Here are things you can do to manage your COPD and live your healthiest life.
Avoid pollutants. Avoid exposure to any environmental pollutants that could make your COPD worse. If you smoke, ask your doctor about resources to help you quit, like medicines and group support. If you’re exposed to dust or pollutants at work, talk to your doctor about how to minimize your exposure or ask your health and safety advisor about how you are being protected. You can also get updates about local air quality with apps like AirVisual.
Eat well and maintain a healthy weight. Having the right mix of nutrients in your diet can help you breathe easier. A healthy diet is one with plenty of variety. A registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) who specializes in COPD can help keep you on track. Ask your doctor or visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at EatRight.org.
Make physical activity part of your daily routine. Regular exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle, even if you have COPD. Moderate exercise can improve how your body uses oxygen, your energy levels, sleep quality, and more. Exercise helps your heart send oxygen to your body and strengthens your respiratory muscles, making it easier to breathe. Talk to your doctor about an exercise routine that includes stretching, aerobics, and strength training. If you work with a trainer, make sure they’re certified by a credible professional organization like the American College of Sports Medicine. Find one here.