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Saturday, February 13, 2010 Walker, Community Member, asks

Q: With COPD, how much walking can I do to lose weight and build lungs up?

I have moderate COPD, use Advair and Spiriva. In last 4 1/2 months I lost 25 lbs. I could only walk 1/2 mile per day, but now walk 3 miles a day at the rate of 3 mph at wellness center where atmosphere is cleaner & safer. Am I doing the right thing?

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Answers (2)
2/15/10 12:54pm

Dear Walker,

 

Wow! You've really increased your walking time. Good for you! This is so good to hear! You're on the right track. Walking is so important for people with COPD - probably one of the best things you can do. Just remember that whenever starting an exercise program you should always consult with your personal physician to make sure what you are doing is safe -- and right for you.

 

You don't say if you were overweight when you started, so I would like to say, related to the weight loss -- it is my opinion that a person with COPD does not have to strive to be the "ideal" body weight as is listed on the chart in your doctor's office. It is okay to be 10 pounds over that. This is because when a person with COPD becomes sick with an exacerbation or pneumonia, they often lose weight. And it is sometimes very difficult to put weight back on.

 

Especially in cases of severe COPD, extreme weight loss can be a very serious issue. Believe it or not, it is possible for a person with severe COPD to use up more calories just to breathe than they can possibly consume. So, some of you out there (and check with your own doctor about this) should keep a little bit (not too much!) of extra weight on your bones so you've got a some reserve. 

 

Walker, I'm sorry if I got off track here. I just wanted to make sure that you are doing everything you can to stay healthy for a long, long time! I admire you! Keep on walking and breathing easy!

 

Jane.

http://www.breathingbetterlivingwell.com

 

 

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Cindy, Community Member
2/23/10 8:20pm

I am by no means a medical professional, but I feel that you are doing exactly as you should.

 

I have peripherial neuropathy, with to ankles that have had 3 reconstructive surgeries in the last two years, plus carpel tunnel and cubital tunnel in both arms and wrists and lastly was just diagnosed with 2 forms of COPD, Bronchiectasis and Asthma. Sounds like a mouth full, but if anything should stop me from walking it would have been the recovery times from all my recent surgeries.

 

While going through rehab. my Neurologist, Dr. Brent Beson, told me to just listen to my body. Do what you feel comfortable doing. Don't push it to the point of pain. Don't let your diseases define you/ control you. Well it took me a while, but I found that the thought of Idiopathic Muscular Dystrophy stuck in my head and stressed me out.  After I chewed on it a while, I gave it to GOD.

 

And now that I have 2 incurable lung diseases I have become depressed.

 

All in all, exercise will build your endurance, healthier heart, lungs keep you other organs healthy too, it helps fight depression and helps you maintain a level of mobility,  independence that you might not have without exercise. You will just feel better. 

 

Congratulations with your weight loss, that is one of the other great benefits!

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By Walker, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/27/10, First Published: 02/13/10