Every year people make resolutions that center around wellness, such as eating better and exercising more. For COPD patients, there are several steps that can help you improve your overall well-being, better manage your symptoms and slow down the disease progression. If you are not already doing these, it’s not too late for that New Year’s resolution:
- Quit smoking
Smoking is the leading cause of COPD and while quitting won’t reverse the disease it will slow down its progression. Talk to your doctor about programs and products to help you quit.
- Regular physical activity
Moderate exercise can help you build muscle strength, improve your energy level and help you maintain and enjoy your lifestyle. Talk to your doctor about starting an exercise program that best fits your needs and lifestyle.
- Avoid lung irritants
Stay away from dust, second hand smoke and chemical fumes. Keep an eye on air quality index in your area and if there is a lot of pollution or dust, stay indoors.
- Learn more about COPD
Understanding what’s happening in your lungs and how the disease works, as well as learning how to manage your symptoms, can help you regain confidence and feel in control.
- Day to day care
Take all your medicines as your doctor prescribed and get refills before medications run out. Talk to your doctor to be sure you are staying current on flu and pneumonia vaccines.
- Prepare for emergencies
Put together a list of all the medications you’re taking, the phone numbers of your doctor and hospital, and someone who you can call to take you to get help if needed. If your symptoms get worse, or if you have fever, call your doctor right away.