A senior woman smiling in a pool

How to Prevent a Flare-Up

Last updated: August 2022

I have to mention here and now that for the first two years after diagnosis, you are going to work harder than you have ever worked in your life. You will make the point loud and clear that COPD will NEVER have you!

At least I did

I fought myself and I pushed myself to do things I was no longer able to comfortably do. I thought my mind was stronger than my body and that if I willed it to happen it would. But it didn’t. My inability to accept what was happening caused me to spend most of the first 2 years after my diagnosis in hospital, under ICU care. It was scary to be constantly fighting the limitations of my body and the limitations were winning. The mind was strong, but the lungs were weak.

Finally, a doctor, for no apparent reason, stepped into my room to tell it to me like it is. He said that if I didn’t start listening to my body and acknowledging my limitations, he felt I would have little time left. He felt that I was wasting what time I had left.


You must push yourself every day to exercise and to move your body around. This helps to strengthen the upper body and moves that stubborn mucus. Take a walk around your neighborhood, or a grocery store, or your own living quarters. If you find it hard or are unable to exercise, consider chair exercises, or chair yoga instead.

Just choose to do something

Whatever you choose to do, do something to move around. Set a goal to get a certain number of steps per day. It doesn’t matter what your goal is. The idea is to get started. I know it is not easy to follow an exercise routine every day, in fact, some days are especially hard, but it is so very important to the state of our health.

Breathing and nutrition

Exercise also includes breathing exercises. Practicing breathing will help to train your brain in how to breathe through anxiety.

Our bodies need proper nutrition now more than ever. No more sugary foods with high carbohydrates because they cause nasty bloating. Too much of a good thing can also be bad so following a proper food guide will tell you not only what to eat, but also about what portions are acceptable.

With COPD, we use energy to eat, so enjoy what you can tolerate and always wear supplemental oxygen if you are prescribed it.

Positive thinking

This is maybe one of the hardest things to do when you suffer from COPD. However, if you can find the way to gratitude and positivity, it will change your daily life for the better. After having almost died, I am grateful for every day, so my gratitude starts upon waking in the morning. I have been blessed with another glorious day and all the possibilities that it can bring.

Fall is a great time of new beginnings and as we turn inward this fall, make your plan one of taking care of you, so that when it is over, we can all meet up again.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The COPD.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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