What are the benefits of walking for people with COPD?

Living with COPD can be challenging because damage to the lungs can cause shortness of breath and discomfort. Although COPD can sometimes make breathing difficult, that doesn't mean you should stop moving.

There are many benefits to staying active when you have COPD. Exercise can seem like a huge challenge, but there are ways to keep people with COPD active without overworking and exhausting. A less demanding form of exercise is walking. If you have COPD, walking can keep you active and sensitive to your lungs.

Here are five benefits of walking for people with COPD:

  1. It can improve the overall health of the body.

Did you know that a little exercise can increase your overall health, not just reduce your COPD symptoms? People used to think that if you had COPD, you shouldn't be physically active. As with all diseases, physical activity is important for improving health and quality of life.

  1. You can lose weight.

People with COPD should be aware of the risks of being overweight, as being overweight may worsen COPD symptoms. Being overweight can also make a person less interested in exercise, which can worsen overall health. Walking is a light exercise that can still help you burn calories, which can reduce symptoms. If you're starting a walking weight loss program while you have COPD, you can start with a short walk. See how far you can go before you run out of breath. Stop and rest when you are short of breath. You can adjust the distance you walk within your own acceptable range.

  1. You may have fewer hospital admissions.

When you walk, your lungs and heart are hard at work. Together, they bring oxygen into the body and deliver it to the muscles being used. This improves circulation and strengthens the tissue around your lungs, helping them function. 60 minutes per day or 5000 steps, five days a week is excellent for improving lung function and health.

  1. It strengthens your immune system.

Since the immune system is affected when you have COPD, resulting in a decrease in immunity, it is important to think about how to improve it. Walking is a great way to tone your overall health, lungs, and immune system. Specifically, walking outside for an hour after meals each day boosts the immune system. 

  1. Your lungs will get stronger.

One concern for people with COPD is the strength of their lungs. In addition to supporting your immune system, walking outdoors can help your lungs get stronger. Regular brisk walking for 30 minutes can increase your lung capacity. As your lung capacity increases, you will breathe easier and your lungs will be healthier.

Although walking may seem like an easy form of exercise, this activity can reduce COPD symptoms and increase lung strength. However, people with COPD should be careful when starting walking therapy. Before walking, consider stretching: "Stretching your arms and legs before and after exercise helps prepare your muscles for activity and helps prevent injuries and muscle strains." You should also consult with your doctor to ensure that walking is a Safe activity that meets your health goals.

If you have COPD and need oxygen, consider a portable oxygen concentrator! TTLife currently sells two portable oxygen concentrators that you can take with you or perform other activities.