Positive Lifestyle Changes for COPD Patients
Whether your chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is at stage I or IV, it’s not too late to make changes that will improve the quality of your life.
Being inactive and sitting on the couch watching TV for most of the day is a surefire way to have your health spiral out of control. No one is saying it is going to be easy, but I will guarantee if you stick to even some basic lifestyle changes you will have a better health outcome, physically and mentally.
If you have lung disease and still smoke then it’s time to determine how serious you are about improving your situation. Many of us, myself included, have had to quit this addictive killer.
It’s easy to just say I can’t and continue smoking, but the reality is it will kill you. If that’s not a good enough reason to quit, how about the devastating effect your death will have on your family?
Your family will much rather the healthiest version of you possible than not have you at all. Missing out on watching your kids and grandkids grow up would be a tragedy. See your doctor about a quit smoking program and stick to it — this is the best action you can take for your health.
Educate Yourself on Your Medications
When you’ve been diagnosed with COPD, your doctor will prescribe you with medication to help stabilize your disease and make you able to breathe better. Some of these medications could be short-term while others may be permanent.
Before you leave your doctor’s appointment, make sure you are well versed in how and when to take your medication. It’s a good idea to ask your doctor what each medication does and any side effects that you may experience.
Some patients have problems remembering when to take their medication and therefore don’t receive the full benefit of what the doctor has prescribed for them. Personally, I find it easier to take my medications at the time of brushing my teeth, morning and night.
Why this may not work for everyone, scheduling when you take your medication to coincide with something you always do in your daily routine can work well.
Nutrition Is Key
There are some basic guidelines you should stick by to help create a better you. Eating good quality food with high nutritional value is very important for your COPD diet, as this will not only improve your energy levels, but it will also help control your weight.
If there is one ingredient I recommend to remove from your diet as much as you can it is refined sugar. Excessive consumption of refined sugar is responsible for many health issues in our lives today, such as diabetes, weight gain and other chronic diseases.
Eating regular meals (up to five) throughout the day is far better than two or three large meals. Large portion sizes can put stress on your digestive system and lead to obesity and inactivity.
It can also put unnecessary stress on your respiratory system — as your stomach becomes full it puts pressure on the diaphragm, which can lead to breathlessness. Smaller nutritious meals are a far better way to treat your body — you’ll be surprised how well your body will respond once it gets used to eating this way.
Keep yourself well hydrated with water to help with digestion and to keep your stomach feeling satisfied.
Next page: knowledge is power and more tips for living with COPD.