Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)? Good news. Recent research shows that a daily walk can lower your risk for hospitalization from a COPD attack.
The study followed 543 COPD patients from five respiratory clinics and found that the participants who maintained a moderate to high level of physical activity could reduce their rate of hospitalizations. This was the case even if the activity of choice was a low intensity one such as walking. In this study, the patients who had the best chance of staying out of the hospital were those who walked approximately two miles at least three days a week. In addition, the research shows that the participants who had a low level of physical activity or who slacked off from their exercise routine increased their chances of having an attack and needing to be hospitalized.
While walking was the focus in this study, other exercises can be beneficial. Consult with your doctor to discuss an activity plan that is right for you.
Source: Esteban C, Arostegu I, Aburto M, et al. Influence of changes in physical activity on frequency of hospitalization in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Respirology, 2014 Apr; 19 (3): 330-338.