Sadly, chronic lung diseases are on the rise in the United States. And that means more and more Americans now have to reconsider their perspective on physical activities. After all, chronic lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), make breathing so much more difficult. In turn, there’s less oxygen to go around. The less there is, the less energy and strength people have to move around or exert themselves.
But being able to move around and handle consistent, frequent physical activity is incredibly important! It helps increase the chances of living longer, getting better sleep, strengthening your bones and muscles, and improving your mental health and mood.
While it is more difficult for you if you have COPD to reach these benefits, especially in the dying hot summer weather, it is not impossible.
It won’t be easy.
Before you start thinking up summer exercising strategies, recognize that there are several barriers you’ll need to be aware of first:
- Expensive treatments — Keeping your COPD symptoms under control through therapy, medication, and other forms of treatments can add up and put a heavy burden on your wallet. However, they are necessary if you want to be able to function well enough to exercise.
- Social stigmatization — Unfortunately, COPD, alongside most other chronic diseases, is not well understood. Such diseases can require that you take time off to heal, but because many of their symptoms aren’t super obvious, that time off can just look like laziness to others. In turn, this can make you feel ashamed of being able to move some days and not on others.
- Relationship conflicts — You may have to deal with conflicts between your family, friends, and other loved ones as you learn by trial and error which ways are best to cope with COPD.
- Mental health issues — The inability to interact with the world around you in the same as others can be stressful and lead to mental health concerns like depression.
- Disease progression — As time goes on, COPD will worsen, so you’ll want to find ways of delaying the speed of that progression. That will help you stay well enough to move around as best as you can.
There are ways to at least reduce the difficulty.
While not all barriers are something you can control, you can minimize the impact of a couple with the following metho