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Exercise & Activity

Household Chores with COPD

  • By Stephanie Huston Keymaster

    Household chores, such as cleaning and yard maintenance, can be difficult to manage with COPD. Do you have any tips or strategies for tackling household chores?

  • By Lynn545

    I hope someone has some answers. Weather is so humid can’t even go out in the evening. Inside I do just a few things each day. My husband helps with running the sweeper, ‘I don’t want to hire anyone to do outside work, my husband is capable but suffers from depression 🙁

  • By Mike J

    I am border line stage 3 and was diagnosed 3 years ago. I don’t require oxygen at this time. Exercise is extremely important and you have to see what works for you. I walk 3 miles three days a week,I get up early and walk at 7am. I bought a regular push mower and I mow the yard once a week. At first it took me 2 days to complete but now I can mow in about a hour and a half, taking water breaks as I go. Weight is an issue because the more you weigh the harder it is to breath. I eat a lot of protein and with the excerise I manage to maintain a healthy weight. Take a lot of breaks if necessary because as you go you will see you will need fewer breaks and you will take pride in you success.

  • By Lynn545

    Thank you helped me a lot.
    I’m afraid to do anything that makes me short of breath.

  • By Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT Moderator

    Thanks Lynn and Mike for posting here. It sounds like with some proper planning and prudent strategies, you can get done what you need to and even see some improvement!
    Good commentary!!
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • By floridatwigs

    I’m on oxygen 24/7…. I was wondering if anyone has painted while using a oxygen?????

  • By Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT Moderator

    Hi Floridatwigs and thanks for posting your question.
    There is no safety reason why one cannot paint while utilizing oxygen, whether you’re talking about artistic painting or painting chores. Of course, if you are utilizing an oxygen device (e.g. cannula, mask) just use caution with the oxygen hose.
    In this article, by Derek Cummings, he does have a reference to how painting was a popular choice for people spending long days at home with COPD (‘Avoiding Cabin Fever”). The article can be found here:
    We’re glad to have you as part of our online community!
    All the best, Leon (site moderator)

    • By Jenn Patel

      Hi floridatwigs,

      In addition to the great stuff that Leon has provided, it never hurts to check with your doctor about any new activities you’d like to take on. I hope what Leon has provided above is helpful! Please do let us know how everything goes!

      Jenn (Community Manager,

  • By Paula

    Two years ago when I really started getting bad, I got home health that did my housework, shopping, and laundry. Unfortunately, state budget cuts eliminated my funding and I have been struggling to accomplish these tasks by myself on a regular basis which pretty much boiled down to me taking the trash out every couple of weeks with friends and visiting relatives doing it inbetween times. Like most of y’all, I absolutely hated other people doing for me without being paid for their services. About a week ago I sat myself down for a very strong and sincere talk with myself. Long and short of it is, today I have managed to do the vacuuming all by myself. It took me all day but so what – I didn’t have anything else to do! I’m telling y’all because I knew you would understand my sense of accomplishment and rejoice with me!

    • By Jenn Patel

      Congratulations, Paula! We certainly do understand your sense of accomplishment as that IS a huge accomplishment to vacuum all on your own with COPD! Thank you so much for sharing. We do welcome you to come by any time you’d like support or information – or just a listening ear! We’ll be thinking of you. Best, Jenn ( Team)

  • By Janet Plank Moderator

    There are great discussions on here.

    Two things that I would like to add:

    1) Wear a mask when doing yardwork and kicking up the dust, also when doing vaccuuming which also kicks up the desk. It does take awhile to get used to them. It did for me. It makes a big difference. I also wear goggles, but I have severe allergies as well as copd and asthma.

    2) Pace yourself. You might not get things done in the time you are wanting to, but hopefully you will feel better while doing these chores and after.

    My husband does most of these more difficult chores and I’m so grateful, yet there are times when I do them.

    Breathe-easy everyone.
    Janet (site moderator)

  • By judy2121

    I tried to clean my house, but you know how that is
    work a little and sit down a little. So happy when I get it done. My husband sweeps the floor. My husband has chemo and radiation so they over did it on his shoulder and shoulder broke and now there is no one can fix it. He can only move his other arm and move it a little on broken arm.
    He has a ulcer on his ankle been there the last 4 years some times very hard for him to walk.. They been trying to heal that also, but starts healing and then it goes the other way, then goes the other way.

    But Jesse enjoys feeding the (few goats we kept) when we stop raising goats. Had a horse, name was candy, But she die because of a accident, One thing after another happening. Had her for 14 years.
    But still have agee he real old and he stays with my 5 goats. They grazing together. If you want to see
    some pictures let me know. They are so cute when there were babies.

    So now with this weather I been having a time just to breathe. But just keep doing what you can do.
    Anyway, I am hoping the weather will warm up so we can get out side.
    But I still am lucky my daughter cleans homes for a living. So when she can she helps us. Any way
    you all have a nice day God Bless judy in texas

  • By Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT Moderator

    Hi Judy (from Texas) and thanks for sharing your experiences here in our online community. You certainly have your share of challenges to face. It’s good to hear you’re able to maintain a positive disposition and are facing each day doing all that you can. We’re glad to have you as part of our community.
    Keep up the good work!
    Leon (site moderator)

  • By buddelia

    I’m new here and was skimming through different forums and found this one which upon reading found that I can relate to quite a bit of what you all go through each day.

    I was formally diagnosed just this past week. Wasn’t a complete shock as I’ve been having symptoms and have also been seeing rheumatology of which my rheum. specialist has expressed prior concern. I also have to contend with severe arthritis in multiple joints and have had numerous surgeries on my back, ankles, and both knees replaced. Hips are next up but I’m trying to hold off as long as possible.

    I take care of the majority of the housework here at home so I do a bit and then rest and repeat. I have problems standing for any length of time and sweeping and vacuuming are an absolute bear. I’ve set a schedule that I try to keep to to break up the household chores throughout the week, that way I’m not doing so much on one day. I leave the vacuuming and mopping until the end of the day because I know I won’t be able to do anything else after that. My husband does heavy lifting and stairs as I can’t go up and down them without quite a bit of difficulty.

    Thank goodness more cleaning products are being made that have little or no scent. So many of them -especially the bathroom cleaners – are so strongly scented I would always end up having trouble breathing.

    Summer is an especially trying time for me. The humidity really does me in. I love being outdoors and have always had a vegetable garden and flower beds until last year. The vegetable garden didn’t get planted and I have been slowly working on making the flower beds as low maintenance as possible. I go out in the mornings and after the sun starts to set. I am determined to have a garden this coming year though, I do so miss the fresh vegies and playing in the dirt.

    So in all, it took a few years of me knowing something was going on besides the arthritis, but finally after seeing a new doctor – one who would listen and not put everything going on with me automatically down to depression – and getting referred to specialists I am finally on track to working this whole thing out and going on from here doing the best I can for me.

    • By Lyn Harper, RRT Moderator

      buddelia – welcome to the community! I’m so happy you found it at just the right time. I’m sorry for your diagnosis, especially since it sounds like you already deal with quite a bit. But, I’m glad to hear you’ve found a good pulmonologist and feel like you’re on track to feeling much better. I know you’ll find this site to be very helpful and the others in the community have a lot to offer by way of suggestions and tips they’ve found to be helpful.

      Lyn (moderator)