In order to obtain lasting results from exercise, you must develop a life-long commitment to it. This means exercising even when you don’t feel like it. The following will help you assess your own personal exercise needs:
Getting started– Before beginning any type of exercise program, it is important to speak with your health care provider to make sure the program you choose is safe. If there are reasons that may prevent you from doing certain types of exercises, your doctor can discuss possible alternatives that may better suit you.
Identify how far you can go– When you first start to exercise, you may quickly become fatigued. Don’t be discouraged. It is important that you initially learn to what level of exercise you are safely comfortable with. As your endurance level builds, you will be able to exercise longer with less effort.
Setting goals– You will reap the greatest rewards from exercising if you work toward a reachable goal. Determine what your goals are by writing them down. Keep your goals in mind when you hit a rough spot that may cause you to feel discouraged. Whether your goals are to breathe better or to rely less on others, identifying your goals will help you better accomplish them.
Pulmonary rehabilitation– Many patients benefit greatly from attending a pulmonary rehabilitation program (PRP), especially those who are newly diagnosed with COPD. A PRP will teach you about your lungs in great detail, as well as how to exercise and do other activities with less shortness of breathe
A word about oxygen– You may need oxygen during exercise, even if you don’t use it otherwise. If you are already on oxygen, it may need to be increased during exercise. Be sure to discuss oxygen therapy during exercise with your health care provider.
Your health care provider may want to know your oxygen levels during exercise, before prescribing or increasing your oxygen flow rate. To determine your oxygen levels during exercise, you may want to purchase a pulse oximeter. Many insurance plans will reimburse the cost of a pulse oximeter with a doctor’s order.