Walking, swimming, even bicycling, staying active is an important part of health especially for patients living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD. “It is a progressive disease. Even though it is irreversible, it could be treatable,” said Mini Mathew, a nurse practitioner with Lee Health.
COPD limits the air flow in the lungs making it difficult for patients to breathe. Health experts say the two things patients can do to manage their symptoms are to stop smoking and exercise. “By quitting smoking and doing the exercises, what we can do is alleviate the symptoms and reduce the frequency exacerbation,” said Mathew.
COPD happens when the lungs are damaged over a period, but the symptoms can be managed. “Exercise is a way to control their symptoms and prevent them from getting worse,” said Mathew.
Things like Pilates and Yoga can help patients with COPD learn how to breathe to help strengthen their lungs. “It is good for them to have some Yoga. The main problem with COPD is the trapped air is not getting out, and it’s not replaced with fresh air,” said Mathew.
Breathing exercises and aerobic exercises need to be done a few times a day. “With exercise, they can improve the circulation to the lungs, and it helps with cardiovascular muscles, and it strengthens them,” said Mathew.
Health experts find the exercises can also help patients relieve stress and anxiety. “If they can do their own stuff by themselves they are not depressed,” said Mathew.
Helping patients breathe and ultimately improving their quality of life.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.