Many people have lung problems as they get older. Especially people who have COPD have problems with chest tightness, shortness of breath, and easy fatigue. Is it true that people with COPD cannot exercise? What should be done for exercise? Today we will introduce it in detail.

1. Causes of lung respiratory function decline due to COPD

Many people who have problems attribute them to aging, but in fact, it is probably a very common chronic disease, namely chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). I believe that more people know this name when it is mentioned, as it is a very common disease.
But in addition to affecting the airways, COPD also affects the skeletal muscles throughout the body.

Some studies have shown that many people with slow-onset lungs have skeletal muscle atrophy prior to the onset of symptoms. In very severe cases, the incidence of skeletal muscle atrophy can be as high as 20% to 30%.

Many patients with skeletal muscle atrophy are more likely to experience chest tightness, shortness of breath, and first-level hypoxia after activity, which leads to increased impairment of muscle energy metabolism throughout the body.

On the one hand, muscle strength is reduced, on the other hand, tissue strength is increased.

Undoubtedly, the systemic hypoxia becomes more severe and the respiratory function is severely impaired and decreased.

It seems that this seems to be a vicious circle, many patients have problems at this critical point, and their quality of life gradually declines.

2. Is it really impossible to do exercise?

Actually, no. For the rehabilitation of pulmonary diseases, exercise therapy is a core treatment measure.

For chronic respiratory diseases with symptoms and a gradual decline in daily living ability, patients should take some active and effective exercise.

Both unassisted exercise and exercise with equipment can be very beneficial to patients.

Examples include walking, cycling, and planks.

The American Association for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation has suggested that aerobic training should be done for patients with all stages of COPD.

In particular, strength training with high resistance and low repetitions can improve muscle strength for different patients.

But for more patients, endurance training is more important. There are many aerobic exercises that can be done, such as walking, simple tai chi, breathing exercises, etc.

3. What is the best intensity of exercise?

According to many studies, training is the best, but how much exercise intensity should be achieved?

80% of the maximum power is the best, as long as it is more than 50% of the maximum oxygen consumption, the intensity of this exercise is the most beneficial to the body.

Again, if strength training is performed, 60 to 80 percent of maximum intensity, with multiple sessions, can be effective in improving strength.

And many guidelines do not require the amount of exercise needed to help the patient, just be aware of the degree of shortness of breath as a basis for assessing intensity.

Whenever shortness of breath, chest tightness, palpitations, or even fatigue occur, if these symptoms are present, you should terminate the exercise in time and not make it too difficult for yourself.

4. How is the duration of exercise determined?

Current research suggests that for most patients, the duration of each session can be determined according to their own situation, but the recommendation is 10 to 45 minutes.

The frequency of endurance training exercises should ideally be 3 to 5 times per week.

However, the frequency of training can vary depending on each individual’s specific situation, and it is best to have 48 hours between strength training sessions.

Some studies have shown that, in contrast to normal people, exercise three times a week in patients with the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can effectively promote the secretion of growth factors and further enhance the anabolism of skeletal muscles if it can be continued for eight weeks.

In fact, this also confirms that compared with healthy adults, people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease should exercise more.
Some people feel that they should not exercise when they are sick because exercise can aggravate the disease.

However, as people become more aware of the disease, exercise and health are positively correlated.

The old adage that life is about exercise and the more you exercise the healthier you may be makes sense. Even if you have a chronic lung disease, you should take some exercise reasonably and not waste your body in a hospital bed.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *