The weather is warming up and for those suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) it can be difficult finding outdoor activities that will not exacerbate symptoms. Supplemental oxygen should not prevent you from being mobile – or enjoying warm weather activities. However, it is smart to consult your physician prior to starting any new activity, especially those which require a lot of movement.
Fishing is a slow-paced outdoor activity. It does require some walking, but overall it is an extremely light and satisfying activity. Pack light, so you do not have to walk around with too much weight and make sure you have plenty of water to avoid getting dehydrated. It is a great activity when you just need to step away from technology and be one with nature. Fishing also gives you the opportunity to explore new places because you cannot fish everywhere. Think of it as a reason to explore new parks and waterways or travel to far-away lakes and reservoirs for more distant fishing trips. Traveling can also be oxygen friendly. Learn more about traveling with your portable oxygen concentrator. Just be sure to stay on dry land while fishing to avoid getting your oxygen equipment wet.
Gardening is a great way to spend time outside without having to go too far from home. It is relaxing, fun, and allows you to enjoy nature in a more intimate way. You can get some light cardio in while playing in dirt! According to the CDC, 2.5 hours of gardening each week can reduce the risk for obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, depression, colon cancer and premature death. If you have trouble kneeling and crouching, use garden knee pads or stools to make planting and weeding more comfortable. It is also much easier to garden in raised beds because it is easier to reach and provides a variety of benefits for plants. Another tip is to make wide paths in your garden to help keep tubing or carrying bag straps from getting caught on plants as you tend to your flowers or vegetables.
3.) Outdoor Yoga
The American Heart Association asks: could yoga be the missing piece to your whole-body health puzzle? Yoga is an exercise that combines controlled breathing, stretching exercises, and mental and physical relaxation. Most people that do yoga experience an increase in their energy and an overall improvement in their mental health. Yoga can help those suffering from COPD and pulmonary fibrosis find a balance in their life. The Lung Health Institute put together a few simple poses you can try.
Walking is a wonderful activity for people with COPD because it is slow-paced while still getting your heart rate up. It helps strengthen your heart, skeletal muscles and the muscles you use to breathe. Walking is a great way to practice controlling your breathing as you exercise, which will help you improve your lung health. It is relatively easy to time your breathes as you walk, and you can control the pace or take breaks as often as you need to. Try this helpful breathing technique used by long distance runners while you walk. While walking might seem boring to some, it can be an adventure. You can choose to walk by beautiful sights and wildlife or start a walking club to make it a social activity. The American Heart Association calls for 30 minutes of regular walking five days a week, be sure to pace yourself.
5.) Bird Watching
Bird watching is a perfect activity for those with COPD because it takes little physical energy, and it can be very relaxing. You can enjoy bird watching while walking, hiking, or sitting completely still, and you can choose the activity level based on your personal goals and symptoms. Bird watching is inexpensive because all you really need is a pair of binoculars! You can do it anywhere: your local park, while you are on a walk around your neighborhood or even in your own backyard. Overall, it is a great way to get outdoors, do some light exercising, and learn more about nature in your local environment.