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Pulmonary Rehab for COPD

Pulmonary Rehab for COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a very serious and possibly life threatening type of lung disease. The main side effect and symptom of COPD is shortness of breath which can severely limit daily activities such as walking, climbing the stairs, or going grocery shopping due to the additional physical labor involved. Pulmonary rehab is therefore essential for people with COPD to help them gradually build their physical fitness level and use these techniques for having a better life with COPD. Pulmonary rehab includes different programs including exercise, education, support, and psychological counseling.

Exercise

The most important aspect of pulmonary rehab for COPD patients is getting appropriate exercise and learning different breathing techniques. Regardless of where you get your pulmonary rehab from, they will want to start you on an exercise program to get your body used to physical fitness. Exercises include lower-body exercises, upper-body exercises, strength straining, and especially breathing muscle exercises. These are perhaps the most beneficial because they teach you to strengthen your breathing muscles to maintain a normal intake of breath while doing physical activities.

Education

Another part of pulmonary rehab for COPD is learning more about your disease and the best ways to handle your day to day life. You will learn to manage the disease including incorporating exercise, understand and using oxygen therapy, getting on a medication treatment plan, quitting smoking, getting proper nutrition, learning breathing exercises, and getting other education for managing your disease and improving your quality of life.

Counseling and Support

Another important part of pulmonary rehab for COPD is psychological support and assistance. Many patients with severe COPD experience high levels of anxiety and depression due to the fear of the disease. This can create issues with personal relationships, work, and interfere with basic daily activities. Counseling and support is offered as part of the rehab program which includes learning to improve your mood and get stress-relief or relaxation while managing the disease.

Benefits of Pulmonary Rehab

Anyone living with COPD, regardless of the stage, will find great relief by participating in a pulmonary rehab program. This includes learning to reduce your shortness of breath, having a stronger support system, higher energy levels, a feeling of control over your COPD, and reduced hospital visits. The mental state of patients with COPD who go through pulmonary rehab is also greatly improved which further helps their quality of life and relationships with others.
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