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A woman doing a COPD breathing exercise.

How Can Pulmonary Rehabilitation Exercises Help to Ease COPD Symptoms

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a type of inflammatory lung disease that leads to obstructions in the flow of air from the lungs. It may seem like regular exercise is impossible for COPD patients due to the breathing difficulties associated with the condition, studies say otherwise. The American Lung Association recommends following a regular exercise routine to deal with the ill effects of COPD and even says that leading a sedentary lifestyle will only make the condition worse.

Caregivers in skilled nursing homes help patients with COPD to do simple physical activities as part of their pulmonary rehabilitation programs. It is found that improvement in muscle mass and controlling weight can help to ease the strain on the lungs and the respiratory system. However, proper guidance is a must to ensure that COPD patients follow the right level of exercise for their recovery. Besides, it is also important to consider any other medical conditions when planning a fitness routine.

As skilled nursing homes have trained caregivers on the site round-the-clock, patients can easily seek help in case of an emergency. Caregivers will also see to it that COPD patients start slow with their pulmonary rehabilitation programs and build adequate tolerance levels to manage the symptoms of their condition. Stretching exercises, for instance, are great to improve muscle tone and flexibility, while they also help the body to be prepared for other physical activities.

Pulmonary rehab specialists in skilled nursing homes also recommend walking exercises to COPD patients. A simple stroll in the skilled nursing facility grounds can help to improve heart function, balance, and stability, as well as the body’s natural ability to use oxygen. Seniors with COPD can even walk around their rooms two or three times a day to build tolerance and gradually move outdoors for exercise.

Many other types of cardiovascular exercises are also seen to be helpful for managing the symptoms of COPD, such as stationary cycling, swimming, dancing, etc. The staff at skilled nursing homes will assist COPD patients to perform these exercises and ensure that they do not experience any difficulty during the workout session. Caregivers will also oversee strength training and other fitness programs to ensure the best safety of their residents.

It is important to follow the pursed-lip breathing technique while performing any cardiovascular exercise or strength training. This helps to maintain adequate oxygen levels in the body and avoids shortness of breath. Experts recommend at least 20 to 30 minutes of physical activity every day to COPD patients as part of their pulmonary rehabilitation so that their breathing problems can be managed more effectively.

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