anywhere. A doctor can prescribe the GO2 during a patient visit. 

Managing a condition like COPD is a lifelong commitment. It is important to stay active, keep healthy and monitor your oxygen during exercise. Work with your doctor to create a program that best suits your needs and take back control of your life. 

For more information on the GO2 fingertip pulse oximeter, as well as helpful patient education resources, visit

Courtesy of ARAcontent