The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Keeping up with Your Hobbies with Lung Disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a debilitating lung disease associated with frequent coughing and shortness of breath. These symptoms make it difficult for sufferers to enjoy the hobbies that they had participated in earlier in life, prior to lung disease. However, just because you have a lung disease like COPD doesn’t mean that you have to give up doing the things that you love. With a few modifications, you can still keep up with your hobbies despite your lung condition, and maybe even start some new ones.
Here are some of our favorite hobbies:
Exercising is one of the most important and one of the most difficult things for a person with COPD to do. The benefits of exercising with COPD are immense:
- help your body use oxygen more efficiently
- decrease symptoms
- improve breathing
- strengthen heart, lower blood pressure and improve circulation
- increase energy levels
- improve sleep patterns
- maintain a healthy weight
- enhanced mental and emotional outlook, especially if you workout with others
- strengthen your bones
Some great exercises to try if you have COPD include: yoga, tai chi, walking, light weight lifting, water aerobics, golfing and breathing exercises. The key to exercising with COPD is knowing when to take a moment to rest and coordinating your breath with your movement. When starting any new exercise routine, take it slow, listen to your body and speak with your physician.
Puzzles are great for those with COPD because they don’t require a lot of physical exertion, but are great for mind stimulation. Working out your mind is key to preventing age-related conditions like dementia. Many COPD sufferers enjoy jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, sodoku and other brain teasers.
Cooking is a great way to pass the time because it’s not only an enjoyable activity, but you also get the reward of eating what you make! With a few small modifications, you can still enjoy cooking without aggravating your COPD symptoms. If you find it difficult to stand, invest in a stool or chair so you can sit while you work. Before you start cooking, lay out all of the ingredients that you need and do the prep work at the same time. While cleaning up, leave pots and pans to soak to minimize the cleaning effort. Be sure to try one of our COPD-friendly recipes!
Oftentimes COPD sufferers get caught up in focusing on the disease, which makes it tough to see the more enjoyable aspects of life. Reading is a great way to keep your mind sharp and also provides an escape from everyday life. If you have trouble holding a book, consider investing in an e-reader, which will give you access to thousands of titles at the click of a button.
While COPD symptoms have a huge impact on your day-to-day life, you don’t have to give up the things you love just because you have been diagnosed with a pulmonary condition. Sometimes it just requires thinking outside the box and uncovering how to enjoy the things that matter most in a different way. If you or a loved one is suffering from a lung disease, the Lung Institute might be able to help. Contact one of our Patient Coordinators today at (800) 729-3065 to see if you qualify for stem cell therapy.