In a recent blog post I wrote about the benefits of eating a plant based diet for those suffering with COPD. To read this article click here.
Today I want to make you aware of other lifestyle changes to help manage COPD, because if you are someone diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), it’s important to learn about all possible strategies that can help you cope and manage this disease.
Your diagnosis of COPD, your symptoms, changes in your energy, and your concern for the future are understandable. Every time you find yourself struggling for breath your fears multiply.
There is no cure for COPD but that doesn’t mean you have to stop living your life. There are many lifestyle changes you can make to help you manage COPD.
Taking steps to manage COPD and your symptoms, lifestyle, and emotions can help you lead a more active and satisfying life. As you begin taking charge of your health and making positive changes, you will see and feel positive differences.
I have no doubts many of these changes you’re already aware of and know would help you manage COPD. They say it takes hearing or reading something eight to ten times before you actually do it. So let me remind you of the things you really should be doing.
If you know that you have a chronic health problem, then it should be pretty dam obvious that the first change to make is cutting out any risky, unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking.
I do know that some of you have never smoked in your life, and that COPD is not a disease simply reserved for smokers. But yes, a majority of sufferers have been smokers. So, if you still are, no matter how hard it may be, you have to quit. Smoking increases your risk of more than 50 serious health conditions. It causes about 90% of lung cancers, damages your heart and your blood circulation, worsens respiratory conditions and is known to kill.
If you are a smoker smoke, quitting is the best way to manage COPD and helps stopping it from getting worse. Cigarette smoke contains harmful toxins that irritate your airways and damage your lung tissues. This is priority number one.
Your weight can affect the quality of your breathing. If you’re overweight, losing weight can help reduce your shortness of breath by decreasing the pressure on your respiratory muscles and diaphragm. Gauge your girth. Measure your height and weight to check your BMI, and measure your waist circumference to see if you’re overweight and if your waistline is putting your health at risk. Although in truth you know whether you are overweight or not. Many of the following lifestyle changes will help you not just manage COPD but lose weight. This has to be one of your targets, getting to a healthy weight won’t just help you manage COPD but see improvements in your overall health.
Eat a nutritious diet
Eating right is important so to insure you get the proper nutrition needed to be healthy and particularly supporting you in being able to manage COPD. As discussed in my previous article it is important to cut back on animal products (meat and dairy). Replace animal fats like butter with healthy oils from plants. Six small meals a day can help keep energy levels stable, and will generally be easier to digest. It can also feel less overwhelming and stressful to sit down and eat smaller portions when breathing can be difficult.
Avoiding junk food
Hand in hand with the previous two lifestyle changes, you need to avoid eating junk food. A good diet is central to overall good health, though avoiding certain foods and drinks may help prolong your life. You need to avoid biscuits, cakes, chocolate, processed and fast food.
Lack of exercise contributes to a number of health issues. You may be tempted to limit your physical activities to avoid becoming short of breath, but exercise is an important manage COPD. Regular exercise can help strengthen your lungs, heart, and muscles. This can help you breathe easier. Starting slow is important. Before you begin a new activity or exercise routine, talk to your doctor. Ask them what kinds of activities are safe for you. I strongly recommend starting with simply a brisk walk for about 30 minutes.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is necessary for you to function efficiently. It’s during these few hours of complete relaxation that your body has time to rejuvenate itself. Getting six to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep not only makes you more alert during the day, it reduces your risk of obesity, depression and diseases such as cancer and diabetes, according to the National Sleep Foundation. The better the night sleep you get, the more relaxed you are, the stronger your body, the better your breathing.
Defend against infections
People with COPD are at an increased risk for respiratory infections, which can trigger flare-ups. Infections that affect the airways can often be avoided with good hand-washing hygiene and keeping your living environment clean and tidy.
Drinking plenty of water
Staying hydrated can help thin and loosen mucus in the lungs and airways. Increase your daily water intake. Keep a bottle or glass of water on hand at all times and sip it often. The human body cannot survive without water for more than three to five days. It’s necessary for proper body functions and maximum joint fluidity. Don’t get enough and you feel lethargic and run-down.
If you want to manage COPD and improve your energy and vitality, create better health and habits, then the lifestyle changes listed will help immensely.
It will soon be January 2018—is this the year you become the healthiest you possible? Are you ready to take back your health? You probably already know how difficult it is to heal from chronic health issues. If you are tired of feeling tired, and want to start to take the steps to living a healthier lifestyle I will be delighted to coach you. Let’s have a introductory chat to see whether I can help You. Click here.