A holiday message for COPD patients from a COPD athlete

by | Dec 20, 2018 | COPD, Russell Winwood

Oh! Hi there. I’m Russell Winwood, and I’m someone who lives with COPD, but I’ve been able to complete marathons and the Ironman competition all the same. For this reason, some people refer to me as the COPD athlete. During the holidays especially, I like to give thanks for all the things I’m able to do even with COPD and all the great folks who help me do them. However, there are always some things I have to watch out for during the holiday season, and watching out for these things may also help you to have a happier holiday season, too, if you have COPD.

Prioritize your parties

The first thing I always have to watch out for during the holidays, and that’s not going to too many parties. I get so many holiday party invitations from people I care about that it would be almost impossible to go to all of them anyway. But, it’s been even more difficult to attend lots of parties since I was diagnosed with COPD. It’s for this reason that I always prioritize my party invitations, although it’s not easy. Usually, I’ll try to limit myself to between one and three holiday parties. One way I pick which parties to attend is to make a list of all the people I’d like to see over the holidays, and then I pick the parties that’ll allow me to see as many of these people as possible.

Watch what you eat

Watching what I eat is something I have to pay attention to even more during the holidays. Usually, I eat a diet that’s high in fat, includes a moderate level of protein and has a low amount of carbs. During the holidays, it can be especially hard for me to stick to this diet. After all, I like a good cookie as much as the next person! One way that I deal with the high-carbohydrate food offerings of the holidays is to limit myself to small portions of things like cookies. At the same time, I also try to take larger portions of meat, cheese and vegetable offerings. Also, I try to keep my overall portions small because eating too much tends to make it harder for me to breathe.

Don’t get too fatigued

Fatigue is actually the last thing I have to watch out for during the holidays. Once I get to a party and start catching up with my friends and family, it gets harder for me to realize when I’m tired. One trick I use to keep tiredness at bay at holiday parties is to politely ask people to sit down with me while we talk. Sometimes, I’ll even politely ask a friend or family member to grab me more food or drink so I can save my energy. However, there comes a point in time where I’m simply too tired to stay anymore. Once I reach this point, I’ll find the host or hosts of the party, thank them for a great time and take myself home to get some rest. If I don’t make myself go home when I feel tired, I know I’ll pay for it by having my COPD symptoms get worse, and that’s just not what I want during the holidays.

I hope these tips will help you manage your holidays and your COPD more effectively, and I wish you a very happy and healthy holiday season.

The Lung Health Institute offers the gift of reduced lung inflammation to COPD patients

One thing that may help to make your holidays brighter is to get in touch with the team at the Lung Health Institute. They can help you get several types of natural treatment for your COPD and the inflammation it causes. For instance, their team offers three Anti-Inflammatory Initiative™ plans to help patients take charge of their health by improving gut health and using fats as fuel to fight inflammation. Contact the Lung Health Institute today to set up a free consultation and learn more about these and other treatments they can offer you this holiday season.

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