How to Better Manage COPD: 6 Helpful Tips

Living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be a challenge. There are various aspects that you need to adjust to, and even the most trivial tasks can be difficult to do if you’re having a flare-up. However, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to better help you improve your quality of life.

If you want to better manage your COPD, try making the following necessary changes:

Tip #1: Get Enough Rest

Many medical professionals put significant emphasis on the importance of rest in maintaining optimal health, and for good reason. It’s your body’s way of resetting the body and making necessary repairs. There might be COPD-related sleep problems that could keep you from doing so, but you can contact your healthcare provider if you want to learn how to deal with them.

To get enough restful sleep at night, it helps if you avoid napping in the afternoon. Doing so will allow you to feel more tired at bedtime. Also, try to avoid doing anything stressful and stimulating at least two hours before bedtime—work and exercise included. Consuming caffeine after 5 PM can also affect your sleep, so try to avoid doing so.

Tip #2: Never Ignore Your Medications

Your healthcare providers provide you with medications for a reason, and that is to help you manage your COPD symptoms. Keep reminders to help you take them at the prescribed times. If you want to improve your medication management, it’s helpful to pair the task of taking your meds with your other everyday routines like brushing your teeth. Having a pillbox with daily sections also helps most people remember to take their medications every day.

It’s also useful to take note of how your medications are working for you. If you’re experiencing unwanted side effects or have any concerns, it’s best to contact your healthcare provider.

Tip #3: Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet

If you want to maintain and regain your strength, eating a healthy diet is one of the best things you can do. It can keep you in optimal health, which can significantly affect your quality of life. 

If you’re overweight, for example, it can be much harder to breathe. Losing weight can improve your breathing significantly. You may also be prescribed some nutritional supplements if you’re underweight. Before you start any new diet plans, however, it’s best to contact your physician.

Tip #4: Learn Proper Breathing Techniques

There are certain breathing techniques that can help COPD patients decrease their shortness of breath. For example, in diaphragmatic breathing, you can take slow, deep breaths using your nose. Every time you breathe in, push your stomach out to assist your respiratory muscles. There are other breathing techniques that can help with COPD, and your healthcare provider may be able to provide you with some helpful breathing exercises.

Tip #5: Do Some Light Exercise 

COPD may make it difficult for you to exercise, but doing regular light exercise can help significantly with your breathing. Aside from improving your body’s strength and endurance, regular exercise can also help train your respiratory muscles. Talk to your physician about which exercises are appropriate for you.

Tip #6: Quit Smoking and Avoid Air Pollution

Smoking is one of the biggest reasons why patients develop COPD, so it’s important to work on quitting right away. Your healthcare provider can give you some options on how to quit smoking, such as counseling, self-help materials, medications, or nicotine replacement therapy. It’s also best to avoid air pollution and secondhand smoke as much as possible. 

Let Healthcare Experts Help

Dealing with COPD is no easy task. There are several restrictions and lifestyle changes you have to follow, but making the right choices can help you better manage your symptoms. Working closely with medical professionals should also be a priority, as they have the right knowledge to help you improve your daily life.

If you’re on the lookout for physicians in North Bergen and Secaucus, NJ who provide help for your lung health, Garden State Medical Group has you covered. Our Lung Health Program can help you better manage your lung-related problems such as COPD, asthma, lung cancer, and allergies. Let our medical experts help—contact us today.

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