This blog was written by Ann Lornie, 72 years old this month, Fev1 of 18%, (which is sufficient for laughing), who lives in the UK and has COPD.
COPD is a challenging disease and the way to cope with it is to build on a foundation of exercise, healthy eating and living the best possible life in spite of having compromised lungs.
Shrink your problems by expanding your smile. Some times it’s an effort, but it pays dividends if you have people around from time to time, offering to help. If you have a carer, it makes a big difference to them if you sincerely thank them for everything they do. Tell them that it cheers you up and makes such a difference to your life.
Exercise may seem an impossible task if you are newly diagnosed and believe it is the last thing you can do now. However, the fact is that every small effort you make is going to help your muscles get stronger, enabling them to use oxygen more efficiently.
In three months from now, you might well be amazed at the results. If you are seated for most of the day, make it a habit to get up every half hour and stand behind the chair, marching on the spot – for 3 or 4 paces or for 3 or 4 minutes. Start with baby steps if necessary and surprise yourself. Seated again, get a ball about the size of a small basket ball and squeeze and relax, squeeze and relax it between your thighs. This will work your adductor muscles – it doesn’t hurt and it will pay benefits. Ideally, you could join Pulmonary Rehab classes, but there is a way of getting strong on your own.
There are several exercises for seniors on youtube. Senior Citizen Exercises : Senior Exercises: Seated Chair Squats. There are several others.
The chair squats are the most important ones for getting your legs strong.
If you are already active, don’t stop! Regularly walking or using a stat bike for 30 minutes plus a day gives you a stronger heart, and, a little plus, a mentally brighter attitude. Using weights every other day will make you stronger over all.
Go for it! You are worth it.
Ann in England