Super Charging Your Pulmonary Rehabilitation!
Pulmonary rehabilitation is well accepted as a way for COPD patients to improve their quality of life. In this article I’m going to share my tips in getting the most out of your pulmonary rehabilitation classes and exercise in general.
Why listen to me? Well, I’m not a doctor or a respiratory professional, I’m a COPD patient with around 30% lung function who has run many marathons and completed three ironman events! Any tips I mention in this article should always be discussed with your respiratory professional.
Making the most out of pulmonary rehabilitation
Exercise and COPD is difficult and why would you want to make yourself more breathless than you already are? Simple, it will improve your quality of life! But before arriving at our first pulmonary rehab class we need to have our mindset in the right place. Being positive and looking forward to your first class will only enhance your experience.
If this is something you are struggling to come to terms with, then the experience of other patients may help you on your way. Most patients I have talked to have found pulmonary rehab difficult at first but by the time they have finished the program they feel much better and in more control of their disease.
You would be amazed at how many patients forget to take their medication. Taking your medication as prescribed is vital in everyday life, even more so when you are attending pulmonary rehab classes. Trying to exercise when you haven’t taken your medication can be a disaster. It can make what should be a positive experience turn out to be a very negative one. TAKE YOUR MEDICATION! There is no excuse. As well as taking your preventative always have your reliever medication on hand during pulmonary rehab classes.
Fueling for performance
Our exercise performance when we have COPD is reduced significantly but this doesn’t mean our approach should be any different to a regular fit person. Do you think Usain Bolt would be the athlete he is if he had a serve of fries and a burger before training?
The better you prepare your body for pulmonary rehab, the better you will perform. Having the correct nutritional approach which will give you plenty of energy is a great way to get the most out of your exercise session. My own experience has seen my exercise capacity improve immensely just by fueling my body the right way.
Pulmonary rehabilitation classes range in length depending on where you live. You should attend every session unless you are sick. When enrolling into a class, make sure you have a clear schedule for the duration of the class. One of the best ways to receive the maximum benefits of your class is to attend every one of them.
Finishing effective pulmonary rehab
Once you have finished pulmonary rehab, it’s vital to keep up the momentum. Exercise needs to become part of your lifestyle not just something you did for 6-8 weeks. Find an activity you love to do and make this part of your life. Whether it’s walking, cycling, singing, dancing or playing a harmonica. Any activity which works your lungs will be beneficial.
These are just a few of my tips I use to supercharge my exercise sessions and to be in the best condition I can. Remember my motto – Never let your disease define you!
Do you have questions about your COPD diagnosis?