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As COPD progresses, you may notice a pattern start to emerge: as your breathlessness becomes increasingly worse upon exertion, you reduce your physical activity. As a result of reducing your physical activity, your fitness level is lowered and so breathlessness becomes more easily provoked. Unless you take control of your physical condition, this vicious cycle can take over and affect not only your physical condition but also your mental well-being.

The best way to manage or even eradicate this cycle is by engaging in regular physical activity. Exercising regularly can reduce your symptoms, improve your quality of life and increase your mobility. It can improve heart and muscle strength and help to:

  • Make your heart stronger and healthier
  • Improve your arm, body and leg muscle strength
  • Improve your breathing
  • Clear sputum from your lungs
  • Reduce your breathlessness during daily activities
  • Increase the number of activities that you are able to do each day or each week
  • Improve your balance
  • Improve your mood and make you feel more in control
  • Make you more independent
  • Assist your weight control
  • Improve and maintain your bone density

Designing an exercise program that works for you is something that you can do with your doctor or physiotherapist. Lung Foundation Australia can also help you find local programs available to the public to help you maintain regular exercise.

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