5 Ways to Maintain Your Independence With COPD
Having low energy levels during the day and sleepless nights due to breathing difficulties can take its toll. If you are not careful, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may limit your independence.
Your COPD may get worse with time and even lead to lung damage. But if you take a proactive role in managing your COPD and overall health, you can continue to maintain control over your life.
Here are 5 ways to work towards maintaining your independence with COPD
You may find that dealing with limited mobility and getting tired too quickly and easily are the two of the toughest parts of living with COPD. You may also think you cannot exercise or be active, but that is not true.
Staying active is one of the most important parts of managing COPD. And doing the things you love helps you enjoy life so much more.
Even a small amount of exercise helps your heart and lungs stay in shape. If you are getting enough physical exercise, your body won’t need extra oxygen when you are participating in treasured hobbies and activities or just spending time when the people you love.
You will, of course, need to make adjustments to stay active. Take your oxygen tank with you everywhere you go and wear a mask when you are outdoors and pollen levels are high.
Make Healthy Food Choices
A healthy diet is important for managing COPD. Eating the right foods will help you to increase energy and give your body the nutrients it needs to feel better and fight off disease.
Talk to your doctor about the best diet plan for you. Your doctor may recommend you see a dietitian who can work with you develop a meal plan for your unique situation.
In general, you should monitor your calorie intake. The American Lung Association recommends keeping an ideal weight to best manage your COPD symptoms.
The best diet for people with COPD is a balance of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats, according to the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. This way you can get key vitamins and nutrients linked to better COPD outcomes.
Additional diet considerations include watching portion sizes, limiting salt intake to avoid fluid retention (which worsens symptoms), and using your supplemental oxygen during and after meals to avoid shortness of breath while eating.