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What are exercise precautions for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?

ANSWER

It's good to be careful when you exercise if you have COPD, but shortness of breath doesn't always mean you should stop altogether. Ask your doctor about when you should stop and rest. Here are a few other guidelines:

  • Always talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program.
  • If you change any medications, talk to your doctor before exercising.
  • If you feel tired, start at a lower level. If you feel very tired, try again the next day.
  • Wait at least an hour and a half after eating.
  • Don't take hot or cold showers after exercising.
  • If you haven't exercised for several days, start slowly.

SOURCES: 

American Association for Respiratory Care: "Exercising Safely with COPD." 

Cleveland Clinic: "COPD Exercise and Activity Guidelines," "Diaphragmatic Breathing," "COPD Exercise Precautions." 

University of Michigan Health System: "Breathing Exercises."

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on July 31, 2019

SOURCES: 

American Association for Respiratory Care: "Exercising Safely with COPD." 

Cleveland Clinic: "COPD Exercise and Activity Guidelines," "Diaphragmatic Breathing," "COPD Exercise Precautions." 

University of Michigan Health System: "Breathing Exercises."

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on July 31, 2019

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What exercises should you not do if you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?

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