Hi, folks. Russell Winwood here, and for those of you who haven’t heard of me, I’m the man who’s known as the COPD athlete. As you can imagine, this title means I’m a strong advocate for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients getting out and exercising, and now that spring is here, it’s a great time for you to start thinking about ways you can move around outside. That’s why I want to talk briefly about some of the top outdoor exercises you can enjoy outside now that there’s more daylight.
Top five outdoor exercises you can enjoy outside now that spring is here
As a COPD patient myself, I can tell you how important it is to exercise with this condition. It’s a good idea to start out with easy exercise options and move on to more challenging exercises as you feel able. However, there are five exercise options that I would particularly recommend for COPD patients who want to get outside now that spring is here.
One exercise I enjoy myself is running, and running outside is much more fun than running inside on a treadmill. While treadmill running is lower impact, running outside in the springtime allows you to take in the sight of the tree leaves returning and the flowers blooming, and these natural delights can go a long way toward improving your mood. Running outside may also allow you to get more sun, which is vital for the natural production of vitamin D.
If you’re not able to run, that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside. In fact, many COPD patients, and people in general, prefer walking to running. For one thing, you’ll still get the benefit of moving around outside, and you won’t put as much stress on your lungs as you would with running. You’ll also be able to focus more closely on natural sights that bring you joy.
Another low impact exercise that can get you moving outside is biking. One benefit of this outside exercise is it may place even less stress on your body than walking. However, you’ll still be giving yourself the chance to move around outside. Biking may also allow you to feel like you’re traveling farther than if you were running or walking, which may increase your feeling of freedom while exercising.
In addition to these three exercises, you may also want to consider doing some swimming in an outdoor pool. Swimming is a great way to switch up your daily exercise routine, and it’s one of my favorite outdoor exercises to do. For me, the buoyancy that water offers helps to reduce the stress exercising places on my body, and something about being in a pool takes me back to fun times I had as a kid, which always seems to improve my mood.
The fifth outdoor exercise option that you might want to consider is relocating your tai chi, pilates or yoga routine outside. Moving these types of exercise outside aren’t really that hard. In fact, all you really need is a portable yoga mat. By moving your routine outside, you’ll still be able to benefit from the deep breathing, stretching and controlled movements in these types of exercises, and you’ll be able to add the benefits of fresh air and sunshine to the mix, too.
These are just a few of the exercises you can do outdoors now that spring is here and the days are longer, and I encourage each of my fellow COPD patients to find some way to exercise outside now that the weather is warming up, even if all you can do right now is walk to the mailbox and back.
The Lung Health Institute can help you find ways to be more active with COPD
At the Lung Health Institute, our health care team knows exercise can be very helpful for patients with COPD and other chronic lung diseases. For this reason, we offer three Anti-Inflammatory Initiative™ plans that include tips about exercising with chronic lung conditions. They may also help you boost your immune system and allow you to train your body to fight inflammation using a high-fat diet.
Contact one of our patient coordinators today for more information or to schedule a free consultation.