COPD and Exercise Precautions

It's good to take precautions when exercising with COPD, but remember that shortness of breath doesn't always mean you should stop altogether. Instead, slow down and continue exercising. If shortness of breath becomes severe, then stop exercising.

Here are other exercise precautions:

- Always consult a doctor or other health care provider before starting a COPD exercise program. If you have a change in any medications, talk to your doctor before continuing with your exercise routine.
- Balance exercise with rest. If you feel tired, start at a lower level. If you feel very tired, rest and try again the next day.
- Wait at least one and a half hours after eating before beginning to exercise.
- Remember any fluid restrictions you have when you drink fluids while exercising.
- Avoid hot or cold showers after exercising.
- If you've been away from exercise for several days, start up slowly and gradually return to your regular routine.

Exercises to avoid when you have COPD:

- Heavy lifting or pushing.
- Chores such as shoveling, mowing, or raking.
- Push-ups or sit-ups or isometric exercises, which involve pushing against immovable objects.
- Outdoor exercises when the weather is very cold, hot, or humid.
- Walking up steep hills.

Ask your doctor whether exercises like weight lifting, jogging, or swimming are OK for you to do when you have COPD.

COPD and Exercise: When to Stop

If you experience any of these signs or symptoms, stop your COPD exercise program right away. Sit down and keep your feet raised while resting. If you don't feel better quickly, call your doctor.

- Nausea
- Dizziness
- Weakness
- Rapid or irregular heart beat
- Severe shortness of breath
- Pain
- Pressure or pain in your chest or your arm, neck, jaw, or shoulder

The FIRST RULE ALWAYS – Listen to your Body!