COPD and Exercise

COPD and Exercise

 

COPD is a progressive lung disease that causes persistent airway obstruction. This can happen because of emphysema, or chronic bronchitis. A COPD sufferer will have a lot of difficulty in breathing and may have a chronic cough or wheezing. Other signs and symptoms include reduced lung elastic recoil and limitation in air flow; breathing will become much harder to do; the breathing muscles will become weak because of hyperinflation, which overly stresses these muscles; and other ventilation-related signs. People with COPD will have difficulty in emptying their lungs and impaired gas exchange in emphysema because of destruction of the alveolar-capillary membrane.

However, exercise can improve the use of oxygen, exercise (work) capacity, and can lower the anxiety level of COPD patients. Some of the direct benefits of exercise in this case include:

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The Role of Aerobic Exercise in the Management of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

 


Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a common condition involving an obstructed airway and impaired breathing. Frequent side effects include snoring, pauses in breathing during the night, and sleepiness during the day. There is also a significant increase in hypertension, atrial fibrillation, stroke, and coronary artery disease. The consequences can be huge, and life-threatening.

Many patients with OSA are treated with a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine (CPAP), with good results. But exercise has an important role to play in the management of this condition.

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Lower Back Pain

 Lower Back Pain

 

Lower back pain, or LBP, is an extremely common problem. It has a  wide variety of causes, and may come on suddenly, or gradually. The pain can stem from muscles, joints, or discs. It may be as a result of sudden trauma, or be a repetitive motion injury.

 It may seem trivial to say that someone has LBP, but this common complaint can cause loss of work, a spike in use of health care services, depression, family strain, and lack of self-esteem. Imagine being in pain all the time - it's very draining.

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Exercising with Osteoarthritis (OA)

People who struggle with OA often find themselves unable to do the kinds of exercise they have done for many years. The consequences of not exercising because OA may include weight gain, osteoporosis, muscle atrophy, and loss of flexibility.

There are a number of things  that you can do to introduce exercise into a daily routine again. The first thing to do is to consult with your doctor about limits for exercise, and pain/inflammation management particular to you. Once that is set out, you should check back with your practitioner at regular intervals to review these concerns, or sooner if your condition worsens.

 

Braces that limit the range of motion (ROM) are available for knee, ankle and thumb, which may help support movement during exercise. It would be wise to consult with a physiotherapist, preferably one well versed in sports injuries and/or OA specifically, before buying a brace. He may guide you to an informed choice of brace. Some physios also do taping to reposition and support a joint before exercise.

As with any exercise program, it's important to warm up. A longer warm up period, say, 10-15 minutes of low intensity cardio, will be beneficial. After that, move on to a selection of low- or no-impact activities. Having several choices available, such as water exercise, elliptical, recumbent bicycle, yoga, and low-impact group exercise will give you options on days when the OA flares up, so you're not stuck feeling as if you can't do any exercise at all that day.

Other prep work should include getting a new pair of shoes that will absorb shock well and give arch support, to minimize the impact on knees and hips. Keep an eye on your shoes' condition and replace them as soon as they show signs of wear, or are less supportive.

 

Deb Bailey Personal Trainer - in Home (Now On-line!)
Phone: 519-572-0986
debbailey@rogers.com
Kitchener, Ontario


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