Physical activity and exercise

10) What stops you being as physically active as you should be? Are you putting up barriers?

It is not safe for me to exercise. I have a long term condition

Research shows people with long term conditions can benefit greatly from exercise. Ask your healthcare team before you increase your level of activity.

I am too sore to exercise

Exercise helps to lubricate joints and helps to strengthen muscles which support sore joints. Ask your GP about physiotherapy or exercise classes designed for people like you with painful joints.

I am too breathless to exercise

Exercise and pulmonary rehabilitation have been proven to help you learn how to improve breathlessness and give you the skills to pace yourself.

I am too old to exercise

Exercise is still important as you get older. It helps not only your breathing but can help to prevent falls by strengthening bones and muscle and improve balance and coordination.

I avoid exercise because I am embarrassed about my size and weight

You can start by exercising at home. If you exercise with a friend you will increase your confidence and the more you exercise the easier it will be to lose weight.

I am active enough during the day

Jobs around the house should make you feel warm and moderately out of breath. If they don’t you are not being active enough to make a difference to your health. At least 30 minutes a day is recommended but this can be done in short sessions building up time as you improve.

I don’t have time to exercise

Try to build in exercise to your day as you are doing other things. Get off the bus a stop earlier or walk up a flight of stairs rather than take a lift for one floor. Exercise with a friend or in a group. Plan ahead.

I can’t get myself motivated to start exercising

We all need a bit of help to change. Find something which you enjoy or find a new activity to try. Exercise in a pool or things like Tai Chi can be gentle to start with. Take someone with you to help keep you going.

I can’t afford to go to a gym

You don’t have to go to a gym to exercise any more than you have to buy lots of expensive equipment or dress in lycra! As long as you are doing 30 minutes of exercise or activity every day you are helping to manage your COPD. Walking your dog or walking down your street with a neighbour is a start. Comfortable shoes are all you need.