Dr. Mrinmayee Koltharkar
EXERCISE AS MEDICINE: FOR LUNG PATIENTS
An Alarming report says that lung diseases will become the second biggest killer globally and currently 100 million Indians suffer from them.
Lung patients usually complain of breathlessness on climbing stairs, walking, talking, bathing, wearing clothes, tying shoe laces. Being so prone to breathlessness they end up believing “Lung patients should NOT EXERCISE to conserve oxygen” which is nothing but a common myth!!
People with chronic lung disease get stuck in a vicious cycle of inactivity:
How do I break this cycle?
In order to break the cycle of inactivity you need to increase physical activity/Exercise. Exerting yourself makes you breathless – this is normal! It is not dangerous to be out of breath if you exercise under proper guidance. As you progress, you may find you are able to do more.
How can exercise help Lung patients?
Exercises are Big Value packages which result in specific benefits along with general improvements in Lung patients by,
Improving Exercise capacity
Improving Quality of Life
Improving Muscle & Bone strength
Reduced number of exacerbations/infections
This benefit package can be achieved regardless of severity of lung disease; but an INDIVIDUALIZED Safe program is Mandatory.
How to exercise safely?
Make sure that you follow these simple rules:
Always warm up before & cool down after exercising
Wear loose comfortable clothing and soft-soled, non-slip shoes
Have eaten lightly, but wait at least an hour after a meal to exercise
Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise
Have your rescue medication with you whenever you are exercising
Train but not strain. If severe breathlessness occurs: STOP-PAUSE-RECOVER-RESTART
Let Oxygen Saturation be >88%
May require Supplemental Oxygen Therapy while exercise if Oxygen Saturation is < 88%
May require Inhaler therapy
Pacing/Interval training might be useful
Breathlessness should be a maximum around 3-4/on scale of 10
Don’t start exercising, or STOP if you feel:
Chest pains or tightness
Dizzy or nauseous
Clammy or cold
Pain in your joints or muscles
Which Exercises to Include?
The essential components of exercises for lung patients are
Aerobic training varying from walking to using treadmill, cycle, elliptical etc.
Flexibility to stretch the tight muscles
Weight training to strengthen muscles
Exercise is a Magic pill
An Effective combination of Medications, Nutrition & Oxygen therapy has Several Huge benefits,
NO Side-effects or Drug Interactions, Adjustable Dose, Frequency, Duration and is COST EFFECTIVE!!
So enjoy the Magic pill & BREATH BETTER!