The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Exercising, socializing and staying active can be challenging for someone with a chronic lung disease, such as COPD or pulmonary fibrosis. Because chronic lung diseases cause coughing, shortness of breath, excessive sputum production and fatigue, being active can be challenging. However, staying active is important for anyone. Here are some tips for staying active with lung disease.
Social Support Network
Your friends, family and co-workers are an important part of your life, and they want to support you through tough times and joyful times. Spend some time with your friends and family. You can go to your favorite local coffee and tea shop to visit, relax on the beach, check out a museum or even cook a meal together. Sharing your experiences as well as supporting your friends and family through their experiences can help you feel better. It’s normal to feel lonely sometimes, especially when you live with a chronic condition. Take time to reach out to your support system, and you can enjoy spending time with the people who love you.
The Benefits of Friendship
Having good friends and spending time with your family are important to a healthy lifestyle and can have a major impact on your well-being. Here are some of the benefits of healthy friendships:
- Boosts happiness and reduces stress
- Improve self-confidence and self-worth
- Increases a sense of belonging and purpose
- Encourages changes in unhealthy lifestyle habits and promotes healthier lifestyle habits
- Helps in with coping with trauma such as divorce, illness, job loss or the death of a loved one
Staying Active with Lung Disease
A key element to remaining active is exercise. While exercise can seem daunting, there are benefits to exercising, such as increasing exercise tolerance, improving lung capacity and strengthening muscles. Sometimes doctors recommend pulmonary rehabilitation, which is a program that combines exercise guidance, nutritional counseling, breathing strategies and group counseling. Many people who participate in pulmonary rehab find it easier to cope with their condition as well as easier to enjoy their lives.
Gentle and low-impact exercises are great for people with chronic health conditions. Consider exercises such as yoga, Tai Chi and walking. These types of exercises can improve balance, flexibility, endurance and strength. You could even think about joining a local gym and taking classes designed for people with physical limitations so that you can stay fit and stay safe. Before starting or changing your exercise program, be sure to discuss it with your doctor.
Are there other ways to help me stay active with lung disease?
From exercise to diet to spending quality time with your friends and family, staying active with lung disease is achievable. It’s important to keep your doctor informed about how you’re doing and any ideas you have about tips you might want to try. Even though living with a chronic lung disease is challenging, we’re here to help you feel better, stay active and enjoy your life. If you or a loved one has a lung disease and would like more information about stem cell treatment at the Lung Institute, contact us today at (800) 729-3065.