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Let's Get Fit is not....

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  • COPD-Support - the Let's Get Fit Program

    After quitting smoking, exercise is the very best thing we can do for ourselves. Many COPD patients are sent to Pulmonary Rehab by their doctors. They are very fortunate.

    But what about those of us who are not attending Pulmonary Rehab? The goal for most people should be to exercise for 20 to 30 minutes, at least three times a week; including cardio and strength training. Many make attempts at home exercise, often buying expensive equipment, only to find it so difficult to exercise alone.

    For those individuals who are aware of the need to exercise, but lack the motivation to do it on their own, we have created Let's Get Fit. Let's Get Fit consists of teams with 4 to 8 members per team. Each member reports via e-mail to the other members of his/her team daily and gives an account of what was done that day for exercise. The members offer each other support, praise, encouragement and even constructive criticism.

    If you need to exercise and find it hard to get yourself motivated - then this is the program for you.

    ! Due to a limited number of volounteers, we are currently only accepting subscriptions from members of the COPD-Support Email List. If you are not currently a member and wish to subscribe, click on COPD Email List.

    click here to subscribe to the LetsGetFit program

  • About Us:

    Our current teams...       Let's Get Fit - Teams
     What our members have to say...  Let's Get Fit - Testimonials

  • Pulmonary Rehab:

    As we are all different, Pulmonary Rehabs can be different.

    Pulmonary Rehab will emphasize exercise as an effective way of reducing symptoms, and improving health generally. It could be the most personalized tool you can have to deal with COPD.

    Some formal Pulmonary Rehab programs include a team of healthcare providers working together, like doctors, nurses, rehabilitation therapists, psychosocial staff and dietitians. The team evaluates each person's overall physical and emotional status, and then develops an individual program for him or her. The doctor, a specially trained registered nurse, a rehabilitation specialist or a respiratory care practitioner coordinate the program. Some Pulmonary rehabs will have only some of the above, but what they will all do, is emphasize exercise and have a qualified Rehabilitation Therapist to work with you.

    Ideally, you will go home with an excercise plan designed just for you.
    Talk to your Doctor, and if you have the opportunity for Rehab, take it.

  •  box for videos...(uncheck to show less)
    Understanding Pulmonary Rehab - Part One - King's College Hospital, London, UK

    Understanding Pulmonary Rehab - Part Two

    Benefits of Pulmonary Rehab - LungFoundation, Australia

  • Exercise Links:

    Without a plan, you're likely to fiddle around. Suddenly, the day is gone and you may have done some arm circles or some leg lifts but not accomplished anything concrete. Without a plan, your exercising will probably be hit or miss, and at the end of the month, you will not have increased your strength very much. Exercise is medicine just as important as our 02 or our inhalers. We schedule those. Similarly, we should schedule our exercise and try our best to stick to the plan.

    Don't let planning and scheduling exercise overwhelm you. Your plan can be a simple one, especially in the beginning of your fitness program. Discuss your needs with your doctor or physical therapist. Do you need weight training? Aerobics? Stretching? A combination of these? Also consider when you want to do your exercising. Some people are fresher in the morning; others don't wake up till the rest of us have gone to bed. After you've decided on your needs, and how you want to address them, write down what you intend to do and when you intend to do it.

    Once you have a well-structured exercise plan on paper, make up a weekly or monthly schedule in calendar form and post it where you do most of your exercise (There are several below you can print out). And remember to check your exercise calendar every day. That way, you can get started on your workout without sitting around trying to remember what you did yesterday or what part of the body you're working on today. If you want, you can also set up a three-ring binder and file each completed calendar so you can see your progress over time.

    You can use the links below to plan your excercise routine, then before starting your program, talk again to your doctor about your plan to be sure that it is safe - heart problems, such as coronary artery disease (CAD) or high blood pressure, are common in people who have COPD and may limit exercise options.

    Always begin slowly and rest if you get short of breath, have chest pain, feel dizzy or sick to your stomach.

  •  box for links...(uncheck to show less)
    Assortment of links for excercises and forms to chart your progress
    Better Living with COPD - from the Australian Lung Foundation
    A brochure that includes 12 home exercises.
         Here are their two recording sheets to print:
         Aerobic Exercise Recording Sheet and Strength Training Sheet
    Top Exercises for Those With Lung Disease
    Endurance and Posture excercises from Paul J. Mackarey, a Doctor in Health Sciences specializing in orthopaedic and sports physical therapy.
    Stretching for Better Health - from North Dakota State University
    Ten great Stretching exercises.
         Here is their Exercise Record you can print (you might like this format best).
    Exercises - COPD: Lifestyle Management from National Jewish Health
    Simple exercises you can do at home to improve your breathing, strength and ability to move; includes good excercise tips.
    COPD: Using Exercise to Feel Better from the UW Medical School
    Includes slideshow of 7 simple exercises.
    Try these Exercises from Go4Life - the National Council on Aging
    While not specifically designed for COPD, most of these are easy and can be added to your routine. Many, such as the Overhead Arm Raise also have videos.
    They also have lots of printable materials: Tip Sheets

         Here are their three daily recording sheets which you can print:
         Endurance Record - Flexibility Record - Strength and Balance Record
    9 Exercises for People with COPD - from CNN Health
    A slideshow with directions for nine exercises.
  • Videos:

    Here are some exercise videos. They are not complete routines, but possibly you can add them to your other exercises.

    Remember to start out slowly at first and build up to completing them.

  •  box to see videos...(uncheck to show less)
    Videos you can use as part of your Exercise Plan

    Respiratory Muscle-Strengthening Excercises

    This Chair Exercise focuses on the lower body and helps get a great cardio workout.

    Exercises by the Lone Star College-Kingwood Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, Class of 2010. Pause player between each excercise to complete repetitions.

    Exercise videos by National Institute On Aging - GoForLife

    Series of exercise videos from GoForLife which must be viewed on YouTube.

    Chicken Fat chair exercise with music

    Must be viewed on YouTube.

  • Equipment:

    Recent research, has shown that people with COPD who walk less than 5000 steps per day are almost twice as likely to experience an exacerbation (flare up) as those who walk 5000 or more steps per day.

    Buy a pedometer (or if you have a smart phone you can download a pedometer App - Dr. Oz recommends MapMyWalk, and its free). Then you can print our COPD-Support Weekly Step Counter to track the number of steps you take. Keep your weekly records in a 3-ring binder to chart your long-term progress.

    A Pulse Oximeter is a necessity if you don't have one; and also consider resistance exercise bands, hand weights, and ankle and wrist weights to add as you progress.

     box for links...(uncheck to show less)
    Links to tips on equipment for home use
    Choosing Home Exercise Equipment
    An article from the COPD Foundation on features to consider before buying a treadmill or stationary bike.
    Wii Fit Exercises May Help COPD Patients
    Report from WebMD Health news on possible benefits of Wii Fit.
  • Tips


    Start small. You can aspire to something big, but break that goal down to short-term goals.

    Set a specific time for your exercise - when your energy is at its highest point.

    Eliminate the barriers to exercise. Put your phone on answering machine, let people know this is the time you cannot be interrupted - your time for yourself.

    Figure out which fitness activities you enjoy most and incorporate them into your exercise routine. Try to vary what you do so you don't get bored.

    Get a buddy and let exercise time double as a social activity. Walk with a friend or family member, or sign up together for an exercise class.

    If you haven't exercised in a while, start with low to moderate intensity activity to prevent injury and boost confidence. Once you get stronger, then you can progress to longer, more varied activities.

    Exercise in short spurts, such as three 10-minute walks. It's easier to carve out short times and it's good for you to take activity breaks, especially if you sit a lot during the day.

    If you're concerned about exercising outdoors for safety reasons, find indoor walking areas (like malls) or join a local gym. Find a gym with group classes you like that you can schedule into your week.

    Warm up first.

    Be kind to yourself if you get off track.

    Vary your routine - avoid boredom and work different muscle groups.

    Take a day off once a week.

     DONTs...(uncheck to show less)
    Read these before you begin excercises so you will be prepared if there is any problem
    COPD and Exercise Guidelines
    A good list of what not to do and symptoms you should watch out for from WebMd.
    COPD Exercise Precautions
    from the Cleveland Clinic.