This blog was written by Ann Lornie, 72 years old this month, Read more…
Posts Tagged walking
Dear COPD Coach,
What can I do if I can’t afford Pulmonary Rehabilitation? What are my other options?
Many people in our community face that same obstacle, and there are some alternatives available to you! While going to a Pulmonary Rehabilitation program is by far the best alternative, you can always exercise from home whether you are chair-bound or able to walk about.
First, it is very important that you check with your doctor and get an official OK for exercise. If you do, a great place to start is with a new Sit and Be Fit program specifically geared for COPD.
Depending upon your local programming guide, general Sit and Be Fit sessions can also be found on your television daily.
Walking is one of the best exercises you can do. It’s easiest if you have a good, safe path for walking or, if weather is a problem, a good indoor location. Shopping malls often have regular walking clubs to help folks get exercise and enjoy being with others. If it is OK with your doctor and if they have given you instruction, you might obtain a pulse oximeter so that you keep track of your oxygen saturation when walking about. It may seem easy to use a pulse oximeter, but you must understand how to interpret the numbers in order to exert yourself safely!
Many senior centers have regular exercise programs you can join for free or at nominal charge. Perhaps your library has DVDs of chair exercises or strength training for seniors.
In addition to exercise, the educational portion of Pulmonary Rehabilitation involves such things as learning to breathe correctly, how to take your medications, healthy eating for COPD, managing depression and tips for daily living and understanding your COPD. Most of this material is also readily available on the internet.
Websites such as COPD-International, EFFORTS and Breathing Better, Living Well allow you to ask questions and get advice, in addition to providing forums for people with COPD to share their exercise experience. These sites can help you to get on a good schedule and maintain it long term. “If you don’t use it, you do lose it” so it is important to get a routine set up—and maintain it. You can also call the COPD Foundation’s Information Line to talk to a representative who can get you on the right track. (866) 731-2673.
Also, a great resource is our Big Fat Reference Guide (BFRG) which can be accessed for free online.
Another tidbit: many Pulmonary Rehabs have scholarship programs. It would definitely be worth your time to call around and see if any are offered in your area. We hope these suggestions will be helpful to you and good luck with your self managed program!
Thanks for writing,
The COPD Coach
Ask the Expert is aimed at providing information for individuals with COPD to take to your doctor, and is not in any way intended to be medical advice.
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